Backup quarterback is a ‘gamer’
Carson Meger playing role of the next man up
Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 12:05
Despite being the back up quarterback for the Miners, junior Carson Meger stays positive and focuses on growing as a player with the help of his teammates.
“He is a team player, he does what he is asked to when he is asked to do it, he is all about discipline,” offensive coordinator Aaron Price said. “He is a gamer, every game he is ready to go and adds a spark to our offense, that we really like. He is a competitor and a winner.”
Meger, a native Texan, played his prep football at Plano High School where he was teammates with current Nebraska Cornhuskers running back, Rex Burkhead.
During his senior season in Plano, Meger became second team All-State quarterback throwing for over 3,000 yards and 27 touchdowns. Despite the numbers, most of the schools trying to persuade Meger were not Football Bowl Subdivison programs.
“I got recruited a little bit by the coaches. I had some smaller school offers, but I felt I could really play at the Division I (FBS) level, so that is why I came here, walked-on and gave it a shot,” Meger said. “So far it has been fun, I love this team. El Paso grows on you as you spend time here.”
Over his time with the Miners, Meger has developed a special bond with his teammates and coaches, especially Aaron Price and head coach Mike Price.
“They are great coaches and care a lot about the players,” Meger said. “It’s more than football and a business to them, they care a lot about the guys and everyone as far as character on and off the field.”
Meger had little participation with the team in 2010, his first season, where he completed his first career pass against the Arkansas Razorbacks in Fayetteville.
In 2011, because of injuries suffered by starting quarterback Nick Lamaison, Meger started the games against South Florida, East Carolina and Tulsa.
Meger has played in all but one game in 2012. Both coaches and players believe that he has grown a lot since he began at UTEP.
“He is improving a lot, I’ve been here for almost three years, when I first got here he was alright, but now he is good enough to be starting quarterback and so is Nick (Lamaison) and they both compete,” sophomore wide receiver Jordan Leslie said. “He has grown a lot, improved his accuracy and it shows on the field.”
In the game against Tulsa Golden Hurricane on Oct. 11, Meger had to replace Lamaison who left the game with an injury and played most of the second half.
Meger completed 16 out of his 23 passes including a touchdown pass to Leslie, for a total of 257 yards with one interception and two fumbles.
“Everyone is prepared to go into the game at any time, unfortunately Nick had a tweak on his hamstring and my name was called and I went in and just played football,” Meger said. “Whether you are a starter or a backup you are always anxious, we all love to play the game and if you have no anxiety then you are not out here doing all the work we do.”
Even if he is not on the sidelines, he will try to cheer his teammates and encourage them to do better. The coaches and his teammates see Meger as an innate leader who always stays positive.
“He is a great leader when he comes out here, he’ll pick you up when you are down, it’s good to have him out here,” Leslie said. “Carson (Meger) brings a different kind of personality to the huddle and into the field, he is more upbeat and likes to joke a lot, he eases the stress.”
So far this season Meger has completed 41 of 68 pass attempts for a total of 462 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. His efforts helped the Miners win their second game of the season as he once again replaced Lamaison who re-aggravated a hamstring injury against Tulane Oct. 20.
Aaron Price is pleased with how Meger has performed so far in the season, but believes he still has a lot more to give to the team.
“He still has some game left, obviously when you are playing in a backup role, when you get your chance you got to perform,” Price said. “He has done a nice job as far as coming in and taking over and getting better, progressing and every rep and every experience that he gets it’s going to help him get even better.”
Edwin Delgado may be reached at email@example.com.