Meriweather's Cousin High on UM

It wasn't long ago when the University of Miami went into Apopka and landed standout safety Brandon Meriweather. The UM coaches will likely be back in the area this year, recruiting one of Meriweather's cousins named Eric Sledge.

At 6-foot-2 1/2 and 180 pounds, Sledge will be one of the state's top safety prospects this season.

"I can use my size to match up against bigger receivers and I know I'm fast enough to cover the speedy receivers," Sledge said. "I've been playing football since I could walk so I have the experience too."

Sledge, who is a solid 3.0 student in the classroom, is a three-sport standout. In addition to football, he runs track and plays basketball. As a junior on the football field last season, Sledge had 75 tackles and one interception.

"I made a lot of tackles," he said. "I only had one pick because we play a cover 3 most of the time and my role wasn't to pick off a lot of balls."

The talented safety, who will also be playing receiver this season, worked out at last weekend's NIKE Camp.

"I was with the receivers," he said. "We don't throw the ball a lot but I'll be playing both ways this year so I wanted to see how that was. Nobody was able to stick me. I really liked the QB from Mainland (Jonathan Garner). He was incredible. We were dominatin' together out there."

Sledge, who is also cousins with FSU signee Aaron Jones, is already getting plenty of recruiting attention.

"I wanna stay down here in the sun," he said. "I like all three Florida schools. West Virginia is real close to offering me so I'll look at them as well. When I was in ninth and tenth grade, I really liked Miami. Now I like Florida State more. I'd love to catch balls from Xavier Lee in the next few years."

Sledge spent Sunday at UM and came away very impressed.

"Miami's a great place," he said. "They win a lot. I liked everything there. The only thing about it is that if I go as a DB then I might not play right away because they have so many great players there already. Brandon's been there for awhile now and still hasn't started a game. If I go as a receiver, I think I can line up next to Ryan Moore and start ballin."

Sledge plans to attend the MSL/TheInsiders.com Camp at the Univ. of Florida in 3 weeks.

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