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An Interview with Former Gamecock Baseball Player Drew Meyer

With excellent speed, a strong arm, and great bat, Drew Meyer (2000-2002) is one of the best high school baseball players in South Carolina history.  Having spurned an offer from the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1999 after his senior year at Bishop England High School (Charleston, SC), Meyer joined the South Carolina Gamecocks as one of its most heralded recruits ever.  The summer prior to his arrival in Columbia, Meyer was a member of the South Carolina Diamond Devils AAU squad before joining the US Junior National Team that won a gold medal in Taiwan (Two of his teammates on Team USA were Joe Mauer and Carlos Quentin.  You may have heard of them.) In his first year as a Gamecock, Meyer was named Second Team All-SEC and earned Freshman All-America honors, hitting .320 with 11 HR and 49 RBI.  As a sophomore, he hit .303 with 7 HR, 37 RBI, and had a team high 20 SB, garnering mention by Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America as a 2002 Preseason All-American.  In his third and final year, Meyer helped lead South Carolina to the national championship game and its first College World Series under Head Coach Ray Tanner. He hit a career high .359 and stole 39 bases en route to being named an All-American and All-SEC.  Meyer's career batting average as a Gamecock is .320.  Last year, he was named the starting shortstop on The State's 2000-2010 USC Baseball All-Decade Team.

On June 4, 2002, Drew Meyer was selected 10th overall by the Texas Rangers in the first round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft.  Four years later, Meyer made his debut in the big leagues.  He played in five games for the Texas Rangers, starting three at second base, and participating in two others as a right fielder and shortstop.  He batted .214 and scored 1 run.  He lived a dream.  Meyer recently retired from baseball and is currently at the University of South Carolina finishing his degree.

How does it feel to be back in school at the University of South Carolina?  It feels awesome to be back in South Carolina.  I've got a lot of family and friends here, and have a lot of great memories, on and off the field, here in  Columbia.

What degree are you working to earn, and what are your plans once you've finished?  I'm currently getting my degree in Business Management and at this point I'm not sure what I want to get into after I finish up.  Hopefully, I'll be able to figure it out over the next 18 months while I finish up classes.

What was your favorite team moment during your time as a Gamecock?  My favorite team moment was the Sunday Super Regional win over Miami to send us to Omaha.  We were down 4-1 in the 9th and pulled off an amazing comeback. We had worked so hard and come so close the two previous years and I knew that this was my last shot to go to Omaha.

What was your most thrilling personal moment in a Carolina uniform?  My favorite personal moment was my first hit as a Gamecock.  I started out the season without getting a hit in the opening weekend and the pressure just kept building to get the first one out of the way.  We played a tournament in my hometown of Charleston and I hit a big home run for my first hit.  It made it even better to do it in front of so many family and friends at Joe Riley Park.

If you can put it into words, describe your emotions when you made your first appearance as a Major League Baseball player?  I think it was just a sense of accomplishment.  It's a long road to get to that point.  My family flew out to Dallas and Phil Nevin put them in a box suite for the game.  It definitely was a dream come true.

The Gamecocks are now back-to-back National Champions.  As a former player, what do you think it means to Coach Tanner and Carolina Baseball to have achieved such an accomplishment and to have strung together the successful seasons he's had since your tenure?  It means a lot to Coach Tanner and the South Carolina baseball program.  Coach Tanner has put his heart and soul into USC and I'm just glad he's getting the recognition that he deserves.  When he recruited me 13 years ago, he told me he was building a winning program with integrity, and that's exactly what he's done.