Merritt became UT Martin's first NCAA II All-American in tennis when he received the honor in his senior year of 1985. He played both No. I singles and doubles in both of his seasons at UTM leading the Pacers to a national ranking of 10th in 1984 and was team captain for the squad which finished seventh nationally the following spring.
He competed in the NCAA Division II National Tennis Championships in each of his seasons with the program. He came to UTM following a standout high school career at Hernando (Fla.) High and posted a 44-6 record to play a key role in Seminole Community College winning the junior college national title for two years.