January 17, 2009

Making every rep count

After his final season at Chaminade ended, Mizzou commit Jack Meiners wasted no time getting ready for college. Instead of resting his body, Meiners sought out a personal trainer and has been working hard ever since.

"I started with a trainer ever since the season got out," Meiners said. "I think I took three days off after the season, and then I started with this trainer Bart Emnett. He and another guy own a place called Athletes Unlimited in St. Louis. We just have been hitting it hard ever since. He is a great guy and trained Orlando Pace, and that's why I am working with him."

So where does Meiners stack up in comparison to the Pro Bowl offensive tackle for the St. Louis Rams?

"I am not sure because Orlando Pace is one of the greatest of all time," the tackle said. "He(Emnett) said that I have long legs like he does and skinny ankles, which is a good thing for lineman especially for the tackles being able to move. But no, he doesn't really compare me to him because I am not even close to where he is. But he will always tease me and say stuff like Orlando was doing three times this weight, or he was getting really deep on this squat. You know, little things that can give me motivation."

After a long season, Meiners had lost some weight, which he said was normal. Now, he is focusing on regaining that weight along with increasing his strength. According to Meiners, Emnett has him on a nutritional plan where he consumes close to 400 grams of protein and about 7,000 calories every day.

"Right now, we are just putting on weight and just trying to get overall strength," he said. "In the spring, we will switch over and really concentrate on agility and conditioning and get ready for the summer, but we have been hitting it hard on the weights for about eight or nine weeks. I have gained around 20 pounds and dropped around like 1.4 percent body fat, so we have been hitting it hard since the end of the season."

Meiners is hoping that all his hard work will pay off, and that he will have a chance at a starting spot sooner than later.

"I have to go up there and show them that I want it, and they say the best players will play," Meiners said. "If I show them that I want it and take it for myself, I am sure that they will see that. If I am physically mature enough and ready and mentally ready, then I don't know why they wouldn't."

Since he committed to the Tigers in April, Meiners said that not too many schools have tried to go after him. When they do, however, Meiners said he has his coach politely turn them away because he is committed to Missouri.

"I loved Missouri ever since I got there on the first visit," he said. "I wasn't really a Missouri football fan before recruitment, but once I got up there and met all the coaches and saw the facilities and the environment up there, I fell in love with it. Ever since, I have envisioned being a Tiger and running out of the tunnel with all the smoke and everything especially during the blackout when the lights are out. That's going to be awesome."

The offensive tackle has been in touch with many of Missouri's current commitments, and he has even spent time trying to recruit other athletes from St. Louis such as Ronnie Wingo Jr.. Meiners said he always invites Wingo when he makes a trip up to Missouri.

"I talk to Wingo all the time," he said. "I am always texting him you know. I mean, I pressure him, but I am not on him constantly because I know it's a tough decision deciding where you want to go, and he is taking time, which is good. But I always tell him, have fun on your visits, have fun on your trips, but you always know where it's at, the University of Missouri."

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