Upon perusing the attendees at Stanford's Junior Day two weeks ago, one
visitor to the Cardinal campus stuck out. Traveling all the way from
Greenwich (Conn.) was linebacker/fullback Jonathan Meyers. The 6'1"
220-pound student-athlete trekked across the country for good reason.
"When I look for a school, it's the best in football and obviously the best
in academics," Meyers explains. "Stanford covers the academic end pretty
well, and they're the only school with such high caliber academics who can
really give you a good D-I football experience. I was really interested to
see that. I had heard a bunch of things about the campus being really
nice, but when I saw it for myself, I was just really impressed by the entire
thing. The atmosphere at that place is just awesome, especially being in
Palo Alto and surrounded by so many important companies. Just getting on
campus and seeing the football guys was a really cool experience."
While a number of the in-state recruits on hand at Junior Day were familiar
with The Farm, either through previous visits or through family and friends who
have seen Stanford, Meyers and his parents were getting their first look at the
"I wasn't expecting how big it was, but I had heard a bunch of good things
about it. I had never heard anything bad about Stanford," Meyers says.
"I just took it all in and was really impressed by the whole place. I
guess you could say I wasn't expecting as much as I got. It was really
impressive. Everything - the scale of the place, the quality of the people
and the quality of the facilities. It was just a pleasant surprise."
The Greenwich High School junior says that his parents were more tuned into
the academic aspects, while he harbored admittedly a greater football focus in
"For me, it's mostly going to be the players and the coaches because a lot of
places have great facilities," the recruit reports. "A lot of places have
big stadiums. But it's the coaching and the kid that are the separating
factor. I stayed with one of the kids, Alex Fletcher, who I knew previous
to going out there. That was really cool, getting a feel for what it was
to be a player there. That was a good experience. The coaches are
great people, too. It was interesting to meet them."
Meyers' father, Glenn, is an alumnus and former player at Florida, also one
of the early schools to tender an offer to the legacy recruit. Being
familiar with Gainesville, the younger Meyers was able to compare and contrast
the two schools.
"I guess climate-wise, Florida and Stanford are similar," he offers.
"But every place you go is just so, so different, especially since I don't care
where I go to school. I'm visiting down South and all the way out West.
I'm looking at schools in the East, too. Every place you go is different.
Weather is different, and the people are different."
"But I think the coaches and kids are the most important," Meyers maintains.
"There is a pretty heterogeneous group of kids at Stanford, from all across the
country. It was kind of interesting to see that. And Alex is
actually from Long Island, which is pretty close to where I live in Southern
Connecticut. We share some similar viewpoints."
The close bond between the Meyers and Fletcher families was a motivating
factor in the Connecticut clan flying 2,600 miles on their dime in March, with
Alex Fletcher playing the unofficial role of host to Johnathan Meyers during the
"He told me about the whole area and San Francisco - how many opportunities
there are out there," Meyers says. "I went in there with an open mind, not
really knowing anything. He kind of gave me the inside track on a bunch of
stuff: players, coaches, playing. What it's like to play at Stanford and
play in the Pac-10 and around the country. It was definitely good to have
some inside information, as opposed to going to places and getting just what the
coaches give you. It's interesting to hear the players' point of view
The real reason for the trip, however, was to meet the Cardinal coaching
staff. Meyers says that he has been written by the breadth of the coaches,
including a pair who have him on their recruiting board: linebackers coach Andy
Buh and running backs coach Willie Taggert.
"A bunch of the letters I've received have said that I'm someone who can help
turn the program around. I have the potential to be someone who is a
catalyst to help change the way they do things out there," the two-way recruit
comments. "I think they have really high hopes for me. It's
definitely exciting and definitely a good opportunity, so I have a really good
vibe from them."
"I spent time with the linebacker coach, Coach [Andy] Buh. He was
talking to me about the system, how they play and their reads. I got a
feel for how they play," Meyers says. "[Taggert] really likes my
physicality. I'm a hard runner who is going to hit people. I think
that's what he is most impressed by. Obviously speed is one thing, but
also how I'm not afraid to lay a hit on somebody. He said not only
fullback, but I also have the potential to be a big back in their system.
The only disappointment from the trip was the absence of a Stanford
scholarship offer before he headed for home.
"I definitely think it's going to come in time," Meyers opines. "We'll
see what their decision is, but I'm waiting for it."
Offers from Florida and Maryland found company on Monday when Nebraska
tendered the third offer for Meyers.
"The coach who called me is the linebacker coach, who has been recruiting me,
too," the recruit relates. "He said that he has four seniors graduating,
and they need linebackers. They're looking across the country to find the
best linebackers. He thinks I'm one of the top linebackers he's seen.
He was really excited to get in touch with me and really excited to extend the
offer my way. That was definitely exciting. It's a great program out
"He told me something that I didn't know, that they have the most academic
All-Americans of any big D-I school. More so than Notre Dame," Meyers
says. "It's a pretty surprising fact."
"I'm expecting some other offers to come in from some schools soon," he adds.
"That's what my head coach is telling me. They're coming."
As Meyers' offer sheet grows, his recruiting dynamics will change. For
now, he holds a serious interest in Stanford for what he can gain from the
school and its education. Meyers is enrolled in all honors classes plus a
pair of AP courses at Greenwich High School, while pulling down a weighted 4.4
GPA. He took the SAT for the first time in March and scored an impressive
"Stanford is definitely up there. I'm definitely considering them,"
Meyers maintains. "I wouldn't make a trip out there if I wasn't
considering it because it's a long trip. I was happy with what I saw.
They're definitely a candidate and up there."
"Right now I'm looking at Virginia, Penn State, Vanderbilt, Nebraska,
Oklahoma, Florida, Maryland, Stanford, Notre Dame - that's the kind of schools
I'm considering," he lists. "I've turned down interest from a bunch of
other schools who just don't really meet my standards. I look for a school
with great academics and great football. I think Stanford has the academic
portion, and Florida has the football portion. Those other schools in the
mix definitely combine both of them pretty well."
In assessing the competitive landscape for the Cardinal, the foremost foe has
to be considered Florida. The Gators have recruiting cachet right now
after winning a National Championship, but in the case of Meyers, there is also
the family tie.
"Yeah, they're definitely up there," he allows.
The interest is serious enough that Meyers scheduled another visit to
Gainesville this weekend.
"I'm trying to look at all these places and take a bunch of trips early," he
explains. "I would like to try and make a commitment as soon as possible
and as soon as I feel comfortable with the schools who have come in contact with
me. I would like to make a decision as soon as I can. I don't want
to rush into anything, but I would like to make it soon."
Meyers has already unofficially visited Stanford, Florida, Penn State, Boston College, Maryland and Notre Dame. With several strong offers already in
hand and a desire to make an early commitment, could he pull the trigger for
Florida while on this visit?
"It's definitely one of the last trips I'm going to take this spring," Meyers
admits. "I wouldn't say I'm going to commit. I wouldn't say I'm not
going to commit. That's something I have to talk with my family about."
As the captain of the Cardinals defense last fall, Meyers played middle
linebacker. He racked up 127 tackles, 10 sacks and First-Team All-State
honors. Meyers also suited up on offense as the featured back. He
rushed for 1,140 yards and 23 touchdowns, gobbling up better than eight yards
"Yeah, I wasn't really coming off the field," he laughs. "I love both
positions. Wherever I decide to go, wherever the team needs me, I'm happy
to play both."
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