Bailey Meek listened to lots pitches from college coaches throughout his recruiting process, which saw a meteoric rise this spring. Three words ran through Ridgefield’s new three-star strong side defensive end from the class of 2021 as he narrowed down his 14 choices.
“Life after college,” Meek said.
After announcing his commitment to Army West Point on Saturday, Meek, who carries a 3.96 GPA, factored in his goal of going to medical school and Army.
Meek, the 1A Trico League Defensive Player of the Year and a 1A all-state selection by the Associated Press as a junior, could picture himself wearing the Army name on his chest long after college — “they set you up for life there,” he said.
And the football?
“Army is big time football,” the 6-foot-5, 255-pound Meek, a 3-star per 247 Sports, said. “They play big-time games. And football is the thing on that campus.”
He called a coach on Army’s staff midday Friday out of the blue to surprise him with his commitment and left a message: “Call me back.” The coaching staff was meeting as a whole when Meek received a return call, and when Meek delivered the news, coaches erupted in celebration on the other end of the line.
“It’s hard to call (coaches from schools) I’m not going to,” Meek said. “It just sucks. But it was super awesome calling Westpoint.”
Last week, Meek narrowed his choices down to three schools — Air Force, UNLV and Army. UNLV made him an offer in late July, and was the last D-I school to do so. And they kept in regular touch with meet, calling and texting multiple times per week.
Air Force held a special place in his upbringing, considering his step-grandfather attended school there. Throughout his childhood, he had Air Force apparel.
But Army stood out in how hard the staff pursued him, calling four-to-five times per week.
“That was more than anyone else in the process,” Meek said. “I had several different coaches reaching out weekly, writing tons of letters — like 25-plus.”
Meek’s recruiting process came to an end while he was expecting to be playing his senior year at Ridgefield, where he transferred after King’s Way (1A) folded its varsity football team as a part of a multi-year plan due to low turnout.
He’s among SBLive Washington‘s Top 100 players to watch entering the February football season, which was moved from the fall due to the coronavirus.