Not since the days when Carl Pickens (1989-91) and Alvin Harper (1987-90) terrorized opposing defenses have the Volunteers had a player at the receiver position that can change the tide of the game better than Meachem. The unheralded talent made the most of his first opportunity to be a full-time starter at Tennessee, and emerged in 2006.
The Booker T. Washington product was a Parade and Super Prep All-America selection as a senior. He was rated the second-best wide receiver prospect in nation by Super Prep and earned Gatorade Oklahoma Player of the Year honors. Meachem was ranked as the best overall prospect in Oklahoma, the nation's third-best receiver and the eighth-ranked player in the Midlands region by Rivals.com. He was the eighth-ranked receiver by Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report and nominated for the Jim Thorpe Award.
As a high school senior, the All-State first-team choice racked up 543 receiving yards and ten touchdowns and rushed for 531 yards and eight more scores, guiding the team to a 13-1 record and a runner-up finish in the state AAAAA championship. He also played point guard on school's two-time state basketball championship team.
Tennessee won a fierce recruiting battle for Meachem's services, much to the chagrin of the University of Oklahoma, which was hot on the trail of their local star. However, a knee injury in fall camp forced Meachem to spend his 2003 season with the Volunteers on the sidelines as a medical hardship after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on Aug. 16th to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.
"Meachem was as far along as any freshman we've had since I've been here that I can remember,'' head coach Phil Fulmer said. The surgical procedure revealed the tear and the decision was made to repair it and accept the longer recovery period. "That's a good thing in the long run,'' said Fulmer, "but not in the short run because he will miss the season now. We'll always take the interest of the athlete first. It would be real easy to be selfish and just fix it short term, but Robert has a bright future and repair was the right thing to do as an athlete.''
Meachem returned to action in 2004. Despite not starting any of the 13 games he appeared in, Meachem ranked third on the Vols with 25 receptions and led the team with 459 yards and an 18.4-yard average. He also added four touchdowns and was the only player on the team to produce a 100-yard receiving effort in 2004. Perhaps showing Tennessee fans of what a bright future that lied ahead for him, Meachem's first career reception was good for a 35-yard touchdown vs. Nevada-Las Vegas. He also added four tackles on special teams.
Meachem lined up at split end in 2005, starting vs. Alabama-Birmingham and Memphis. Despite only two starts, he led the team with 29 receptions for 383 yards (13.2 avg) and two touchdowns while playing in 11 contests. He also returned two kickoffs for 41 yards (20.5 avg).
The 2006 season was Meachem's breakout year. He moved to flanker and earned All-American and All-Southeastern Conference first-team honors. He ranked fourth in the nation with an average of 99.85 yards per game receiving and ranked 24th nationally with 5.46 receptions per game. He led the team with a career-high 71 catches for a school single-season record 1,298 yards (18.3 avg), including 11 touchdowns. He recorded two solo tackles, gained 16 yards on a kickoff return and 12 yards on a punt return.
In 37 games at Tennessee, Meachem started 15 times. He caught 125 passes and became the sixth player in school history to gain more than 2,000 yards receiving, totaling 2,140 yards (17.1 avg) with 17 touchdowns. He rushed seven times for three yards, recorded six solo tackles, gained 57 yards on three kickoff returns (19.0 avg) and returned one punt 12 yards.
Positives: Rangy athlete with good arm and leg length and a frame that is built for speed
Has a tight abdomen and waist with good calf and thigh thickness
Has great size and initial explosion for this position, showing the flexibility to get in and out of his cuts instantly in attempts to separate
His speed and arm extension are his best qualities, but his leg strength is evident by the way he generates RAC
Shows the change of direction agility to go along with his speed to be a breakaway threat with the ball in his hands
Has very good field awareness to settle in the zone's soft spot and can adjust to situations in attempts to make the play
Can out-distance himself from the crowd or press with his strength and quickness
Gets off the snap cleanly and uses his hands with force to prevent from being rerouted
Can threaten the deep secondary immediately, especially vs. off coverage and has no problems getting a clean release vs. the jam
Has the breakaway speed and loose hips to separate and elude
Physical type with the ability to maintain his stride through his route progression
Hard to knock off his patterns and shows smooth body adjustments to catch the ball in stride
Because of his size, you would expect Meachem to look lanky in his routes, but he has the short pitter-patter steps and burst to look effortless through route progression
Has the balance and feet, along with explosive acceleration and excellent body control out of his cuts to gain valid yardage after the catch
Has the ability to leverage, plant and cut
Very good at staying in stride after the catch and is very effective at making the tough grabs outside the frame, whether the pass is high, low or behind
Gets very good lift and rise going for the jump balls and shows good ball adjustment skills and balance to make the tough grabs and keep his feet in bounds when working along the sidelines.
