Meander Pushing Toward Record

2013 Texas signee Montrel Meander talks about gunning for his school's top 200-meter time and his upcoming time with the Longhorns.

As the saying goes, last but not least. And on National Signing Day, Texas coach Mack Brown was quick to point out that while Amarillo Palo Duro athlete Montrel Meander might have been the last commitment in Texas's Class of 2013, he also was one of the better prospects inked by the Longhorns.

That Meander was still open-minded to Texas's advances was a stroke of fortune.

"Texas has always been a favorite school for me," Meander said. "For them to come and open up really big doors for me, it was a hard decision. I was committed to Wazzu [Washington State] and it was such a last minute thing that I went through that whole weekend with a lot on my mind."

Just days before National Signing Day, Meander made the switch.

"Growing up watching that program — I started watching them when I was about 10 or 11 — Texas just always had a good team," Meander said. "Vince Young was one of my favorite players. The name Texas, it's just a really big name around here."

Most people have already penciled in Meander as a wide receiver. At 6-foot-3 and more than 180 pounds, Meander certainly has the frame to develop at that position. But Meander was arguably better on defense than he was on offense in high school, winning his district's defensive player of the year award as a safety.

"Texas is still talking to me about being an athlete," Meander said. "I think they're definitely thinking receiver, but they told me they want me to go out and try both safety and receiver, then play wherever I can contribute."

For his part, Meander doesn't have a preference — "I feel like I'm good at both and can make plays on both sides of the ball," he says — though it's also worth noting that receivers coach Darrell Wyatt was Meander's primary recruiter.

"He's a real cool, laid-back dude," Meander said. "He's a family man. The players said he was pretty quiet, but I really enjoyed his company when he was around."

Meander has the speed to play both positions, and may even play two sports at Texas. As a junior, Meander was one of the faster 200-meter runners in the state, clocking under 22 seconds at one point.

"They told me that to run track would be my decision," Meander said. "But I have to keep up with my grades, and it's as long as I can handle both [football and track]."

Meander is currently in the middle of his final track season, and his goal is to run a smoking-fast 20.97 200-meter time.

"The reason I set that as my goal is because I want to beat the school record here before I graduate," Meander said. "And that time would put me at first place in the state."

And while Meander is laser-focused on setting that record, he also concedes that he's looking forward to his time on the 40 Acres, which is set to start in just a few short months.

"I'm really excited, and I'm a little bit nervous about leaving, to be honest," Meander said. "It's a major step for me to go out and be on my own. I'm really excited to go play for Texas and ready to help win some ballgames. They were already on their way [last year], and this year, I think it's really going to happen for us.

"I'm just really excited about playing for Coach Brown," Meander said.

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