PERKINSTON — Mississippi Gulf Coast defensive tackle Brian Merritt has been named NJCAA Defensive Player of the Week for his dominant performance in a 55-24 win over Southwest.
"It's a blessing," he said. "I'm a freshman, so it's big, but you have to keep playing ball."
He's the second straight Bulldog to win national defensive player of the week, following defensive back Jackie Matthews.
Merritt, who is from Moultrie, Ga., had 11 total tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks against the Bears.
"Brian is a very disruptive defensive lineman," Wright said. "He's very difficult to block. Ever since we've had pads on in training camp, he's been difficult to block. I knew going into games he would be problems for other offenses to deal with. I'm not surprised because we go against him every day."
Gulf Coast moved to the top of the NJCAA Rankings following the victory. The Bulldogs travel to Decatur on Thursday to play No. 19 East Mississippi. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m.
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