Evaluation: Nathan Meadors

Jan. 21 -- Versatile three-star defensive back Nathan Meadors will likely make his final choice between UCLA and Notre Dame...

• Name: Nathan Meadors
• Height/Weight: 6-0, 180
• Position: Free safety
• Hometown: San Bernadino, Calif.
High School: San Gorgonio

• Assets: A versatile athlete whose offensive skills at the quarterback/wide receiver positions – where he played during his prep career at San Gorgonio – should translate well on the back end of the defense on the next level.

A shifty, change-of-direction athlete who is considered more of a back-end-of-the-defense safety, but will come up and strike people. Shows effortless straight-ahead speed. Nice change of direction on both sides of the football. Solid backpedal-and-turn athleticism. A nifty-footed athlete who breaks into a longer stride in the open field.

Solid ball skills and anticipation defending the pass from the safety position. Shows the consistent ability to get into the lower body of ball carriers. Athleticism allows for good closing skills on the football, which translates from the quarterback position where he showed nice elusiveness moving forward.

• Room for improvement: Less than ideal safety size, very good but not great speed and needs reps in his backpedal with his prep time spent among wide receiver, quarterback and safety. Appropriately listed as a three-star prospect at the present time.

• Schools of interest: Notre Dame; Pac 12: Cal, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, Washington, Washington State; Other: Boise State, Fresno State, Nevada.

• The latest line: It’s down to a three-horse race with UCLA as the leader heading into last weekend with Notre Dame “about even” after Meadors’ visit to South Bend. Oregon remains a possibility, but the Ducks are running out of available visits due to previous sanctions. Meadors previously visited Cal and Boise State.

Meadors is scheduled to visit UCLA the weekend of Jan. 30. He could slip in a trip to Eugene earlier in the week. Notre Dame outside linebacker coach Bob Elliott is slated for a visit of Meadors in San Bernadino on Wednesday, Jan. 21. Brian Kelly appears set for a Monday, Jan. 26 in-home visit.

As for Meadors’ visit to Notre Dame this past weekend, the Irish can consider it a successful venture, but must now survive that final trip to Westwood. Notre Dame pounded home the notion that the depth chart on the back end is skimpy.

“They highlighted every time I met with the defensive staff that they only have like two healthy safeties on scholarship coming back,” said Meadors to Irish Illustrated recruiting analyst Jake Brown.

“That leaves much competition for the recruits coming in, and if I were to be able to go there, I feel like I’d be able to play a lot my freshman year due to that need at safety.”

Again, the key for the Irish is surviving Meadors’ last trip to UCLA, which gets the crucial final at-bat.

“I think it’s probably about even now,” Meadors told Brown. “But once I go on my UCLA trip, I’ll know for sure what I want.”

Meadors has spoken highly of his relationship with UCLA defensive backs coach Demetrice Martin.

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