Team-oriented Mewhort has the perfect center's mentality
Jack Mewhort, 6-foot-6, 285 pounds
ESPN 150 Watch List center
St. John High School (Toledo, Ohio)
Big Jack Mewhort hovers over the football as an offensive center. This tall, intimidating figure rules the territory around the football, and he takes a lot of pride in playing this tough, important position.
Mewhort is extremely humble and knows he must keep getting better to excel at the next level of competition. This first-team all-conference and second team all-state player just doesn't get the job done on the football field.
"I'm really proud I am an honor role student. Academics are important to me and I can thank my parents for that," Mewhort said.
He sets his goals high; Mewhort wants to be a high school All-American but not at the expense of his team.
"It's more important for my team to win the city championship and make it to the state playoffs then my accomplishing any personal goals," he said. "That's why football is the greatest team sport there is in all of athletics."
Mewhort has already committed to Ohio State University to further his academic and athletic careers. He said an offer the home-state school was too tempting to pass up.
"The football tradition at Ohio State is second to none," Mewhort said. "I love the campus and the coaching staff and I've always wanted to be a Buckeye. On a personal note, my sister goes to Wittenberg in Springfield, Ohio and it will make it a lot easier on mom and dad to see us both."
It might surprise Buckeyes fans to know Mewhort's football hero is none other than former Michigan offensive lineman and first-round draft pick Jake Long.
"Jake Long plays with great intensity and really likes to punish the man over him," Mewhort said. "He's a very physical player."
Mewhort spends much of his free time in the weight room and working on his speed.
"I know I've got to get stronger and quicker in order to play in the Big Ten," he said.
Mewhort has been chosen to play in the Under Armour All-America Game in Orlando and is fired up about it.
"I can't wait for the competition and the opportunity to practice at the Wide World of Sports facility," he said. "You can't beat the Florida weather either in January."
Mewhort "the manhandler" rules as an offensive center. At 6-foot-6, he is exceptionally tall for a center but he rules the territory daring middle guards to enter.
Tough for him to get low but once he gets his claws on you; he'll take you for a ride. Strong upper body and gets movement even though plays a little high. Good first step allows hip to pick up stunting defensive linemen. Exceptional on the down block; destroys defenders when angle blocking. Works body into position after executing initial punch. Executes the shotgun snap to perfection and can step as he centering the ball without loss of fluidity. Most of the time can chip off the combo block and get to linebacker level.
Solid job of pass protection at the center position. Big wingspan helps in the limited amount of space responsible for protecting. Tough for pass rushers to get around. Enough mobility to venture crossfield for an occasional downfield block. Shows great leadership skills on the offensive line and plays aggressively especially at the line of scrimmage. Take-charge guy who should be able to handle the blocking calls and adjustments at the next level.
Mewhort is a one-dimensional player as a center but could develop into one of the very best in the future. Basketball player who works hard on improving his foot quickness and agility. Could become a big-time collegiate center.
Bill Conley worked at Ohio State for 17 years as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. Since retiring from Ohio State in 2004, Conley has worked as a contributor and analyst for Columbus-area print and broadcast media and as a professional speaker. He also published a book recounting his years as a Buckeyes recruiting coordinator, "Buckeye Bumper Crops."
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