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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Trainer | Notre Dame WR Signee Tobias Merriweather's Future Is "Scary"

January 14, 2022
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Tobias Merriweather‍ opened plenty of eyes during last week’s All-American Bowl practices, but the 2022 Notre Dame wide receiver signee opened Jamar Howard’s eyes a long time ago and the owner of Big12 Performance, where Merriweather trains, wasn’t surprised at all.

Once the 6-foot-4, 190-pounder’s growth slowed, Howard started to see Merriweather’s true potential.

“He’s always been fast,” Howard says. “He's always been a runner. But I think as time progressed, he just became a great route-runner for his size.

“He can run the comeback. He can run a curl. He can run every route on the route tree and he's 6-5 and that's rare.”

Howard actually played receiver for Brian Kelly at Cincinnati for a year before transferring to Central Missouri and an extensive Arena League career.

“I'm 6-4 and I played receiver,” he says. “I kind of pride my guys to run the routes, but he's special.

“His speed is what separates him. Over the years, we've just worked on the routes and coming in and out of the bricks. I drill it in their head, 'If you can't route routes, don't play receiver.' We work the top of their breaks. We do those types of things over and over and over. It's just showing now. The proof is in the pudding. He has put in a lot, a lot of work to be able to do all of that.”

That speed and route-running ability at that size certainly set Merriweather apart in San Antonio last week. Howard says he trains several taller receivers, including fellow 2022 Notre Dame target Justius Lowe.

“They know most coaches, when they see 6-5 or 6-4, 'He can run and he can get the jumpball,’” says Howard. “A lot of them are not every-down type of receivers. I try to instill in their head, 'Even if you're 6-5, I want you running like a 5-9 receiver. I want you to be able to get in and out of the breaks like a 5-10 receiver.' I just instill it in them so much that it is just comes natural now.”

Howard expects to see Merriweather become even more consistent catching the football, but the only other real improvement he envisions is just Merriweather maturing physically.

“Releases, he's great at; running routes, he's great at,” the trainer says. “Just being a little bit more physical. He can be a little more physical I'd say.

“Other than that, there isn't really too much. I just think he's going to develop and his game's just going to get better and better. Once he gets the real, real weight on him, I think he's going to be really scary. He'll be more explosive, stronger. I think he's going to even get faster and with his size and with everything he does, man, it just it's going to get scary.”

 
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