Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Wide receiver Mead with several options
By Bob Przybylo
TULSA, Okla. - Tulsa (Okla.) Union wide receiver Jeffery Mead simply doesn’t know how to slow down and doesn’t want to. Mead is a three-sport star for the Redskins at receiver, small forward in basketball and shortstop/pitcher in baseball.
The scary part is Mead was actually doing five sports at one time with soccer and track added into the mix. He eventually cut those out, but the other three sports are all in play, as Mead gets ready to conclude his junior year of high school.
Class of 2014 wideout Jeffery Mead is also a standout in basketball and baseball.
The offers are coming for football. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, LSU, Texas A&M and California are just some of them. The interest is there in basketball from OU, LSU, Stanford, Wichita State and Wisconsin and a host of others.
As a pitcher, he throws 80 mph. And after taking the last three summers off playing baseball, he said he plans to play more this summer to see what develops.
So many options for the 6-foot-5, 179-pounds prospect. And all options he is exploring.
“I am definitely hoping to play multiple sports in college,” Mead said. “It’s something I’ve done all my life. It’s hard for me to imagine not doing two of them. Not shooting a basketball, catching a football or throwing a baseball.”
The grind is tough, but Mead said he has never once felt that feeling of being burnt out. It hasn't even entered his mind.
“You do what you got to do for your future and get it done,” Mead said. “Playing three sports is different because you don’t get home at the same time as other kids. But you just keep going.”
That method has worked well for Mead, so no need to change anything. His recruitment started to pick up in February when he was offered at OU’s junior day. Hours later, Bedlam rival Oklahoma State entered the picture.
Since then, it has been one major school after another. Mead hasn’t weeded any teams out yet, but certain schools are letting him know how much he is wanted.
“OU, OSU, A&M are the three schools I talk to the most,” Mead said. “Then Cal.”
Mead showed glimpses of greatness his junior season as he continued to learn the position. Entering high school Mead thought he was going to be a quarterback, but he was moved to wide receiver after his freshman season.
Taking that first hit was a nervous time for Mead, but he is fine with the position now. One look at the practice field, and it’s easy to point out Mead. The really tall guy is what people first notice. And then they notice he’s the really skinny guy.
His lack of weight wasn’t a factor last season, as he had 33 receptions for 614 yards and seven touchdowns. He knows his weight could be an issue, but he doesn’t know what he can do about it.
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“I’ve got three different kinds of protein shakes. I’ve got the protein bars, everything,” Mead said. “It’s just really hard. You gain some weight in football, but then all that running for basketball kind of erases that.”
His size wouldn’t be a problem at OU. Sooners wide receiver coach Jay Norvell wouldn’t have offered him if he didn’t see the potential. Mead spent most of the spring focusing on baseball, so when a lot of coaches came to town they didn’t really get to see him catch passes.
Mead was back full-time to football last week, and Norvell was among the coaches there the first couple of days to get a look.
“It’s a really good relationship,” Mead said. “We talk a lot. But I want to see what’s the best fit for me. Education, stability, the overall feel -- those are things that are important to me.”
Mead grew up an OU fan and his family loves the Sooners. But he said there is no pressure from them to commit to OU. And there is no pressure to commit anytime soon.
“I want to go out and look and see what’s out there,” Mead said. “I know what’s at OU and OSU. I need to see other schools. I might take an unofficial to A&M this summer. I could take an official visit to Cal. I don’t know yet.”