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Jim Tressel Sent Family Of Michigan Lineman Elliott Mealer A Touching Note In 2010

Lineman Elliott Mealer grew up an Ohio State fan, but eventually found himself wearing maize and blue after meeting former Michigan coaches Lloyd Carr and Mike DeBord. Before he made it to Ann Arbor, however, tragedy struck. Mealer and his brother Brock were involved in a car accident that killed his father and his girlfriend. Brock was left paralyzed from the waist down.

After the accident, Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, who had lost the recruiting battle for Mealer, sent flowers to the family. That wasn't his last act of kindness towards the Mealers. In 2010, Brock Mealer walked out onto the field at Michigan Stadium and touched the famous "M Club" banner before a game against Connecticut. After the emotional event, Tressel sent a note to Sandra Mealer Barber, the aunt of Elliott and Brock, congratulating the family on their accomplishments.

">September 1, 2015

Elliott Mealer shared the story for the first time with's Steve Kornacki.

Barber had sent a photo of Brock touching the banner to Tressel along with a thank you for the signed Ohio State football helmet he sent for a charity golf outing held in memory of her brother, David, the father of her nephews. Part of the proceeds went to benefit paralyzed patients at Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.

Elliott Mealer was taken aback by that kind gesture.

"It was hand-written and it really touched me," said Elliott. "Jim Tressel and his brother, Doc, recruited me."


"I've never shared this before, but I think that it's a part of the story that should be told. To have an Ohio State coach write 'Go Blue!' on a card. How neat was that?"

Rarely are there football stories that both Ohio State and Michigan fans can appreciate and cherish, but this is one of them.