FAIRFIELD – Ryder Meyer has already had a surreal 2018.
After being named a finalist for the U.S. Army-Pro Football Hall of Fame Award for Excellence in March, Meyer, who will be a senior at Fairfield High School this fall, committed in April to play college football at the University of Montana.
He’s now in Canton, Ohio with friends and family experiencing the Pro Football Hall of Fame week.
“We get to see the Hall of Fame Game, the (Baltimore) Ravens and the (Chicago) Bears, and we are able to be on the field for the coin toss and whatnot,” Meyer said earlier this week, previewing his trip. “We have a roundtable discussion with all the new inductees, and then we get to go to the induction ceremony.”
The Hall of Fame flew out Meyer and his brother Tucker, who is an assistant coach at Rocky Mountain College. Meyer’s parents, Les and Jolyn, and friend Libien Becker also made the trip.
Mike Haynes, a Hall of Fame cornerback who played for the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Raiders, presented Ryder Meyer with his award in March.
“I was really happy for the community the most for Mike Haynes to be able to come out and talk in front of the school and the community about the things he’s learned in life,” Ryder Meyer said. “So I was just super happy that the community got to experience what I’m experiencing, too.”
This week’s experience will be exclusive to those in Canton, though. Not only will Meyer be on the field for Thursday night’s Hall of Fame Game, he’ll get to rub elbows with some of the best football players of all-time. Approximately 140 Hall of Famers are expected to take in this week’s festitivities. This year’s class of inductees includes legends like Jerry Kramer, who was born in Jordan and played 11 seasons with the Green Bay Packers, Ray Lewis and Randy Moss.
But Meyer is most excited to see a 2011 inductee.
“Deion Sanders is definitely one of them. He’s probably one of the top guys I want to see,” Meyer said.
“I just love watching his old highlights from games,” he added. “Then seeing him on NFL Network and whatnot, I love his energy and his enthusiasm, and the way he played was something super cool to watch, too. I just want to see him. Being a defensive guy, that’s someone I want to look up to and try to resemble my game after a little bit.”
Sanders was a eight-time Pro Bowler in 14 seasons playing for the Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens. Sanders’ career started in the late 1980s and ended in 2000 before he un-retired for the 2004 and 2005 seasons.
Meyer was born in 2000.
“I am young, for sure,” Meyer said with a laugh. “But I always pull up his highlights and whatnot – Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice highlights.”
After this weekend, Meyer might have his own Sanders highlight to add to an incredible 2018.