Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

February 6, 2014

Familiar feel leads Valwood’s Merine to Colgate

VALDOSTA — Colgate University may be 932 miles northeast of Valdosta, but Char Merine felt right at home at the Hamilton, N.Y.-based college.

So after committing to Colgate in December, the Valwood star officially signed with the FCS program Wednesday when he inked his national letter-of-intent.

“It reminded me a lot of Valwood,” Merine said. “It’s smaller and it seemed that everyone knows everyone.”

The Valiants and their opponents certainly knew Merine, who chose Colgate over Furman and Mercer. In helping Valwood reach its second straight GISA Class AA state championship game, Merine hauled in 42 passes for 692 yards and six touchdowns. The 5-foot-11, 174-pounder will play defensive back for the Raiders after making 49 tackles with two sacks and two interceptions for Valwood. He also scored two defensive touchdowns.

“Char is one of the best athletes in the class,” said Colgate coach Dan Hunt in a video on gocolgateraiders.com. “If you watch him play wide receiver and DB, and we definitely feel like he can make a pretty quick impact for us on the back end defensively. He’s also a kid who could probably play for us on the other side of the ball too, but we felt like that was the best spot to put him. We’re really excited about him.”

Hunt, who is in his first season as Colgate’s head coach after seven seasons as the Raiders’ offensive coordinator and an assistant since 1996, always plans for Merine to make an impact on special teams.

“Those kids are invaluable because they’re also going to be great special teams players,” he said. “If you’re a defensive back, you can run, you can move in space and you can tackle.”

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