Wednesday, May 09, 2012
Sports News

Merrill headed to Packers rookie minicamp

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[May 09, 2012]  NORMAL -- Former Illinois State defensive back Otis Merrill will have his chance to continue his football career at the highest level possible, as he was invited to participate in the Green Bay Packers rookie minicamp May 11-13.

Merrill worked out for several NFL programs at Northwestern's Pro Day in early March and had been in contact with a handful of NFL teams since the end of the NFL draft. Although the Packers were one of the teams that evaluated Merrill in Evanston, he had not heard from the organization until they offered him a shot to work out at the minicamp.

"When I got that call Monday, I was kind of surprised because I had not communicated with the Packers directly through the process," Merrill said. "I had conversations with a few other teams, but when I got the call from Green Bay it caught me off-guard. However, when they offered me the chance to come work out for them next weekend, I realized that all the hard work throughout my career had paid off. This is a dream come true for me, and I look forward to having a strong workout and proving to the Packers that they made the right decision to invite me up there."

Merrill was a three-year letter winner for the Redbirds, after transferring to Illinois State from Wisconsin prior to the 2009 season. The Cleveland, Ohio, native played in 32 of 33 games in his career at ISU and started in 15 contests at cornerback. In 2011, Merrill started all but one game for the Redbirds and was selected for the All-Missouri Valley Football Conference Second Team. He finished his senior season with 41 tackles, broke up four passes, forced a fumble and recorded an interception.

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He will join 2011 teammates Brandon Venson (Chicago Bears) and Cody White (Houston Texans) in NFL rookie minicamps this weekend. They join former Redbirds Laurént Robinson (Jacksonville Jaguars), Tom Nelson (Philadelphia Eagles) and Chris Riley (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) as current ISU players in the NFL.

[Text from news release received from Michael Williams, Illinois State University]

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