By Ashley Denny.
TheClemsonInsider.com has hit the road to visit some of the top 2012 prospects on Clemson’s recruiting board. The first stop was a visit to Anderson, SC to see Justin Meredith.
T.L. Hanna’s Head Football Coach Kenya Fouch knew when he started coaching at Hanna three years ago that tight end Justin Meredith would be something special. Fouch started coaching Meredith as a freshman and has been able to watch him grow into the elite Division 1 prospect that he is today and couldn’t be prouder of his quiet but hard working star.
TCI had the chance to sit down and speak with both Fouch and Meredith this week about how Justin’s recruiting process is going so far and where the Clemson Tigers stand with this particular recruit out of Anderson, SC.
First, TCI spoke with Coach Fouch and got a feel for what Meredith was like as a person, both on and off the field.
“Justin’s a laid back kid,” Fouch said. “He’s a really quiet kid, and to be honest with you he’s like that in the classroom and weight room too. He’s more of a lead by example kind of kid. If you’re in the weight room or classroom he’ll be doing the right thing, may not be saying anything to you about it but we never have to worry about whether or not he’s doing the right thing.”
Coach Fouch knew when he started coaching Justin as a freshman that he would be the next highly recruited player out of T.L. Hanna and even though Meredith has had high expectations put on him from the beginning of his career he has not crumbled under the pressure which is something Coach Fouch finds very admirable.
TCI was also able to speak with Meredith and hear from him firsthand what the recruiting process has been like for him and if he is any closer to choosing a school.
Although Justin believes that he has gotten used to the recruiting process and the numerous phone calls and mail-outs he has been receiving each week, he admitted that he tries to keep the hours that he spends on the phone minimal.
Meredith, who was on hand at Clemson’s Junior Day in March has also attended Junior Days at Tennessee, Georgia, will be in Auburn this weekend and will visit several other schools during football season.
What were his highlights of his weekend in Clemson?
“The highlight of my Junior Day in Clemson had to be meeting Offensive Coordinator Chad Morris for the first time,” Meredith said. “I got to sit down and eat lunch with him, he got to check out my personality and I got to know him.”
As for his thoughts on Morris’s new offensive scheme?
“I haven’t had a chance to check it out,” Meredith said. “He wants me to come up and sit down with him so he can break it down, but from what I hear they use the tight end a lot which is what I’m looking for. I even went to a practice up there two weeks ago and the tight end was getting a lot of reps so that made me excited.”
Meredith who has always been a Clemson fan and has had season tickets to watch the Tigers ever since he was a kid feels that the atmosphere and the fact that Clemson is only 15-20 minutes away from his home in Anderson, SC are big pros for attending Clemson however he still has several other schools to visit and wants to keep an open mind.
“When I’m looking at a school, the biggest thing that I look for is if I could not only see myself as being a part of that football team there but being able to see myself living there for four to five years. Also I look at my relationship with the coach, in today’s economy, I don’t know if that coach will be there when I get there but I like to have a good relationship with the guys recruiting me.”
When asked what his strongest quality is that makes him so highly recruited, Meredith believes that coaches can find the answer on his highlight film.
“They’re able to see in my film that I can do lots of things,” Meredith said. “I’m able to block and run routes, so the fact that I can do both well has helped.”
When asked about signing day next year Meredith couldn’t be more excited for the day to arrive.
“Signing day is a moment that I’ve been looking forward to since I was very little. I’m excited that in a year or even sooner than that I’ll know exactly where I’ll be going to college but right now I don’t.”