May 11, 2011

Rivals250 OT planning summer decision

National Signing Day is still some seven months away, but Jake Meador has no intention of waiting that long.

Instead, the newly-minted Rivals250 offensive tackle from Whiteland, Ind., plans to announce his college decision sometime in mid- to late-June.

Whiteland has offers from Ole Miss, Kentucky, Indiana, Louisville and Northern Illinois, and with the exception of NIU's DeKalb, Ill., campus, he's visited all of those schools.

"I kind of know what I'm doing and I can get it out of the way and focus on my high school team," Meador said.

The 6-foot-6, 280-pound Meador said he "liked different things about each school. I kind of considered Kentucky down South and then when I went to Ole Miss, it was a different nature. I built relationships with all of the coaches at the different schools. …I felt like I could fit in at any of those schools. I'm not the type of guy that has to have a certain thing. I'm versatile to any atmosphere."

Meador admitted that he's more than a little intrigued at the prospect of playing in the Southeastern Conference, an admission that could bode well for Kentucky or Ole Miss.

"The past five championships came from the SEC," Meador said, referring to titles won by LSU, Florida, Auburn and Alabama. "Any team there has a chance to play for a national title. Knowing that has a great meaning. You're playing at a high level every week."

Meador attended one of Ole Miss' practices last month and came away impressed.

"(Ole Miss offensive line) Coach (Mike) Markuson has put a lot of players in the NFL," Meador said. "They're real personal people. I like that a lot. They had an off season last year, but they're a pretty prominent program. They want me bad. They usually don't recruit Indiana guys."

Meador said he's also considering Wisconsin, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Clemson and Vanderbilt. The Commodores, Meador said, want him to take a trip to Nashville before he makes a decision. Clemson has a similar request. Wisconsin plans to check out one of Meador's spring practices. Tennessee wants Meador to attend a summer camp in Knoxville, though Meador has ruled out that idea. Notre Dame is still in the evaluation stages.

Meanwhile, Meador is making some final travel plans before he makes his decision.

"I plan on taking a trip to Ole Miss here pretty soon and see how everything goes," Meador said. "I went to Kentucky's spring game and my high school team always goes to Indiana's camp."

Meador said there's "not too much pressure" on him to remain in the Hoosier State, though the home-state team is very much in the mix.

"I like to keep my options open," Meador said. "If I want to stay in-state, then I'll stay in-state. We'll see what's best for me."

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