July 23, 2024

Dec 12, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Volunteers head coach Jeremy Pruitt during the first half against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Vanderbilt Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Ace Meadows was a huge fan of former Tennessee Titans running back Eddie George growing up.

Meadows, a 6-foot-7, 280-pound offensive tackle for Peabody, loved watching George cut, power and speed his way to over 10,000 yards and 68 touchdowns. George also won the 1995 Heisman Trophy with Ohio State.

Then Meadows took a visit to Tennessee State, where George has been the Tennessee State football coach since 2021. Almost in an instant, Meadows became a big fan of Eddie George, the coach.

“He’s one of the most humble men I’ve ever met,” Meadows said. “Not once did he talk about himself. He reminds me a lot of my head coach, Shane Jacobs.”

Meadows committed to play for the Tigers on Dec. 4 after receiving and offer in August. Meadows added he will be early enrolling, meaning he can participate in spring practice with the Tigers.

More:Meet the All-West Tennessee high school boys, girls golf teams for 2023 TSSAA season

Jacobs has been coaching at Peabody since 2012 and assumed the head coaching role in 2015. Having someone like Meadows on the roster is a huge boost to the program – seeing them go off to play college football makes the boost even bigger.

“We’re very proud to see Ace have the opportunity to play at the next level,” Jacobs said. “For me, it’s exceptionally unique to see one of our players play for a Heisman Trophy winner. … That’s incredible!”

George is the only Heisman Trophy winner serving as an active head coach. After going 6-5 this season for the program’s first winning season since 2017, George is 15-18 in three seasons as the Tigers’ coach and recently fired offensive coordinator, Theron Aych, and offensive line coach, Anthony Lewis.

More:Tennessee’s top 100: Final ranking for TSSAA football seniors for 2023 season Nos. 1-100

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Meadows has experience playing for a program undergoing change – just at a different level. Peabody graduated 19 starters from the 2022 team which made the Class 1A state quarterfinal and left the Golden Tide needing to navigate the challenges of building up a new squad.

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Peabody ended up going 5-7 in 2023, but Meadows ended the season as the highest-ranked offensive tackle in West Tennessee and a 3-star recruit, according to 247 Sports. Meadows had offers from Arkansas State, Austin Peay, Ball State and Charlotte – but ended up staying relatively close to home.

“I really feel wanted by Tennessee State,” Meadows said. “I feel like I cam come in and immediately impact the team at TSU.”

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