Negatives: Needs to improve his slide in the open zone, as he will sometimes get too narrow when accelerating out of transition cuts
You hope he would get more deep ball opportunities than he has, but he demonstrates excellent hand/eye coordination
Will misjudge the ball occasionally, but has the skills to adjust to the ball when working underneath
Showed some inconsistency tracking the ball in flight during the 2006 Georgia game in the first half, but rectified it to come up with five big plays in second half action
Physical blocker when working in-line, but needs to get lower in his pads in attempts to sustain
Demonstrates good effort and a strong hand punch to jolt, but when he gets high in his pads, he can be pushed back into the pocket.
Compares To: ANQUAN BOLDIN-Arizona
Meachem is much faster getting into his routes than Boldin, but is similar to the Cardinal receiver when it comes to gaining valid yardage after the catch and coming up with the key reception in crucial situations. He does a very good job of tracking the deep ball over his shoulder and, like Boldin, he knows how to use his frame to shield defenders from the ball. He is the Vols' best receiving prospect since the Carl Pickens era (1988-91).
Meachem's 125 receptions rank fifth on the school's career record list, topped by Joey Kent (183, 1993-96), Marcus Nash (177, 1994-97), Cedrick Wilson (159, 1997-2000) and Peerless Price (147, 1995-98)
Became just the sixth player in school history to gain more than 2,000 yards (2,140) receiving, joining Kent (2,814 yards), Nash (2,447), Price (2,298), Wilson (2,137) and Tim McGee (2,042 yards, 1982-85)
His 17 touchdown catches rank fifth in Tennessee annals behind Kent (25), Wilson (24), Nash (20) and Price (19)
His 71 receptions in 2006 rank second on the school's season-record list, topped only by Nash (76 in 1997)
Set the Tennessee annual record with 1,298 yards receiving, breaking the previous mark of 1,170 yards by Nash in 1997
Nash's 1997 total of 13 receiving touchdowns is the only player that had more touchdowns in a season for the Vols than Meachem's 11 in 2006
Meachem's 1,298 yards receiving in 2006 rank fifth on the Southeastern Conference's single-season record book behind Josh Reed of Louisiana State (1,740 in 2001), Travis McGriff of Florida (1,357 in 1998), Carlos Alvarez of Florida (1,329 in 1969) and Craig Yeast of Kentucky (1,311 in 1998)
Meachem's 84-yard touchdown vs. Memphis in 2006 was the fifth-longest reception in school history, ranking behind Mark Jones (90 vs. Georgia in 2003), Carl Pickens (87 vs. Auburn in 1991), Clyde Duncan (85 vs. Vanderbilt in 1983) and Anthony Hancock (85 vs. Vanderbilt in 1979).
All-American and All-Southeastern Conference first-team preseason selection by The NFL Draft Report
Rated the best receiver in college football by that scouting service
On the Biletnikoff Award Watch List, given to the nation's premier receiver
Sports Illustrated and College Football News gave Robert first-team midseason All-American honors
Meachem took over flanker duties as a junior
Through six games, he ranks second in the nation with an average of 112.5 yards per game receiving, topped only by Adarius Bowman of Oklahoma State (123.83 avg)
He joins Bowman (743 yards) and Jarett Dillard of Rice (683) as the only receivers in the NCAA Division 1-A ranks to amass more than 650 yards receiving in 2006 to date
He ranks second in the SEC with an average of 5.67 receptions per game, surpassed only by Earl Bennett of Vanderbilt (5.86 rpg)
Robert also ranks third in the conference with an average of 116.5 all-purpose yards per contest
He added 8 yards on two carries (4.0 avg) and had a 16-yard kickoff return
Of the 46 passes targeted to Meachem, six were deflected by the opposition
27 of his catches were good for first downs, as he converted 9-of-12 third-down plays
Eleven of his receptions were for 20 yards or longer and he caught all five passes thrown to him inside the red zone.
