When the University of Texas hired Steve Sarkisian hours after New Year’s Day 2021, it committed unprecedented resources – manpower, finances – to ensure Sarkisian’s best chance for success.
Some 16 months later, the Longhorns continue to invest in the football program’s success – and their latest off-the-field staff addition is a significant one.
Bobby Merritt, with approximately a dozen years’ NFL experience, as well as personnel work in the Southeastern Conference and as a front office executive in the Canadian Football League, has joined Sarkisian’s staff in an off-the-field, personnel and scouting role, multiple sources told FootballScoop.
It’s a significant addition to Sarkisian’s already strong football support staff, which has beefed up its recruiting and personnel departments to reflect a deep pool of both seasoned and up-and-coming staffers to assist in two key areas the Longhorns have prioritized in their quest to return to national prominence.
A longtime top scout for the Houston Texans who had a lead role in the franchise’s selection of former franchise pillar and future Pro Football Hall of Famer J.J. Watt, Merritt had deep NFL experience with a couple of different franchises before he transitioned years ago to the SEC and specifically the University of Tennessee, where he reunited with Bob Welton – another former well-regarded NFL scout who transitioned to a successful career in college personnel. Welton now runs the personnel department for Nick Saban at the University of Alabama.
After Merritt’s time on Rocky Top and the University of Houston, he was hired into a top scouting role with the CFL’s Edmonton Elks. Soon thereafter, Merritt transitioned into a greater role as the venerable franchise’s assistant general manager.
“Bobby is an experienced talent evaluator,” Edmonton GM Brock Sunderland said in a statement last year at the time of Merritt’s advancement, “who has spent over a decade as an NFL scout along with multiple roles at NCAA programs. He’s spent the last four years evaluating players for the CFL, and we’re excited to promote him to our assistant GM.”
Merritt and his family long have made Houston home, and he’s already transitioned into the Texas program. He’s expected to serve a key role for the Longhorns in both opposition- and self-scouting.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.