Meyer simply has a "Ken"-Do attitude
"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will."
-Vince Lombardi, Former NFL Coach of the Green Bay Packers
Ever since he stepped foot on the DuFour Center's turf field, Kenny Meyer made a commitment to himself that he was never going to give up, no matter what the obstacle may be; that's what makes him so successful, his will to fight.
Originally from the Bronx, N.Y., Kenny had several colleges looking at him, but he ultimately made the choice to go to CUA, over 200 miles away from home. Like several of the students who commit to CUA, he desired to be close to the city of Washington, D.C. and he felt like the Cardinals were a team he wanted to be a part of.
At first maybe it was a little unclear to the rest of the team what kind of person Kenny Meyer was, and what he was going to bring to the team, but this soon became very clear.
It all began with his labrum injury during his sophomore year. The injury was so advanced that he sat out the entire season and had hopes that the next season was going to be his year to shine. However, Meyer reinjured himself in the next preseason camp and missed the majority of that season as well.
For Meyer, the upcoming season of 2011 was really going to be his season. However, what he did not know was that before he was going to get the chance to play again, he would hit a more serious obstacle.
On his way back to school following winter break, Meyer was driving with his former roommate on the New Jersey Turnpike in harsh weather conditions. The driver in front of him quickly stopped short and Meyer lost control of the wheel in an attempt to stop his car and crashed into the median.
From holes and alterations to his face, to a broken knee and hip, Meyer was seriously injured. As soon as he knew his life was not in danger, the first thing he needed to know was the fate of his football career.
"My doctor looked at me like I was a lunatic when I asked him if I was ever going to be able to play again," says Meyer. With the seriousness and the amount of injuries he endured, Meyer's doctors told him that they did not think he was ever going to be able to play again.
Meyer's doctor was not the only person who thought ending his football career would be the smartest decision. "You never want to tell a guy that he should think about hanging it up, but I was really ready to tell him he should think about hanging it up," CUA Head Football Coach Dave Dunn explains. At one point, Meyer went down to Dunn's office ready to tell him he would give up playing the game he loved, but Meyer never brought himself to actually do it.
Good news finally came for Meyer after all of the injuries and setbacks. His hip fractures were so clean that the bones were able to heal fully. He spoke with his father and told him that he felt fine and that he really thought he was going to be able to play again.
They went to see another doctor and was Meyer was finally given the news he had been hoping for. "I was devastated when I found out I couldn't play again," Meyer says, "When I found out I could play again, I was stoked."
Originally a linebacker before the injuries, Kenny came back to the team with his spot taken and his only real option of getting playing time was to take up a new role on the team.
Meyer had played offensive line and center in high school so he had a background in those positions that made it a much smoother transition than one might expect.
CUA Special Teams Coordinator and Offensive Line Coach Kevin Barger, who made the journey from defense to offense at the same time Meyer did, said that he picked up a lot of things quickly. "Kenny's really good at processing information and applying it, whether it be mentally or physically," Barger says.
Meyer soon made his way to the starting center position, a spot he's held for each of the last two seasons. His new spot on the offensive line was where his true dedication and hard work was seen by not only the coaches, but by his teammates as well.
Junior captain Michael O'Shea says Meyer had a lot to do with why he ultimately made the decision to play football and come to CUA. "Just his attitude everyday during practice and every game, there's not an ounce of quit in him," O'Shea says. "He's the toughest guy I know."
Coming back from the injuries, one would think Meyer may have had a hard time not only on the football field, but in the classroom as well. However, Meyer yet again proved to everyone that he was not going to let anything stop him from getting back on track.
"I ended up doing alright, I made the Dean's List," he humbly admits.
Meyer's impressive academic career has landed him in a good place with graduation following the fall semester less than a month away. An international economic and finance major, Meyer is specifically interested in investment banking and hopes to land a job on Wall Street. A week after the season is over, Meyer has an interview with a financial consultant company.
This Saturday, November 10th, is Meyer's last time playing on the turf with his teammates and 26 fellow seniors when the Cardinals take on Bridgewater. If he had never come back to play, Meyer would have never been able to experience this. Some of his teammates ask if coming back after their injury will be worth it. "It's the best decision I've ever made," Meyer says.
CUA and Bridgewater get going at 1 p.m. on Saturday from inside Cardinal Stadium. Prior to kick-off, Meyer and the entire senior class be honored in an on-field ceremony.
Story written by Vanessa Clifford '13, CUA Office of Athletic Communications