|2006 Game Analysis|
Robert took over flanker duties, hauling in five passes for 182 yards (36.4 avg) and a pair of touchdowns, adding 9 yards on a reverse and 16 yards on a kickoff return in a 35-18 single-season opening victory in front of 106,009 fans inside Neyland Stadium
All five of Meachem's catches resulted in first downs, as he converted two third-down plays and had three receptions for 20 yards or longer
New Tennessee offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe's main task was to rebuild the offense and Robert seems to be his "favorite" pupil. On the team's first play from scrimmage, Meachem raced past cornerback Daymeion Hughes to snare a 41-yard play-action pass from QB Erik Ainge
Late in the second quarter, Robert caught a pass and turned up field toward the first-down marker on a third-and-10 play, but the official called him short. Fulmer threw down his hat, and the officials in the review booth looked at it again. They determined Meachem reached the first down, gaining 11 yards in the process. Two plays later, Meachem hauled in another pass, broke a tackle and beat the defenders down the sideline to the end zone for a 42-yard touchdown with 3:07 left in the first half
On the team's first drive of the second half, Robert made a sensational run-and-catch of a right sideline toss from Ainge, turning on the afterburners to explode 80 yards into the end zone for a score
His two touchdown-performance was the first time a Tennessee receiver scored more than once in the same game since Jayson Swain vs. Vanderbilt in 2004 to haul in multiple touchdowns
Talking to the media after the game, Robert heaped praises on his quarterback, " Erik (Ainge) had a really good day. He has a lot of work to do, because we all have a lot of work to do. We all can get better.
The receivers as a unit) played real hard today. We have a new coach, and when you have Trooper Taylor (as your position coach), with all that energy, how can you get tired?"
Record Watch-Robert's 80-yard touchdown was the ninth-longest reception in school history and marked the fifteenth time in Volunteer annals that a player handled a ball for an 80-yard gain (run, catch, return)
His 182 yards rank twelfth on the school's game-record list and was the most by a Tennessee player since Kelley Washington gained 197 yards vs. Rutgers in 2002
Head to Head Competition-CB#13-Daymeion Hughes-Five tackles (2 solos).
Meachem continued to soar, hauling in eight passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns. Six of his catches were good for first downs, including one on a third-down play, leading the team to a tough 31-30 triumph
Air Force led 10-3 early, but Meachem's 4-yard touchdown catch on a third-and-3 pass in the second quarter tied it at 10-10, capping a 16-play, 74-yard drive
He also set up the 35-yard field goal by James Wilhoit in the first quarter with a 44-yard catch-and-run down the right sidelines
Late in the second quarter, his 14 & 20-yard grabs set up Erik Ainge's 5-yard scoring lob to Jayson Swain that ended a 75-yard, 8-play drive with 0:28 left in the first half
On a second-and-goal play in the fourth quarter, Meachem beat a pair of defenders to grab a pass from Ainge for a 5-yard score that gave the Vols a 31-17 lead that held up the win, as Air Force would then register a pair of touchdowns, but missed on a two-point conversion attempt in the waning moments of the game
Meachem's eight receptions were a career-high
Including a score vs. Kentucky in the 2005 season finale, Robert extending his string of at least one touchdown catch to three games, becoming the first Volunteer to do so since James Banks caught one scoring pass in four consecutive 2003 contests
He became the first Volunteer since Donte Stallworth in 2001 to register back-to-back 100-yard receiving performances
Head to Head Competition-CB#8-Chris Sutton-Nine tackles (5 solos), one stop for a 2-yard loss.
