Meeker, a 6-foot-5, 295-pounder who plays guard and tackle for Prairie High School in Cedar Rapids, impressed new coach Brandon Blaney at Saturday's Cyclones camp and, to the ISU coaches who have seen him progress the last few years, looked like a different player.
Prairie HS OL Bryce Meeker
"I went there my sophomore and junior year and they said the improvement from those years was just outstanding and they felt like I'm ready and my [potential] is crazy," Meeker told AllCyclones.com. "I wasn't surprised but at the same time I don't go into camp expecting anything. It's kinda where I knew I performed well but I didn't know if I was gonna get an offer so when an offer did come I was very excited."
The Cyclones signed a center in 2014 (Cole Anderson) and a guard (Will Windham). They're on the hunt for offensive tackles in 2015 and might take more than one. If they choose to take just the one interior lineman, Meeker gives offers flexibility as a potential center or guard.
He'll cross-train at both positions this season.
"That's what they said, center or guard," he said. "I've never played center so I'll definitely work and get better at it. If that's a spot where I can play, I'll play center. If I can't play center then I'll go to guard."
Meeker is a first-class road-grader. Thanks to an intense weight-training regimen this offseason, he's added 10 pounds and solidified his lower body. Meeker says he feels more explosive than he was last fall. That was already a strength of his game, as shown in his highlight film. He neutralizes defenders and takes them downfield. As a right tackle, Meeker is adept at sealing off a hole and finishing blocks. He's a masher.
Footwork has been the emphasis this spring for Meeker, who needs to get better at the fundamentals of pass protection.
Final Verdict: Meeker earned his scholarship money by mauling people. He'll only get stronger and could play college ball anywhere from the 305- to 310-pound range. He carries his weight well, though. If he were an inch taller or had longer arms, Meeker could have a future at right tackle, paving the way in the running game, but will instead stick along the interior. While his size is not satisfactory for offensive tackle, he could be too big and tall to play center. Guard seems like the most natural fit.