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Layton’s Meacham brothers face off as Weber State plays Utah State

By Brett Hein - Standard-Examiner | Sep 8, 2022
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LEFT: Weber State tight end Hayden Meacham (96) tries to escape a James Madison tackle on Sept. 18, 2021, in Ogden (Brian Wolfer, Special to the Standard-Examiner). RIGHT: Utah State offensive lineman Wade Meacham warms up in Logan (Utah State Athletics).
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Weber State tight end Hayden Meacham (96) tries to run through a tackle from a James Madison tackler Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, at Stewart Stadium in Ogden.
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In this undated photo, Utah State offensive lineman Wade Meacham warms up in Logan.

OGDEN — For the first time in seven years, Hayden and Wade Meacham will be on the same football field.

The two brothers — Wade, an offensive lineman at Utah State and Hayden, a tight end at Weber State — will see their teams face off at 5 p.m. Saturday when the Wildcats visit Logan.

Each of the Layton natives is listed as a starter in positions that normally wouldn’t pit brother against brother directly.

However …

Hayden played defensive line in high school and transitioned to an increasingly more skilled tight end after getting to Weber State. So for one season at Layton High School, younger brother Hayden battled older brother Wade in the trenches during practice.

“That was always super fun to be able to compete against my brother and have that little bit of a rivalry,” Hayden said.

Could we see Weber State’s No. 96 line up across from Utah State’s No. 79 this week?

“I’ve talked a little bit to Coach (Jay) Hill about it and he’s been joking about it with me a little bit,” Hayden said. “I know my dad would love to see it. My mom said she’s going to go to the bathroom if it happens because she doesn’t want to see it.

“If the opportunity comes up, I would love it. If not, I know I have a role to do on offense. Either way, I’ll be excited just to get out there and play his team.”

If there’s one spot that might find the tight end’s support handy, it might be WSU’s young defensive ends group.

Hill is at least not closed to the idea.

“I’ve got to decide if he’s really going to win that battle,” Hill said sportively. “If I think he’s going to win one-on-one on a critical third down, heck yeah we’ll put him in there against his brother. I would have loved to have gone against my older brother. It’s an opportunity for the younger brother to finally get one up on the older brother. Who knows what will happen.”

The brothers and former Lancers have traveled similar roads. Both put in time on scout and special teams and worked their way to starting roles this season.

Wade, listed as a senior for USU, appeared in one game in 2019, four games in 2020, then played 139 snaps in nine games at offensive line last season. He got his first career starts this season against UConn and Alabama.

In a transition from defense to offense, Hayden, listed as a junior for WSU, appeared in 15 games mostly on special teams or as a short-yardage blocker in 2019. He caught four career passes between the 2019 and spring 2021 seasons before the fall 2021 season when he totaled 19 receptions for 150 yards and four touchdowns. He pulled in one catch for 15 yards in WSU’s opener against Western Oregon.

“It’s exciting,” Hayden said. “It is rewarding to last year, get that starting spot halfway through the year. But I pay big gratitude to the guys in my room because they all work so hard. We all push each other every day in workouts, on the field, in the film room. We’re always pushing each other. So it feels nice to be rewarded, catching passes, being rewarded in the run game, but also seeing the other (tight ends) be involved as well.”

Hill has liked Hayden’s growth to this point.

“We love Hayden,” Hill said. “He grew up just down the street and understands what Weber State football is. He practices each day like that. He’s an extremely hard worker and continues to get better and better every year. If his career continues to go the way it is, I think he’ll have opportunities to play professionally.

“He’s an elite-level person, he’s the epitome of why you coach. He’s graduated, he’s in a master’s program. All that stuff is what you want to see these kids accomplish in his life, he’s doing it. And he’s a dang good player. So we’re very lucky to have him.”

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