"No" Didn't Stop Bills Safety Meeks

Five Questions with Thad Brown

By THAD BROWN | tbrown@wroctv.com

Published 11/27 2015 07:44PM

Updated 11/27 2015 07:44PM

Thad Brown: Jonathan, when you were coming out of high shcool, you didn't have many college offers. Your mom at the last minute, called Hargrave Military Academy, they had a tryout basically the next day and made the team. How crazy was that 24 hour period for you?

Jonathan Meeks/Bills Safety: "It was crazy, man. It was right during exams in high school too, so it was right in the thick of things. It was tough for me. One of my guys, Jonathan Hefney, he played at Tennessee, he was there. That kind of gave us the idea to call up there, but it was a fast turnaround. It was a great experience though.

TB: "Obviously you were successful, you turned that into a scholarship to Clemson, what changed about you or what changed about your outlook in your time when you were at Hargrave Military Academy?"

JM: "It was to be hungry, the chip. I felt I was dominating throughout the city. I was a starter amongst guys like Patterson, and Stephon, and other guys in the city that I was competing against. Stat-wise at the top of the charts with everybody else, but when I wasn't getting those offers like some of the local guys, that kind of was like 'What is it?' But, I always knew I was good enough so I just worked hard when I was at Hargrave and Kendall Reddick was a guy who was there with us in Buffalo, he played with me there and we was just grinding hard, so we know we can do it and where we go to we needed to go."

TB: "When you got to the end of your college career and on to this level, you were not even invited to the draft combine. How much of a slap in the face did that feel like to you?"

JM: "It was the same story all over again. It was funny, it was funny, but I was pissed-excuse me-at first about it and the combine, but afterward I just treated the pro day like it and it's the same thing. They still want to see how you handle a lot of things. That was an adverse situation, I could have quit afterwards, but I kept grinding and working hard and knew I was good enough to get drafted whether I got drafted or not. Fortunately enough, I was blessed to get drafted."

TB: "Everybody in this locker room has overcome obstacles to get here, but you have done it in a way where you have taken a no and turned it into a yes. What does that tell you about yourself, and how proud are you of those adverse situations?"

JM: "I just have faith in God pretty much and I feel with that faith I can do all things. If somebody tells me no, I'll feel like 'We'll see.' If it doens't happen, then it wasn't meant for it to happen, but if you say no and I try it and it happens, well, so much for the no."

TB: "What do you tell people--you'd be a great public speaker--do you pass this message on now? How do you do it?"

JM: "I do it sometimes via Twitter, but I feel like when I'm done I'll be able to share my story more and focus more on that, but now I still have my head down, still working. When I'm done, I'd like to encourage people. The first no is just a 'not' right now, or I'm looking at somebody else. Things change, plans change, but if you're not ready or if you're not still preparing, then that no is no, but if you're still preparing and working hard, you'll have some opportunity down the road."

TB: "You said you played against Stephon growing up? Gilmore?

JM: "Stephon was middle school teammates then a rivalry in college and high school. We're from the same city and amongst (Jadaveon) Clowney, (Cordarelle) Patterson, (Jonathan) Hefney, a lot of older guys. A lot of my peers, we battled it out. Friday was big. It was actually nationally one of the top-10 rivals. It's pretty tough in our city, it's pretty tough.

TB: "Does it blow you away to look back at how much NFL talent you had basically playing neighborhood football back then?"

JM: "Right. I look now with the guys we played with in my era in our league there is now I think 8 of us. That's pretty deep for a small city like Rock Hill. It's a blessing though."

TB: "Last one. Your Twitter feed says Jonathan Meeks, Meeks Incorporated. What is Meeks Incorporated at this point?"

JM: "Meeks Incorporated right now is a thought right now. It's just me continuing to lay the ground work. Work hard, keep my head down, grind as much as I can in the NFL and then once my name gets out there or whatever I get from the NFL, I'll use that for Meeks Incorportaed which will be whatever ride I go. I got a lot of ideas right now, I don't want to leak them all. "


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