Carson Meier is a man who takes advantage of his opportunities.
The former Oklahoma H-back enters this week clutching an NFL dream. Exactly one week from now, the Union High School graduate should know his map toward a professional football career.
Meier has loved the NFL ever since wearing Brett Favre jerseys on a daily basis to Darnaby Elementary School. He will wait to either hear his name called during the NFL draft or look for the perfect fit through free agency.
Meier’s OU career didn’t take off until his final season in Norman. Playing time was rare until the fifth-year senior blew up in 2018. All of his career catches came last season, when he had 19 receptions for 327 yards and four touchdowns. He averaged 17.2 yards per catch.
“I always thought I had it in me to go for the NFL. It’s been my dream since I was a little kid,” Meier said Friday. “I just felt like I needed that opportunity to get out there on the big stage and show people that the opportunity finally came and I made the most of it.”
It wasn’t just last season, but one week in January that made an impact, thanks to his agent Kelli Masters.
Immediately after signing Meier on as a client, she pursued an all-star game opportunity for the 6-foot-5, 254-pounder who plans on playing tight end in the NFL.
Masters targeted the East-West Shrine Game but the rosters were full.
She was in St. Petersburg, Florida for the practice sessions and on the first day, one of the tight ends went down with an injury.
“The director of the Shrine Game — who I had been bugging — looked over at me and I said ‘Yup, I’ll get him on a flight.’ I called Carson and asked if he could get his equipment and get on a plane that afternoon. He did,” Masters said. “I picked him up at the Tampa airport at 12:30 and he was on the field the next morning at 8:30. He had a great week at the Shrine Game and I think that put him on the map as well for a number of things.”
It was a springboard that led to a busy showing at Oklahoma’s Pro Day. Meier not only went through the skill portion, he ran routes for OU quarterback Kyler Murray.
“It was great having him with all the hype around him because it draws in more scouts and it’s a win-win. It puts me in front of them and I get exposure as well,” Meier said. “I’m really glad that Kyler did decide to do Pro Day. For a while, there was kind of a question if he was going to do it. He is a quarterback that I’m most comfortable with. I’ve been catching passes from him all season and I’m glad that he did.”
Meier was invited to visit an undisclosed NFL franchise and at least four or five others have traveled to put him through a private workout. The feedback has been positive, Masters said, because of his versatility.
“He proved that he has the hands. He can run the routes. He can block when he needs to. He can play H-back, he can play fullback if he needs to,” Masters said. “He also has a great attitude and a workhorse attitude of going in and getting the job done.”
Only two Union High School players have been taken in the draft, according to Redskins coach Kirk Fridrich: Dominique Franks (2010, fifth round, No. 135 overall, Atlanta Falcons) and Jeff Leiding (1984, fifth round, No. 129, St. Louis Cardinals).
Fridrich said he’s excited for the Meier family. The coach said he remembered Meier trying to decide whether to play football or basketball in college. Fridrich added that he thought Meier had potential to be an NFL tight end even before his senior season at Union.
No matter what happens — drafted or undrafted —Meier is prepared. Masters said her client is a “day-three guy (fourth-through-seven round selection) or a free agent. Either way, he’s going to make a roster this year.”
Added Meier: “Everybody likes to talk about getting drafted and, of course, everyone wants to get drafted because you get such a nice signing bonus. But a lot of times, there are certain situations where you are perhaps better off going free agency because you get to pick which situation is best for you. As of right now, I’m kind of in-between. I think I do have a shot maybe of getting drafted but maybe not.
“Obviously we’re hoping for getting drafted, but you have to plan for free agency and you have to start looking at the teams who are interested in me the most and kind of their situation out there, what type of offense they run, how many tight ends they have, a whole list on how to access the situation on what would be best for me.”