Jamon Meredith #79 OT
Height: 6-5 Weight: 312 Age: 27
Born: 5/11/1986 Simpsonville , SC
College: South Carolina
Experience: 5th season
High School: Hillcrest HS [Simpsonville, SC]
Selected By: Green Bay Packers
Pick (Overall): 26 (162)
One of the smartest offensive linemen in the Southeastern Conference, the fifth-year senior boasted a 3.74 grade-point average, receiving the school's Harold White Award for his academic excellence in 2008. As a sophomore, he was named the university's recipient of the Andrew Sorensen Scholar-Athlete Award for Football.
Meredith started 38 games during his career at South Carolina and had a string of 28 consecutive starts snapped heading into the 2008 campaign. He lined up at both tackle positions prior to shifting to left guard as a senior. That move was brought about so that he could mentor Georgia Military Institute transfer, Jarriel King, at Meredith's familiar left tackle slot.
Meredith was a standout strong-side defensive end at Hillcrest High School, where he lettered three times under the guidance of head coach Wayne Garrick. He earned All-League honors as a senior and received a two-star prospect rating from Rivals.com.
Despite a banner senior prep season, Meredith was lightly recruited by the colleges. Former South Carolina offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo saw that Meredith had great athleticism when he recruited him at Hillcrest, the high school that produced former USC and current Carolina Panthers offensive lineman Travelle Wharton.
"He had that athletic ability like Wharton. He was long, he was lean and he was athletic," said DeGuglielmo, who is a coach with the Miami Dolphins. "He was low-key and had an even temperament -- and I liked that about him. I didn't want someone who was too excitable."
Meredith enrolled at South Carolina in 2004, spending most of the season acclimating to the right offensive tackle position on the scout team. He received his first collegiate game action in the seventh contest vs. Vanderbilt, but did not play the rest of the year.
In 2005, Meredith spent the first part of the season as a key reserve at both right and left tackle. He took over right tackle duties midway through the Arkansas clash, going on to start four games, including the Independence Bowl vs. Missouri. He finished the year with 34 knockdowns and six touchdown-resulting blocks, as the offense averaged 315.92 yards per game.
The following season, the Andrew Sorenson Scholar-Athlete Award winner started all 13 games. He started the first seven contests at right tackle and the final six on the left side, delivering 62 knockdowns for the campaign. He was named Southeastern Conference Offensive Lineman of the Week vs. Clemson, helping the Gamecocks improve their offense from a 100th-place ranking in 2005 to 20th in 2006 (395.0 yards per game).
As a junior, Meredith earned ESPN Academic All-District honors and was named his team's Outstanding Offensive Lineman. Starting all 12 games at left tackle, he made 75 knockdowns and twelve touchdown-resulting blocks. He allowed just three quarterback sacks on 443 pass plays and also recorded three solo tackles, along with recovering a fumble.
After sitting out the first two games of 2008, based on his agreement with the NCAA, Meredith returned to the lineup at left tackle vs. Georgia, but then spent the rest of the year at left guard. A right ankle sprain in fall camp affected his foot speed and balance, and was further compounded when he again injured it early in the Louisiana State game. He saw limited action the next two games, finishing with nine starts. He posted 48 knockdowns and five touchdown-resulting blocks, as both Meredith and USC struggled, with the offense ranking 97th nationally with an average of 316.54 yards per game.