NCF On The Trail: Jeffery Mead

Recruit and return: Oklahoma Sooners 

January, 3, 2014
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Oklahoma did what many thought couldn’t be done -- it shocked two-time defending BCS champion Alabama and ended its 2013 season with a 45-31 victory in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. The Sooners, a two-touchdown underdog entering the game, finished the year with an 11-2 record and left the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with one of the biggest wins in the program’s history.

Recruiting season has now hit Norman, and the Sooners hope to build off this win to find stars in the 2014 class. There are a couple of voids to fill from this year’s squad.

Best Big 12 recruiters 

October, 15, 2013
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Editor's note: For a look at the national recruiter power rankings based only on Class of 2014 success, click here.

The best college football coaches will tell you that when it comes to recruiting, their business is an art. It’s a craft you must perfect if you want to have the best players commit and ultimately sign. Recruiting isn’t for everybody, but those who are good at it -- particularly for building the 2014 class -- should be recognized, as the business is extremely competitive.

Here are 10 of the top recruiters from the Big 12.


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OU-Texas: 2014 recruiting tale of the tape 

October, 10, 2013
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When the Red River Rivalry is played, records are thrown out the window. When the game’s over, some love looking into the future to play “what if” with the next batch of talented college players.

While both teams have some room to land uncommitted recruits, both are pretty happy with where they are currently. Texas has 24 commits, and Oklahoma has 14, and when comparing ESPN 300 athletes, Texas only has a 7-5 lead.

Which team has the Red River Rivalry recruiting edge this year? Here’s a breakdown of eight positions and which team holds the edge for now.

Quarterback

Perhaps the most competitive comparison between the schools is at quarterback. ESPN 300s Justice Hansen (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) and Jerrod Heard (Denton, Texas/Guyer) are the nation’s No. 4 and No. 5 dual-threat quarterbacks. Hansen is the Sooners’ top-ranked commit and has proven himself a first-class leader of the class. Heard already has one state championship ring, and he’s hoping for a repeat performance in December before arriving at the Forty Acres.

Advantage: Oklahoma

Dallis Todd
Erik McKinney/ESPNOklahoma will get 6-foot-5 playmaker Daliis Todd in its 2014 class.
Running back

There are high expectations for both ESPN 300 Samaje Perine (Pflugerville, Texas/Hendrickson) and Donald "Duke" Catalon (Houston/Eisenhower). Perine is a physical specimen with the combination of power and finesse at 6-foot and 213 pounds. Catalon, at 5-10 and 193 pounds, has the agility and overall balance to make him a potential every-down back. Texas also has three-star Kevin Shorter (Newton, Texas/Newton), a player who plays with a chip on his shoulder, looking to show that he should be mentioned with the elite talent.

Advantage: Texas

Wide receiver

Neither Texas nor Oklahoma will be complaining about their receiver crop. The Longhorns have an ESPN 300 player in Armanti Foreman (Texas City, Texas/Texas City), a rising star in Emanuel Porter (Dallas/Lincoln) and a player in Garrett Gray (Marble Falls, Texas/Marble Falls) who caught 13 passes for 293 yards and five touchdowns in a game last year. Oklahoma has size and athleticism in 6-5, 210-pound ESPN 300 receiver Dallis Todd (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada) and a 6-7, 180-pound end zone threat in Jeffery Mead (Tulsa, Okla/Union)

Advantage: Texas

Tight end

Oklahoma has done well with recruiting tight ends and was able to land ESPN 300 players Carson Meier (Tulsa, Okla./Union) and Mark Andrews (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain). Meier is the No. 5 Y-tight end in the country, while Andrews is the No. 8 H-tight end. Texas also has a good one in junior college pledge John Thomas (Bossier City, La./Trinity Valley Community College). At 6-6 and 255 pounds, Thomas can be used as both a reliable blocker and receiver.

Advantage: Oklahoma

Offensive line

It’s hard to believe that between the two schools, only three offensive linemen are committed.

Sooners commit Alex Dalton (Troy, Ohio/Troy) is considered one of the nation’s top centers, and guard Jonathan Alvarez (Mesquite, Texas/Horn), with his work ethic alone, will surprise a lot of people in a couple of years. Texas, like Oklahoma, has a four-star center committed in Terrell Cuney (Jasper, Texas/Jasper). Cuney is a player who might see immediate playing time as a freshman.

Advantage: Texas

Defensive line


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The Opening: Oklahoma storylines 

June, 27, 2013
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The Opening will get under way next week with several of the nation’s top recruits competing in Beaverton, Ore., to show who could be the top player in America for the Class of 2014. Several Oklahoma targets will be in Oregon showing off their talents, so here’s a look at a few Sooners storylines for The Opening.

Could the headliner of OU’s receiver class be on display?


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There was no reason to wait any longer. His household is filled with Oklahoma fans, his teammate’s name already sits upon the Sooners' commitment list and the Oklahoma offense is a good fit for any 6-foot-5 receiver with terrific athleticism.

