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May 26, 2022

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Union’s Tobias Merriweather prepares to play in the All-American Bowl on Saturday

High school football showcase will be broadcast live on NBC

By , Columbian Assistant Sports Editor
Published:
3 Photos
Union senior Tobias Merriweather will play college football for Notre Dame. One of the Northwest's most-prized recruits, Merriweather chose the university in part because of its world-class academic offerings.
Union senior Tobias Merriweather will play college football for Notre Dame. One of the Northwest's most-prized recruits, Merriweather chose the university in part because of its world-class academic offerings. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Union High School senior Tobias Merriweather has spent the past week at practices for the All-American Bowl in San Antonio, where he has got to connect with other recruits also headed to Notre Dame.

“I’ve been impressed with our guys,” Merriweather said in an interview with NotreDame.rivals.com. “We’ve got 11 of them out here. We’re out here showing up, showing what Notre Dame is all about.”

The All-American Bowl features 100 of the top high school football players from across the country divided onto East and West teams. Merriweather was one of four players from the state of Washington invited to participate.

The game will be played at 10 a.m. PST Saturday at the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio. It will be aired lived on NBC.

Merriweather, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound receiver, also discussed the odd situation prior to his signing with Notre Dame last month, involving the departure of former coach Brian Kelly.

Kelly appeared to finalize his plans to become the head coach at LSU during an at-home visit at Merriweather’s in Vancouver.

“It was a lot of emotions, really a rollercoaster to be honest,” Merriweather told notredame.rivals.com. “It felt a little bit like betrayal, a little bit of deceit. But at the end of the day, (offensive coordinator Tommy Rees and receivers coach Del Alexander) were the guys who recruited me the most. So I wasn’t really tripping much about Coach Kelly or anything.”

Kelly was introduced at LSU’s new head coach a couple of days later. Shortly after that, Notre Dame defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman was promoted as the Irish’s new head coach.

“Coach Tommy is still there, and we’ve got Freeman now,” Merriweather said. “He’s that guy who can gets us a (national title), so I’m excited for the future.”

Merriweather said there was a rush of other schools who reached out to him after news of Kelly’s departure broke.

“Right when the news got out, I got phone calls, text messages, DMs,” he said. “All the coaches that I had been messaging with before. Even new coaches came after me. I was just letting it play out, trying to see who was going to be our head coach would be. I realized that Notre Dame … I fell in love with the school. I fell in love with the coaches who were still there. So that’s where I want to be.”

Merriweather, who caught 30 passes for 502 yards and three touchdowns in six games last season for Union, will be joined on the West team by offensive lineman Joshua Conerly of Rainier Beach, kicker Ethan Moczulski of Mount Spokane and tight end Ryan Otton of Tumwater.

Two players from Oregon — Westview receiver Darrius Clemons and Jefferson defensive back Trejon Williams — will also play for the West.

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