Big Cat Visitor Has Plenty Of College Options

T.L. Hanna High tight end Justin Meredith comments on recruiting, his summer schedule and his trip to Auburn for the Big Cat Weekend.

Anderson, S.C.--Tight end prospect Justin Meredith is working on adding pounds and dropping colleges this summer.

The 6-5, 230 rising senior from T.L. Hanna High School has around 20 scholarship offers. He hopes to reduce that list to around five colleges in June and hopefully make a commitment prior to the start of the 2011 football season.

"I have been working on adding weight and have made progress," Meredith says. "My weight gain has been right at 15 to 20 pounds. Our strength and conditioning coach has done a good job. I have been working out with him four days a week."

Meredith is hoping the extra size will make him a more productive player on Friday nights this fall after being limited his junior season by a separated shoulder.

"I would like to have somewhere between 10 and 15 touchdowns and I would like to break 1,000 yards receiving this year," he says. "I want to become a better blocker.

"I have gained a lot of good weight over the summer and hopefully that carries over on to the field so I can be a dominant blocker at the line of scrimmage," he adds. "I want to continue to build my leadership as a team player."

One of the colleges Meredith is considering is the defending national champion Auburn Tigers. The tight end says he likes Coach Gus Malzahn's offense that allows tight ends to play multiple roles in what the Tigers do when they have the football.

Meredith visited Auburn for a junior day in March and was back in May for Auburn's Big Cat Weekend that attracted outstanding prospects from 11 states.

"It went real well," he says of the Big Cat event. "It was different. I had never been to a recruiting trip like that. It was a lot of fun. There were a lot of different games and activities."

The tight end notes that he spent a lot of time getting to know Jay Boulware, Auburn's tight end coach, as well as Malzahn. He also got a chance to meet briefly with Auburn's head coach, Gene Chizik.

"Just being able to interact with the coaches and all of the prospects was a lot of fun," he says. "There were a bunch of huge prospects there and being able to meet them and hanging out with them was one of the highlights."

He notes that five-star quarterback Zeke Pike and four-star tight end Darrion Hutcherson, both Auburn commitments, spent a good bit of time talking to him about joining them in the 2012 AU signee class.

Meredith isn't ready to name a favorite or favorites quite yet, but says that Auburn has a good chance of making his top five list he is working on now.

Meredith says his injury limited what he could do as a junior. "I didn't play a lot," he says. "I had like 17 or 18 catches for something like 300 yards and four touchdowns."

He will be catching passes this summer playing in seven-on-seven tournaments with his T.L. Hanna football teammates. They have trips planned to Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Notre Dame and Louisville.

The tight end says by the time his team is ready to open the season he hopes to have already made a college choice so he can focus on his senior season.

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