The list of names the Texas Longhorns went through before they ended up securing an official visit from former Washington State commit Montrel Meander is a substantial one, but the coaches finally filled the need for a wide receiver with vertical speed in the 2013 class.
The 'Horns managed to flip Meander after his weekend official visit with assists from Vince Young and Earl Campbell.
So what does Meander bring to the table for the 'Horns? Well, as mentioned, he has incredible speed, as he finished seventh and behind Baylor pledge Robbie Rhodes in the 200m 4A state final. His personal best is a 21.55.
Rhodes may have been the top target for Darrell Wyatt, said sometimes to be the top target for Wyatt in this cycle, but Meander is hardly a small consolation prize, as his speed translates well to pads, giving him breakaway ability that isn't as strong as Rhodes. Not that far off, though.
A long strider, Meander is at his best when he can work his way up to top speed and chew up major yardage with each stride -- in short areas, he's not nearly as effective as once he gets a head of steam.
The Longhorns were looking for someone to replace the straight-line speed of Marquise Goodwin. Truly replacing Goodwin means finding a prospect who can run the ball as well, and Meander fits the bill there after picking up 572 yards and eight touchdowns this fall.
Meander is a rather raw prospect at this point who was recruited to play free safety by the Cougars, a position he played in high school in addition to . He also played basketball and ran track, so he had little time to focus on one position or even work in the weight room. As a result, he's a rather lanky 180 pounds, looking similar to Bryant Jackson when he was coming out of high school, the current wide receiver who played there and at defensive back in high school, but was brought in initially as a defensive back.
Since Meander is a little bit raw in terms of his understanding of the wide receiver position, he would probably benefit from a year to work in the weight room, especially since that's another area in which he could stand to improve. By the 2014 season, he should be better able to deal with cornerbacks pressing at the line of scrimmage.
So the former Washington State commit isn't a short-term replacement for Goodwin, but he does provide Texas with more options at the position. Right now, Kendall Sanders is the only wide receiver on campus who has that true speed to get downfield and behind defenders in the passing game, so there was a significant need there in the minds of the coaches. Daje Johnson is really the only other option, leaving Texas thin in that regard and with little margin of error if Sanders doesn't develop as expected or Johnson gets himself in trouble.
Look through SB Nation's many excellent college football blogs to find your team's community.