Texas Signing Class: Montrel Meander

LonghornDigest.com breaks down each member of the Texas 2013 signing class.

Montrel Meander might have been the last guy to join the Texas 2013 class. But that doesn't mean the former Washington State commitment out of Amarillo's Palo Duro High School was the worst player in the class. In fact, Texas coach Mack Brown took time on National Signing Day to single out Meander as one of the best players in the class.

Meander is certainly intriguing, given that there aren't many 6-foot-3 guys running sub-22-second 200-meter dashes who are still available so late in the process. With that kind of size and speed, it's easy to see why he'll get his first shot on offense at Texas despite the fact that most of his high school success came on the defensive side of the ball.

Meander was his district's Defensive Player of the Year after racking up 109 tackles from his safety position, using his speed to range from sideline to sideline. His coaching staff raves about his toughness and his willingness to put his pads into somebody, a great trait to have when you're joining the Texas receiving corps.

As an offensive player, Meander touched the ball 45 times as a senior, averaging 8.7 yards per carry on his 21 rushes and 15.1 yards per catch on his 24 catches while scoring a combined four touchdowns. Still, at this point he's still a project on that side of the ball, somebody with great height, length and blistering speed — he came in second to Robbie Rhodes in the 200-meter dash at regionals — but without the technical route-running that could put him over the top. He was essentially a "take the top off" wideout, the kind who would stretch a defense vertically and open things up underneath for other wideouts, though he also shows the ability to climb the ladder and pull down a deep ball, which shouldn't be unexpected, given his talent playing basketball.

When he catches the ball or gets a carry shorter than a vertical route, he can make guys miss in space, and when he gets a step or two past the defense, it's play over. He's that fast.

Meander will likely need some time in the weight room to fill out his frame, and he'll take some time to develop as a well-rounded wide receiver. But he was also a boffo special teamer in high school, and he's somebody who could surprise just because of the raw speed that he has.

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