Meachem managed only 47 yards on four catches, but three of those grabs were good for first downs, including converting one on third-down. But, it was Gators receiver Dallas Baker who caught a 21-yard touchdown pass from Chris Leak that gave Florida the lead in the fourth quarter and the Gators held on to beat Tennessee, 21-20
Robert kept an early first quarter drive alive when he caught a third-and-4 pass from QB Erik Ainge for an 8-yard gain
He later added 24 & 8-yarders to get the team the field position needed for James Wilhoit's 36-yard field goal
Head to Head Competition-CB#22-Reggie Lewis-Two assisted tackles, two pass deflections.
Robert collected 76 yards on six catches, with two of those grabs for longer than 20 yards, helping the team to a 33-7 win. The start of the game was delayed for an hour because of lightning and heavy rain, but it didn't seem to bother Meachem or his Tennessee teammates
Robert had 3 & 24-yard receptions on the game-opening drive, but was then tackled for a 1-yard loss on a reverse
He later added a 29-yard catch midway through the fourth quarter
Head to Head Competition-CB#8-James Johnson-Five solo tackles, three pass deflections.
Meachem had his third 100-yard performance for 2006, gaining 157 yards with a touchdown on four catches. All four of his grabs were good for first downs, with two converting third-down plays, as the Volunteers had an easy time beating Memphis, 41-7
On the team's game-opening drive, Meachem caught a 12-yard third-and-7 pass from Erik Ainge that was downed at the Memphis 6 and two plays later, Ainge hit Jayson Swain with a 5-yard scoring lob to finish a 97-yard, 17-play series
He added 18 & 43-yarders to place the ball at the Memphis 37, where James Wilhoit salvaged the 9-play, 67-yard drive with a 49-yard field goal after the running game stalled
Midway through the third quarter, after
Memphis punted, Tennessee started at its own 3-yard line and needed just five plays before Meachem's score. Robert leaped to catch the ball and kept running, but was crowded on the sideline. Fellow receiver Bret Smith pushed two defenders out of the way, and Meachem ran untouched to the end zone for an 84-yard touchdown
Meachem and Jayson Swain entered the weekend as the top receiving duo -- in terms of total yardage -- in NCAA Division I-A. Meachem totaled 157 yards on four catches today, while Swain added 64 yards on three receptions. The tandem finished the Memphis game with a combined 955 total receiving yards on the year
Record Watch-Robert's 84-yard touch-down vs. Memphis was the fifth-longest reception in school history, ranking behind Mark Jones (90 vs. Georgia in 2003), Carl Pickens (87 vs. Auburn in 1991), Clyde Duncan (85 vs. Vanderbilt in 1983) and Anthony Hancock (85 vs. Vanderbilt in 1979)
Head to Head Competition-CB#26-Dustin Lopez-Five tackles (4 solos), one stop for a 2-yard loss.
Robert registered 98 yards with a touchdown, as all seven of his catches were good for first downs (one the result of a Georgia penalty), making two grabs inside the red zone while converting three third-down plays. Tennessee became just the second team to put up 50 points on Georgia between the hedges, coming from behind for a stunning 51-33 victory that defied the norm in the defensive-minded Southeastern Conference. In addition to his scoring grab, Meachem set up two other touchdown drives and one other that ended with a field goal with his big-play receptions
After being held to no gain on a third-and-7 toss on the team's game-opening drive, Robert again failed to convert a third-and-10 play when Erik Ainge's pass was deflected by Tony Taylor. On the ensuing punt, the Bulldogs' Mikey Henderson returned the kick 86 yards for a touchdown
He then had an 8-yard catch for a first down and drew Georgia's Tra Battle into a pass interference penalty on a third-and-goal play, setting up Ainge's 1-yard touchdown run
Ainge then threw 17 & 29-yarders to Robert, getting the team into position for James Wilhoit's 37-yard field goal that salvaged a 72-yard, 11-play drive in the third quarter
Meacham then beat cornerback Ramarcus Brown to snare a 15-yard scoring strike from Ainge at the start of the fourth quarter
Not yet done for the day, he snatched a third-and-16 throw from Ainge for 16 yards, leading to a 1-yard scoring plunge by Arian Foster that gave Tennessee a 44-33 lead
Head to Head Competition-CB#8-Paul Oliver-Four tackles (3 solos), one pass deflection.
