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.
Meyer went through Rep. Tom Cole for his congressional appointment.
He turned in his nomination package in October and then interviewed in December for one of the spots.
“It's tough,” Channing said of the process.
Meyer is no stranger to the Naval lifestyle. He's lived around the world, and Norman North is his 11th school. He started at the school midway through his freshman year and will finish high school just in time.
Kris has received orders to move close to Washington, D.C., and the family will move a day after Channing's graduation.
“It's tough on him because he won't get to spend the summer with his friends, but he's got to report July 2 anyway so he wouldn't have that much time,” Kris said. “But our goal was to get Channing to graduation here and we've been able to do that.”
Then, there's football.
The Mariners play in Division III and their primary rival is the Coast Guard Academy. The USMMA won that game last season 43-37 and finished 5-5.
They use a triple-option offense, and Meyer is planning on playing quarterback for them after splitting time at quarterback and wide receiver for the Timberwolves this season.
After his sophomore season, though, he'll get a break from football. Instead of going through spring drills, juniors-to-be spend about 135 days at sea. The next year, midshipmen spend around 265 days at sea.
“Obviously it's not something that appeals to everybody,” Kris said. “But for the right kids who want to go around the world, are independent and want to experience new things, it's a great opportunity.”