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High school football: Norman North's Channing Meyer takes unusual path

Channing Meyer will play football for the United States Merchant Marine Academy. The process to get in is a tough one, with the state of Oklahoma only getting two spots per year.
by Ryan Aber Published: February 10, 2013

Wednesday, Channing Meyer sat with a large group of his Norman North teammates and made his college decision official.

Jordan Evans signed with Oklahoma. Jaxon Uhles with Pittsburg State. Other teammates signed with places like Oklahoma Baptist, Northeastern State, Northwestern Oklahoma State, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and Lindenwood.

Meyer signed with a place not many know much about.

Meyer signed with the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y.

“It's the smallest service academy,” Meyer said. “Not many people know about it, especially in Oklahoma. It will give me a great opportunity, not only in football but after I get out of school.”

Unlike the other service academies — the Military, Air Force, Naval and Coast Guard academies — graduates aren't obligated to specific postgraduate service.

USMMA graduates must work for at least five years in an approved maritime industry position. Graduates may also serve as active-duty officers in any branch of the military.

“I thought about the Naval Academy but the great thing about the Merchant Marines is that you're not locked into a specific branch,” Meyer said. “So there are plenty of options.”

Meyer first became interested in the academy through his father, a career Naval officer.

Kris Meyer is stationed at Tinker Air Force Base and works with three recent USMMA graduates.

“We did a lot of research,” Kris Meyer said. “We looked online and spoke with some of the guys on the phone and had one come down for lunch.

“Channing didn't necessarily know that he wanted to do time as a Naval officer. This way gives him options at the end.”

It wasn't as easy as making the decision to go, though.

The academy only accepts around 300 midshipmen per year. There are quotas per state, though, and Oklahoma has only two spots per year.

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by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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