Ramm and Merrick-Lewis given deals.Pre-season triallists Jackson Ramm and Merrick James-Lewis have penned contracts with Colchester United after impressing in recent friendly games.
The moves will be completed subject to paperwork clearance and interviews with the pair will appear on U's Player soon.
The pair will have aspirations of being involved with John's first team squad, but will also provide strength in numbers for the U21s squad ahead of this year's inaugural league at that level.
Merrick, meanwhile, who was released from U's neighbours Southend United at the end of last season after a year with the senior squad, has penned a six month deal.
England youth international Jackson, who started out at Norwich before spending three years at Blackburn Rovers, has signed a year's contract with the U's.
19-year-old Jackson and 20-year-old Merrick have spent most of pre-season with the U's and have done enough to convince boss John Ward to keep them on in the longer term.