Meachem snatched six passes for 87 yards, as five of those grabs produced first downs
Hauled in a 27-yard pass from QB Erik Ainge to set up tailback Arian Foster's 1-yard scoring run with 3:28 left in the game
Tackled Javier Arenas after a 3-yard punt return right after the two-minute warning
Head to Head Competition-CB#1-Ramzee Robinson-Nine tackles (7 solos), two pass deflections, one fumble recovery.
Gained 106 yards, as four of his five catches resulted in first downs
Turned the ball over when he fumbled a 9-yard punt return and South Carolina recovered to set up Syvelle Newton's 15-yard scoring strike to Noah Whiteside in the third quarter
Made up for that miscue with a 62-yard reception that set up James Wlhoit's 21-yard field goal with 5:09 left to play
Head to Head Competition-CB#5-Carlos Thomas-Five solo tackles.
Meachem collected five passes for 121 yards and a pair of scores
He grabbed a third-&-5 pass from QB Jonathan Crompton to keep a drive alive that he eventually ended by snaring a third-&-10 toss for a 37-yard touchdown with 4:38 left in the first half
Tackled Darryl Beckwith at the UT 40 for a 7-yard loss after the defender picked off a Crompton pass with nine minutes left in the game
Meachem grabbed a 54-yard pass from Crompton over a pair of defenders for a touchdown that gave Tennessee a 24-21 lead with 7:29 left on the game clock
Head to Head Competition-CB#19-Jonathan Zenon-Two solo tackles, two pass deflections.
Gained 65 yards as all four catches resulted in first downs, including a 27-yard touchdown on a third-&-17 pass from Jonathan Crompton that capped a 7-play, 80-yard drive in the second quarter
Head to Head Competition-CB#2-Chris Houston-Three solo tackles.
Followed with seven receptions (all good for first downs) for 95 yards
His 15-yard grab midway through the first quarter set up a Tennessee 27-yard field goal
He added 15 & 10-yarders to set up LaMarcus Coker's 8-yard scoring run in the second quarter and had a 17-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter
Head to Head Competition-CB#20-Jared Fagan-Five solo tackles.
Totaled 116 yards as all six of his receptions produced first downs, including four on third-down plays
Caught a 30-yard pass at midfield, followed by Erik Ainge's 15-yard scoring strike to Meachem late in the first quarter
His third-&-goal catch that netted 8 yards set up LaMarcus Coker's 1-yard touchdown run on the next play at the start of the fourth quarter
Head to Head Competition-CB#10-Karl Booker-Three solo tackles.
Penn State (Outback Bowl)
Managed just 33 yards on four catches in a 20-10 loss
Was tackled for a 6-yard loss by defensive tackle Jay Alford on a second quarter reverse
On Tennessee's final play (fourth-&-15), Meachem had the pass batted out of his hands and Penn State ran out the clock
Head to Head Competition-CB#11-Tony Davis-Seven tackles (5 solos), an 88-yard fumble recovery.
Meachem played in eleven games, starting vs. Alabama-Birmingham and Memphis at split end
Despite only two starting assignments, he led the team with 29 receptions for 383 yards (13.2 avg) and two touchdowns
He added 41 yards on two kickoff returns (20.5 avg)
Of the 43 passes targeted to Robert, three were deflected by the opposition
He had sixteen first downs among his 29 catches, converting 4-of-7 third-down plays
Five of his receptions were for 20 yards or longer.
|2005 Game Analysis|
In his first career start, Robert made two catches for 35 yards, converting one third-down play into a first down, but UAB held Tennessee scoreless in the second half and gave the Volunteers a late scare before falling 17-10 in the season opener that was played in front of a Neyland Stadium crowd of crowd of 107,529
Meachem returned the season's first kickoff 15 yards and later caught a third-and-13 toss from QB Erik Ainge for a 26-yard pickup in the second quarter
Head to Head Competition-CB#22-Kevin Sanders-Three tackles (2 solos), 2-yard interception return.
