Destrehan’s Kirk Merritt ended his football recruiting drama Monday night at a packed Sports Pub in Destrehan, announcing Oregon as his college choice over Texas A&M.

Merritt, thought to be an Oregon lean, had narrowed his numerous offers down to three other finalists — Texas A&M, Alabama, and Auburn — before eliminating Alabama and Auburn.

“I felt right at home during my visit to Oregon. They were like family away from home,” Merritt said. “Oregon runs a spread offense. I like spread offenses where you put athletes in space and let them do what they need to do. They plan to use me as a slot receiver in their very dynamic offense.

“This whole process has been very stressful, but I enjoyed it.”

The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Merritt will add more firepower to Oregon’s offensive arsenal. He was the Nike SPARQ Rating National Champion, which recognizes him as the nation’s best high school football athlete based on vertical jump, 40-yard dash, and other measurables.

During his senior season, Merritt totaled more than 1,100 yards and scored 11 touchdowns for Class 5A state runner-up Destrehan (14-1), including a 93-yard run and 84-yard reception. Even more impressive, he averaged 14.7 yards per rushing attempt and 16.9 yards per reception. His explosiveness and athleticism not only caught the eye of college scouts, but earned him a spot on The Advocate’s Super Dozen as one of the state’s top recruits.

“What a great kid and great player. I’m just so excited for him and his family,” Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux said. “He is the total package. He can go deep, he can go underneath and just put so much pressure on the defense.”

“Oregon did a good job of communicating how they plan to use Kirk, and he is a great fit for them. He has a heck of an opportunity to be successful.”