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Northwestern football signing day profiles 2016: OT Jesse Meyler

The big offensive tackle brings some uncharacteristic size and strength to Northwestern's recruiting class.

Photo: @jjmeyler on Twitter


POSITION: Offensive tackle
HOMETOWN: Alexandria, Va. (originally from Toronto, Canada)
HIGH SCHOOL: Episcopal High School
247 COMPOSITE RATING: ★★★ (.8464)
OTHER OFFERS: Appalachian State, Connecticut, East Carolina, Harvard, James Madison, Maryland, Old Dominion, Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Wisconsin, Yale
MORE: 247 ProfileHudlTwitter


Meyler, the pride of the Toronto Thunderbirds — some random Ontario youth football team — was born in Canada, but moved to Virginia, and played his high school ball at Episcopal. Meyler played both ways in high school, on defense as a defensive tackle. His towering frame was a menace on high school fields around Virginia, and was one of the reasons Northwestern wanted him. Meyler became the third of four offensive linemen in Northwestern's class of 2016 when he committed to NU on May 23.

Meyler was overpowering in high school. He wouldn't be considered a mobile tackle by college standards, but his strength made him dominant. In his highlight tape, once he engages with a smaller defender, he consistently drives him backwards and out of the play. Unlike many underclassmen, his strength will be his biggest asset early in his career at Northwestern.


Northwestern needs offensive linemen. That's an inescapable fact. It has two good young prospects at tackle in Tommy Doles and Blake Hance, but the current depth chart is full of underperforming veterans and inexperienced underclassmen.

So what does that mean for Meyler? Probably nothing right away. But it presents interesting possibilities. Northwestern's 2014 and 2015 classes are far deeper at tackle than guard — especially if Ben Oxley were to move to offensive tackle, where he played in high school — so there is bound to be some shuffling.

The most intriguing part about Meyler is that he's a different breed of offensive lineman. There are some exceptions, but Northwestern has primarily recruited for agility over size in the past. For example, Hance was a tight end, defensive end and basketball player in high school. Doles was listed at 240 in high school. Oxley was 245. Meyler, at 285, (along with fellow class-of-2016 tackle Gunnar Vogel) is a departure from that. It'll be interesting to see how the coaching staff uses him.