Coaching changes have impact on Meredith

Sam Meredith is one of the top Southern California recruits, and BYU was prominent among his available suitors until shortly after the season. The coaching changes on the offensive side of the football, coupled with a very good official visit to San Diego State, has him leaning toward the Aztecs currently. So has BYU lost ground that it can't make up with him as a result?

Sam Meredith is a 6-foot-4-inch, 260-pound tight end/defensive end recruit from Helix High School in Southern California. Shortly after his high school season ended, he had determined that Utah, BYU and San Diego State were his three finalists. But due to some recent changes with BYU's coaching staff, that number may go down, much to the chagrin of the BYU football program.

"I was seriously shocked," said Meredith about when his father informed him of the news regarding head coach Bronco Mendenhall letting his entire offensive staff go. "My main recruiters were Coach Anae and Coach Weber, and now I don't even know if they're going to be there. I haven't talked to either of them, so I really don't know what to think. It was just a total shock to me."

Meredith is LDS and has been attending BYU's camps since after his sophomore year of high school. BYU quickly gained interest in him and offered him a scholarship shortly after his junior season. The interest was mutual, and Meredith as recently as one-and-a-half months ago mentioned that he was leaning toward BYU.

The reasons for him to go to BYU were numerous. He had developed a great deal of trust and rapport with both Coach Weber and Coach Anae, and also had two family members on the team in Malosi Te'o and Famika Anae (Coach Anae's son).

Te'o has since transferred to Hawaii, while Famika is unsure of what is going on, as his father has widely been mentioned as the first coach to part ways.

The only constant at BYU for Meredith currently is head coach Bronco Mendenhall. Meredith has had the opportunity to meet with him in the past and grew to really appreciate how he carries himself as a coach.

"He cares for his players, but he knows how to be a coach and not just a friend, which I really like," he observed about Mendenhall. "He's a different type of coach than the other coaches I've met, but I really like that about him. He's just a really cool guy and I'm anxious to talk to him about his plans and why he did what he did with his offensive staff.

"It all changed pretty dramatically and I still haven't talked to any of the coaches there about what is going on," he continued. "I'm visiting BYU on January 7th and I definitely have a lot of questions for them and what is going on. I'm going to call coaches here soon to learn some more, but I'm now favoring San Diego State for sure."

One of the reasons he likes San Diego State obviously has a lot do with it being located so close to home. That can only get a school so far though, as other factors have to come into play. Having visited the Aztec program officially two weeks ago, those other factors came into view for him.

"I love Coach Hoke and where he's taking the program," Meredith related. "San Diego State is a program on the rise and they're only going to get better under Coach Hoke. I love the offense they run, it's very similar to what we run in high school, but more complex. I could see myself fitting in real well there for sure."

Meredith has mission plans, but is willing to work those plans around what his future head coach desires. He'll turn 18 on January 31, which leaves his options open regarding whether to play a year, redshirt his first year or to leave immediately out of high school.

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