ShareThis Page

Falcons draft pick still grieving

| Monday, April 26, 2010

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It should have been one of the happiest days in Kerry Meier's life, a lifelong dream come true.

If only he could make the nightmare go away.

On Saturday, five days after older brother Dylan died in a tragic accident during a hiking trip with almost the entire close-knit family looking on, Kerry was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons. The record-breaking wide receiver from Kansas was taken in the fifth round.

But on Monday, Dylan Meier, a former quarterback at Kansas State and a member of one of the state's most prominent family of athletes, will be buried.

"It's so hard to grasp right now, four or five days later after my brother passed away," Meier said in a conference call with media who cover the Falcons. "It's a surreal experience and something I still don't really feel happened. I'm thinking my brother is going to come walking through that door with that big smile on his face."

Dylan, 26, died in an accident while hiking with Kerry and other family members in Arkansas. He had planned to fly to South Korea to become an English teacher after Kerry was drafted.

"For the 26 years that my brother lived and me being able to be a part of 23 of those, it's something that you can't really put into words, the bond and relationship that we had and the type of guy he was to me, being a big brother," Meier said. "You couldn't ask for a better guy. He was very protective and looked out for me in every way possible, and it's definitely going to be very hard to let this guy go."

The oldest of the football-playing brothers, Shad Meier, was a tight end at Kansas State and played in the NFL for six years, mostly with Tennessee.

Kerry, who is 6-foot-2 and 224 pounds, converted from quarterback to wide receiver for the Jayhawks and set a school record with 102 catches for 985 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior. He set another Kansas record with 226 career catches.

"Being an ex-quarterback, I think I bring a knowledge of the game and just being a good football player," he said. "I'm not going to wow you with my speed or anything like that, but I think that one thing I do well is I pay very, very close attention to what I do.

"I pay close attention to details, and I think I do the ordinary things well. I think with the opportunity I have coming in, anything I'm asked to do, I think I can do it."

He still feels as though Dylan is looking after him.

"The news I got today, besides me being the happiest guy, he's the second-happiest guy for me," he said.

"He's pushed me through a lot of tough times growing up, and he's always been right there for me. He showed me the way, and now I just want to continue my football career in honor of him."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.