As a little kid, he was kind of a hero of mine. A Mormon from a small town who did really well at sports and then went on to be on Little House on the Prairie? Talk about living the life!
Oh, his football feats were before my time, but they were legend in the state of Utah. Little House though, spent many hours as a kid watching Little House and Merlin was always a favorite of mine. Tragic that he died of Asbestos poisoning (mesothelioma) from exposure as a television actor, but Merlin your light shined bright for all those who knew you as an actor or a football player...except for maybe those you went against on opposing teams.
Kudos to USU for naming the football stadium after Merlin before he passed away. I'm glad he got to be around for that tribute.