Even though the position is somewhat foreign to him, playing linebacker isn’t expected to be a problem for Alton Meeks (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips). He’s a self-proclaimed football player, and he just wants to play at the college level.
When Iowa State offered Meeks -- a 6-foot-3 athlete recruited heavily as a quarterback before a leg injury -- a chance to play linebacker in the Big 12 Conference, it was something he heavily considered. On Wednesday, Meeks became the Cyclones’ 24th commitment and the team’s second linebacker of the 2013 recruiting class.
“I played quarterback all throughout high school. I haven’t played a lot a linebacker,” Meeks said. “This year, a lot of schools just wanted to see what I could do at linebacker. I’m all for that.
“To end up playing linebacker, I think it suits me better. I’ll get the chance to play more in college. Statistically, there are a lot more linebackers on the field than quarterbacks. I think it can be a good fit.”
Meeks, recruited by offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham, chose Iowa State over offers from multiple programs, including Florida State, Michigan State, South Florida, Pittsburgh, Arizona State, Duke and North Carolina State. He was originally committed to Cincinnati before making the switch to the Cyclones and coach Paul Rhoads.
Meeks said the Iowa State coaching staff was one of the main reasons why he decided to make the commitment switch.
“I think they’re all genuine people,” Meeks said. “I can tell when people talk if they’re good guys, and I had a chance to talk to some of the players. They all like the coaches.
[Defensive coordinator] Coach [Wally] Burnham has been around a long time. He’s coached some great players. Coach Rhoads is a great coach and a defensive-minded guy.”
Meeks, who has bulked up to 240 pounds, broke his right leg in Dr. Phillips’ second game of the season. He missed seven weeks, but is back healthy and helping his team race through the Florida Class 8A playoffs. Dr. Phillips, ranked No. 22 in the latest ESPN 25 Power Rankings, is 12-0 on the season and fresh off a 24-7 win against Plant (Fla.).