Tulsa (Okla.) Union receiver Jeffery Mead committed to Oklahoma on Saturday, picking the Sooners over offers from LSU, Clemson, Texas A&M, California and others. Mead joins teammate Carson Meier on OU’s commitment list as he becomes the school’s 10th commitment for the Class of 2014.

“All the pieces of the puzzle were there,” Mead said. “So I completed the puzzle by committing.”

Mead’s family has always been OU fans and the opportunity to play for the Sooners proved too intriguing for the tall receiver to ignore any longer. Mead is close friends with Meier and plans to be roommates with the Sooners’ tight end commitment in Norman. It turns out that the Sooners went a long way to securing Mead’s commitment on May 22, the day Meier pledged to OU. Asked when he knew OU was the place for him, Mead’s response was telling.

“My friend committed and having someone there that you know you can trust played a big part in it,” Mead said. “I already liked everything else about it. Great fans, great players.”

Mead joins Dallis Todd (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada) as receivers on OU’s commitment list. The opportunity to play for Sooners receivers coach Jay Norvell, who’s seen three of his receivers selected in the past two NFL drafts, was another key factor.

“You get vibes about people when you talk to them,” Mead said of Norvell. “You know who you’d like to play under. You have to trust your reasons and I feel like I can trust him.”
The commits keep coming for Oklahoma. The Sooners entered last week with four verbal pledges. OU has picked up its fourth in 12 days.

And it’s back to Oklahoma for this one, as Tulsa (Okla.) Union tight end Carson Meier confirmed he committed to the Sooners on Wednesday afternoon. He is the second in-state commit, joining ESPN 150 quarterback Justice Hansen (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe).

[+] EnlargeCarson Meier
Bob Przybylo/ESPNTulsa Union tight end Carson Meier is Oklahoma's second in-state commit of the Class of 2014.
Things can happen fast in the recruiting world, as at this time last week Meier wasn’t sure how seriously the Sooners were really pursuing him.

Meier attended OU’s first junior day in February and received letters from the school, but nothing that shouted out he was being pursued.

That changed last Monday when OU wide receivers coach Jay Norvell stopped by to watch Tulsa Union wide receiver Jeffery Mead, who already has an offer from the Sooners.

Norvell took some video with his phone of Meier working out. Three days later Meier was told by Tulsa Union coach Kirk Fridrich to give OU tight ends coach Jay Boulware a call.

“It’s awesome,” Meier said earlier this week. “It’s a big-time offer. It was really surprising because I didn’t know it was coming.”

Meier, who is 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds, also has offers from Wisconsin, Oregon State and Duke, among several others.

It has been known for a while Meier would be playing a sport in college, but most thought it would be basketball.

He has had some interest with basketball, but he realized recently that his focus had to be on football.

“I really like them both,” Meier said. “I’m starting to love football more and more. You get to hit people. You don’t get to do that in basketball, at least legally.”

The Meier commitment swings the momentum to OU in the Meier household. His father went to Tulsa. His mother went to Oklahoma State. But his sister was a Sooner, and now so is Meier.

Meier is the eighth commitment for OU’s 2014 class and the first tight end since the Class of 2012. OU pursued several tight ends for 2013 but could not nab any of them.

Meier was being recruited at defensive end by SMU, but he said he is definitely a tight end in the eyes of the OU coaching staff.

Five stories to watch: Dallas NFTC 

April, 5, 2013
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The Nike Football Training Camp series will continue outside of Dallas on Sunday. Athletes will trek to Allen, Texas, the home of one of the most impressive high school stadiums in the country. Allen Eagles Stadium, a $60-million facility, opened last year and featured nearly 22,000 fans watching Texas powers Allen and Southlake Carroll clash.

Here are five storylines to watch on Sunday.

Talented DBs aplenty

It’s been said on multiple occasions that the 2014 class may be one of the strongest in years at producing big-time defensive backs in the region. The battle for defensive back MVP has the potential of being extremely competitive with players such as Laurence Jones (Monroe, La./Neville), Jamal Adams (Lewisville, Texas/Hebron), Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen), Steven Parker (Jenks, Okla./Jenks) and Arrion Springs (San Antonio/Roosevelt) expected to be in attendance. Chris Hardeman (Houston/Alief Taylor) has committed to LSU, while Dylan Sumner-Gardner (Mesquite, Texas/West Mesquite) and Armani Watts (Forney, Texas/North Forney) have pledged to Texas A&M. Deionte Thompson (Orange, Texas/West Orange-Stark), a 2015 prospect, has verbally committed to Alabama. All of the DBs will have their shots in one-on-one drills against equally talented ESPN Watch List receivers such as Malachi Dupre (River Ridge, La./John Curtis), K.D. Cannon (Mount Pleasant, Texas/Mount Pleasant) and Texas commit Lorenzo Joe (Abilene, Texas/Cooper).


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All eyes were focused on one in-state recruit for Oklahoma’s junior day. ESPN Watch List quarterback Justice Hansen (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) has been a top priority for the Sooners for a long time.

Wide receiver Jeffery Mead (Tulsa, Okla./Union) has not.


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