Lakota West offensive lineman Kyle Meadows (#75) prepares to block in a game against Winton Woods in 2011. Meadows currently has 15 scholarship offers to play college football. Photo taken by Adam Kiefaber.
It was January of 2010 when one of the nation’s top recruits, Lakota West senior linebacker Jordan Hicks, decided that he was going to continue his football career at the University of Texas.
At that time, fellow Lakota West student Kyle Meadows was just a freshman and expecting to play junior varsity football the following fall.
Lakota West head coach Larry Cox had different plans.
That season, Cox put Meadows on varsity and told the sophomore that he could be the next Jordan Hicks.
“When he was a young kid, as a sophomore, it was baptism under fire,” Cox said. “He had to go out there and play…and I felt that he had a chance to be pretty good.
“But, we really had big ideas for him going into his junior year.”
Armed with experience, athletic ability and size, Meadows was eager to prove himself as an elite high school offensive tackle in 2011.
However, after playing in only three games, the 6-foot-5, 295-pound junior suffered a season-ending injury that jeopardized his football career.
Kyle Meadows is one of the area's most-recruited football players and is starting to lean towards to playing for Florida State.
“I literally cried. I thought all of it was gone,” Meadows said of his chances to play in college after he broke his fibula and tore ligaments in his ankle. “But coach (Cox) talked to me and said that I couldn’t worry about. He said that all I had to do was get better and keep working.”
With one of his legs in a cast, Meadows worked on his upper body. Then, after surgery, it quickly healed and Meadows was back playing basketball for the Firebirds by January.
Prior to a basketball game on Jan. 24, while eating his pregame meal on the bleachers, Cox told Meadows that he received scholarship offers to play football at the University of Louisville and Youngstown State University.
Those two offers quickly became the first of many. In the next three months, Meadows added offers from Florida State, Indiana, Minnesota, North Carolina State, Kentucky, Purdue, Ohio, Toledo, Pittsburgh, Akron, Illinois, West Virginia and Northern Illinois.
“Good athletes come pretty frequently. What separates the great ones is the character they possess,” Cox said. “Kyle is a good kid and he does the right things. He is respectful and very coachable.”
More offers are likely to come, but right now the coveted left tackle really likes FSU.
“I am real close to Florida State,” Meadows said. “That is where I want to be right now, but I am still listening to all schools.”
Meadows was won over when he visited the school for two days during his spring break.
“It felt like Lakota West down south,” Meadows said of Florida State. “They make you feel at home. The southern hospitality was terrific. I loved it down there.”
Florida State wasn’t his only visit. The lineman also visited Georgia, Cincinnati and took in last weekend’s spring game at Ohio State.
“I would have never imagined that I would be in this spot right now,” Meadows said. “When I first met coach Cox, he told me that I was going to be the next Jordan Hicks. I didn’t believe him, but now I am here.”
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