To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
The candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists in February, and those names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select the candidate who best exemplifies excellence in the four C's of community, classroom, character and competition. The Senior CLASS Award winners will be announced during the 2020 NCAA Men's Final Four
Merrill leads the Aggies in scoring this season with 17.7 points per game and is second on the team with 3.6 assists per game. Merrill recorded his first 30-point outing of the season in the Aggies' last game at Boise State, scoring a game-high 30 points and adding three rebounds and three assists. Merrill is rapidly ascending several career records, becoming just the first player in school history to surpass 1,800 career points, 400 career assists and 100 career steals. Merrill is currently sixth in school history with 1,886 career points, third in school history with 417 career assists and ninth in school history with 114 career steals.
Merrill is one of four players from the state of Utah on the list, joining BYU's Yoeli Childs, TJ Haws and Jake Toolson.
Merrill and the Aggies return to the court tonight, hosting Air Force at 9 p.m. Fans can watch the game live on ESPNU (Comcast Ch. 400, DirecTV Ch. 208, Dish Ch. 141).
Utah State men's basketball news and information is available on Facebook (facebook.com/usumensbasketball), on Twitter (@usubasketball) and on Instagram (@usubasketball). Fans can also get USU men's basketball highlights on YouTube (youtube.com/utahstateathletics). Aggie fans can follow the Utah State athletic program on Twitter (@usuathletics), on Facebook (facebook.com/usuathletics) or on Instagram (@usuathletics).