Meachem came off the bench to gain 29 yards, as both of his catches resulted in first downs. Florida held Tennessee scoreless in the second half, taking advantage of three special teams errors to defeat the Vols, 16-7 Saturday night
Robert had a 10-yard grab in the third quarter and a 19-yarder in the fourth. His third quarter catch moved him past the 500-yard mark for receiving during his career
Head to Head Competition-CB#16-Vernell Brown-Seven tackles (6 solos), one pass deflection.
Robert caught three passes for 44 yards, as two of his grabs were good for first downs, but he had five other passes targeted to him that resulted in incompletions as the Vols rallied for a 30-27 triumph
QB Rick Clausen found Meachem with a 25-yard sideline toss, followed by an 8-yarder on a first-and-goal play that set up Clausen's 1-yard touchdown run, ending a 13-play, 75-yard scoring drive
Head to Head Competition-CB#21-Chevis Jackson-Three tackles (2 solos), one interception.
Meachem had two receptions for 19 yards in a 27-10 win, gaining a first down when he snared a second-and-7 pass from Rick Clausen for 14 yards in the third quarter
Head to Head Competition-CB#3-Trumaine McBride-Four tackles (2 solos).
Robert came up with four receptions for 49 yards and a touchdown in a 27-14 loss
He scored on a third-and-8 pass from Rick Clausen that was good for 24 yards as time expired, capping an 8-play, 63-yard drive
This marked the fifth consecutive game that Meachem had multiple catches, the only Vol player to do that feat
Head to Head Competition-CB#23-Tim Jennings-Four solo tackles, one pass deflection.
Meachem was limited to 8 yards on two catches, including one on a third quarter crossing pattern that resulted in a 2-yard loss when he was tackled by defensive end Mark Anderson
Head to Head Competition-CB#9-Anthony Madison-One solo tackle, one pass deflection.
Robert bounced back with six receptions for 44 yards in a tough 16-15 loss
Two of his grabs were good for first downs, a 13-yarder in the first quarter and a 17-yarder on a third-and-9 throw from Erik Ainge in the second quarter
Head to Head Competition-CB#9-Jon Joseph-Five solo tackles, one interception, one pass deflection.
Meachem gained 26 yards on a kickoff return and 46 yards on three catches, as two of those grabs resulted in first downs. The Volunteers looked as though they might be able to rally for a victory Saturday after coming back from 18 points down to tie the score at 21. But Irish QB Brady Quinn completed a 73-yard pass to Jeff Samardzija to set up the go-ahead touchdown and spark Notre Dame to a 41-21 victory
Robert kept a first quarter drive alive with an 18-yard gain on a third-and-8 pass from Erik Ainge
His second quarter 26-yard kickoff return was moved back ten yards due to a Tennessee holding penalty (26-yarder was Meachem's longest kickoff return for the season)
Robert extending his string of multiple-catch performances to eight games
Head to Head Competition-CB#30-Mike Richardson-Nine tackles (6 solos), two forced fumbles, one pass deflection.
Meachem returned to the starting lineup with 39 yards on two catches, both good for first downs, as Rick Clausen came off the bench to rally the team to a 20-16 victory, snapping the Volunteers' four-game losing streak
Meachem had a 13-yard catch in the second quarter and ran under a sideline throw from Clausen for a 24-yard gain in the fourth quarter
Head to Head Competition-CB#8-Brandon McDonald-Three solo tackles, 37-yard interception return.
Meachem did not catch the only pass thrown to him in limited reserve duty, snapping his multiple-catch performance string at nine games
Head to Head Competition-CB#14-Josh Allen-One solo tackle.
