NGSC Sports

Where’s the Love for Wake Forest Cornerback Merrill Noel?

Merrill Noel was a standout do-it-all player at Pahokee High School where he was named first team All-Area by the Palm Beach Post and first team All-Palm Beach County in Class 2A-2B-1A as a senior. Noel also played basketball and ran track for the Blue Devils. With offers from Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Louisville, Michigan and others, Noel eventually chose Wake Forest. Noel redshirted as a true freshman, but in his second year, he would have a profound impact on his team.

In 2011, Noel started all 13 games at cornerback and was a consensus Freshman All-America selection. He was also named ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year. Noel finished the season tied for the national lead in passes defended with 21 and was also third on the team in tackles with 66. His 66 tackles included team-high 54 solo tackles.

Noel battled injuries in 2012 but still had a very good season as he continued to prove himself as a tackler reaching his season high of six tackles twice. Noel also had 1.5 tackles for loss, as well as a half-sack on the season. In 2013 Noel tied for the team lead in interceptions with three, and forced a team high three fumbles.

Underscored by their 3-8 record, the Demon Deacons have endured a rough 2014 season. However, Noel has performed admirably this season as he currently has 40 tackles and three interceptions. While his teammate Kevin Johnson’s play warrants considerable praise for his performance, Noel has done more than his fair share to garner respect and admiration from ACC coaches and players.

Noel doesn’t get many passes thrown in his direction; but when he is tested, he has the athleticism to make a play on the ball more often than not.

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Noel has outstanding play recognition and ball skills. His ability to close on underneath routes as well as turn and run with some of the fastest wide receivers in the ACC is truly remarkable. He is also an exceptional tackler and does a great job in runs support despite his size. Noel has been one of Wake Forest’s most productive players over the last four years, and deserves to be recognized for his contributions.

National Gridiron Network had the opportunity to speak with the talented Merrill Noel. Please listen to the below interview.

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