By Owen Gotimer
Viva Loudoun College Intern
(January 19, 2014) – Briar Woods High School senior Nick Merletti has committed to continue his football career at Harvard University starting in the 2014-2015 academic year.
Merletti missed his entire senior football season due to an injury which occurred before the season.
“I tore my ACL and meniscus of my right knee during a preseason practice. It was my first major injury,” said the 6-foot-5, 250-pound Merletti.
While some teams eased on their recruitment of Merletti, he noted that he never officially lost any offers.
“I was extremely lucky in that I was already deep into the recruiting process; by the time the injury had happened I already had offers and had visited schools,” Merletti said.
After making his visits to schools, Merletti settled on the Ivy League school in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
“I chose Harvard because it was the perfect combination of great academics and a winning football tradition,” said Merletti who will play on the defensive line for the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) Crimson. “I was also really impressed with the team’s leaders and the character of each of the players when I visited the campus.”
Harvard finished their 2013 campaign 9-1 including a 6-1 record in the Ivy League. After winning their final four games of the season the DI Crimson earned a share of the Ivy League title. The Harvard football program is one of the oldest in the world, tracing its roots back to 1873.
“I’m hoping to be another cog for the dominant defensive line that Harvard has,” said Merletti who was named to the Cheers Sports and Viva Loudoun All-Loudoun Team in 2013. “My goal is that after my first few years that I will become a leader of the team using my experience from Briar Woods and my new experiences I’ll have there.”
Without Merletti, Briar Woods went on to play in their fourth straight VHSL state championship game falling to the L.C. Bird Skyhawks, 35-28, as the Falcons lost their first state championship game in school history.
“It was definitely tough to miss my entire senior season, but it really helped to teach me the value of football and how to really support your team,” Merletti said.
Merletti noted that, at a young age, his parents started him in football, signing him up for flag football in the first grade.
“I’ve played ever since. It started as a way to get me active and has really become part of my identity,” Merletti said. “Every season is something new, and I just look forward to learning something new and seeing how good I can become.”
Owen Gotimer is a graduate of Heritage High School in Leesburg and is currently a sophomore at Syracuse University. Follow Owen on Twitter (@BigO_Gotimer) for up-to-date college signings. Contact us if you want Owen to do an article on the college commitment of your favorite local athlete.