Robert closed out the season with three catches for 70 yards and a touch-down, as two of his grabs resulted in first downs, as QB Erik Ainge passed for 221 yards and two touchdowns in a 27-8 win
Ainge's touchdown pass to Meachem came courtesy of a Kentucky error, as Robert caught a short pass and went untouched into the end zone after two Kentucky defenders missed potential tackles on his 50-yard scamper during the team's game-opening drive
His 7-yard reception in the second quarter set up a 31-yard field goal by James Wilhoit
Head to Head Competition-CB#36-Antoine Huffman-Four tackles (3 solos), one pass deflection.
Freshman All-American third-team choice by The NFL Draft Report
Played in every game
Despite not starting, Robert ranked third on the squad with 25 receptions and led the team with 459 yards and an 18.4-yard average
He had four touchdown catches and delivered four solo tackles while rushing three times for no gain
Of the 32 passes targeted to him, two were deflected by the opposition
Seventeen of his grabs resulted in first downs, as he converted 3-of-5 third-down plays
Ten of his receptions were good for 20 yards or longer
Caught both passes thrown to him inside the red zone
Had big plays that set up eight touchdown drives and two more that resulted in field goals
Robert saw action at both split end and slot receiver.
|2004 Game Analysis|
Robert made a memorable collegiate debut, as he hauled in a 35-yard touchdown pass from QB Brent Schaeffer to cap a 4-play, 83-yard drive in the third quarter
Earlier in the second quarter, Meachem drew UNLV into a pass interference penalty that placed the ball at the Rebels' 2-yard line. On the next play, tailback Gerald Riggs a 2-yard score to conclude a 10-play, 83-yard drive
Head to Head Competition-CB#14-Ernest Gordon-Three tackles (2 solos).
Robert saw limited action and did not catch any passes.
With ten different receivers catching passes in this game, Robert continued to be the Vols' "money" player, as his second career reception ended just like the first, as he snared a 24-yard touchdown pass from Brent Schaeffer to conclude a 7-play, 80-yard drive in the third quarter
Head to Head Competition-CB#24-Jerron Wishom-One solo tackle.
Meachem grabbed two passes for 16 yards, including a 14-yarder for a first down in the fourth quarter
Robert also alertly saved a potential touchdown when he tackled linebacker Travis Williams after the defender intercepted an Erik Ainge pass at the Auburn 30 with 4:48 left in the first half
Head to Head Competition-CB#14-Carlos Rogers-Four tackles (3 solos), one pass deflection.
Robert's only catch was a 6-yarder on a toss from Erik Ainge in the first quarter
Head to Head Competition-CB#23-Tim Jennings-Six tackles (4 solos).
Seeing his first extensive action, Robert registered first downs on each of his three receptions, gaining 82 yards in the process to lead the Vols to a 21-17 victory
He kept a second quarter scoring drive alive with a 23-yard gain on a third-and-9 toss from QB Erik Ainge, followed by a 20-yard grab on that drive
He set up the team's game-winning score with a 39-yard reception on Ainge's third-and-7 throw down the left sideline and Ainge then finished the 9-play, 83-yard drive with a 30-yard touchdown to Bret Smith
Head to Head Competition-CB#3-Trumaine McBride-Four tackles (2 solos), two pass deflections.
Robert did not have any passes thrown to him, but contributed on special teams, tackling Brandon Brooks on a 5-yard punt return early in the second quarter.
Meachem had only one catch for 12 yards on a third-and-13 play and was tackled for a 4-yard loss on a first quarter reverse
In the second quarter, he had an 11-yard reception negated by a Tennessee holding penalty
Head to Head Competition-CB#8-Fred Bennett-Five solo tackles, one pass deflection.
Meachem followed with four catches for 67 yards. Three of his grabs resulted in first downs in a tough 17-13 loss, but Robert did anything he could to help the team win
His 13-yard reception in the second quarter set up Erik Ainge's 56-yard scoring strike to tailback Cedric Houston
In the third quarter, his 39-yarder down to the Notre Dame 21 set up James Wilhoit's 33-yard field goal
Head to Head Competition-CB#15-Preston Jackson-Six tackles (5 solos), one pass deflection.
Meachem lost 3 yards on a reverse, but gained 25 yards on three catches, including a 10-yarder in the second quarter that converted a third-and-3 play
Head to Head Competition-CB#7-Bill Alford-Two solo tackles.
The freshman receiver became the Vols' first wideout to gain over 100 yards during 2004, as he hauled in a single-season high five passes for 145 yards and a touchdown to rally the team to a 37-31 decision. Five of his catches were good for first downs, with four of those grabs gaining at least 20 yards each
Despite the cold and rain, Robert set up a 24-yard field goal by James Wilhoit with a 35-yard catch of a Rick Clausen left sideline pass in the second quarter
Clausen then followed with a 20-yard touchdown strike to Meachem with 0:39 left in the first half
In the fourth quarter, he hauled in a 53-yard seam pass from fellow receiver C.J. Fayton on a trick play to set up Clausen's 12-yard scoring toss to Tony Brown
On the team's next drive, Robert tackled Karl Booker after the defender intercepted a Clausen third-and-8 pass for a 3-yard return to the Kentucky 48
Head coach Phil Fulmer was impressed with Meachem's performance, stating, "Robert had a big game. It's been coming for him. He's a big time receiver."
Talking about the 53-yard trick play, Meachem said, "It was designed in practice. We've gone over it for a while but not sure if we were ever going to run it. We saw it was open. All the receivers came together and helped Rick out. I haven't had a big game since high school. You've got to feel like you're coming back. You've got to stay humble and keep your head. At practice, we all know Rick is a veteran."
Head to Head Competition-CB#36-Antoine Huffman-Two solo tackles.
Auburn (Southeastern Conference Championship Game)
Meachem was held to one catch for a 17-yard touchdown, hauling in a third-and-8 strike from Rick Clausen in the third quarter, but had a 44-yard reception negated by a Tennessee holding penalty on the team's next drive
He also tackled Carnell Williams on a 2-yard punt return in the first quarter
Head to Head Competition-CB#14-Carlos Rogers-One solo tackle, two pass deflections.
Texas A&M (Cotton Bowl)
Robert gained 7 yards on a reverse and 30 yards on three catches in a 38-7 victory
Meachem grabbed a 5-yard swing pass from Rick Clausen and the Vols had fifteen more yards tacked on to the play because of an A&M roughing the passer penalty. Clausen then hit Robert with a 19-yard pass on a crossing pattern, setting up Gerald Riggs' 9-yard touchdown run over right tackle that capped a 12-play, 94-yard drive in the third quarter
Head to Head Competition-CB#26-Jonte Buhl-No tackles.
A knee injury during August camp would see the true freshman sit out the season as a medical hardship after undergoing arthroscopic surgery.
2003: Sat out the season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery (8/16) to repair a torn right knee meniscus. "Meachem was as far along as any freshman we've had since I've been here that I can remember,'' head coach Phil Fulmer said.
Campus: 4.48 in the 40-yard dash
37.5-inch vertical jump
345-pound bench press.
Combine: 4.42 in the 40-yard dash
1.53 10-yard dash
2.54 20-yard dash
4.31 20-yard shuttle
11.3 60-yard shuttle
6.97 three-cone drill
37.5-inch vertical jump
10'1" broad jump.
Attended Booker T. Washington (Tulsa, Okla.) High School, playing football for head coach Antwain Jimmerson
Parade and Super Prep All-America selection as a senior
Rated the second-best wide receiver prospect in nation by Super Prep and earned Gatorade Oklahoma Player of the Year honors
Ranked as the best overall prospect in Oklahoma, the nation's third-best receiver and the eighth-ranked player in the Midlands region by Rivals.com
Was the eight-ranked receiver by Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report and nominated for the Jim Thorpe Award
As a senior, the All-State first-team choice racked up 543 receiving yards and ten touchdowns and rushed for 531 yards and eight more scores, guiding the team to a 13-1 record and a runner-up finish in the state AAAAA championship
Also played point guard on school's two-time state basketball championship team.
Born Robert Emery Meachem on 9/28/84
Resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma.