When Adam Mehelic first started playing youth football in second grade, all eyes were on him.

That's because Mehelic could be found barking out signals as his team's starting quarterback.

Fast forward 10 years later and Mehelic's days of playing behind center have long been a thing in the past.

Mehelic certainly didn't mind, though.

That's because the Hudson senior signed a national letter of intent to continue his academic and football careers at Miami University in Oxford.

Mehelic is expected to line up at tight end for the Red Hawks. He mastered that position during his career with the Explorers, who have reached the state semifinals the last three years.

It's safe to say the RedHawks didn't need to do much selling to recruit the 6-foot-4, 245-pound tight end/lineman. Mehelic verbally committed to Miami April 9.

"I really connected with the coaches," he said. "They want to win championships. They want guys who love football and love working."

Miami finished 6-7 in 2016 after losing to Mississippi State University 17-16 in the St. Petersburg Bowl in St. Petersburg, Fla. The RedHawks also finished 6-2 in the Mid-American Conference.

Mehelic saw more time on the offensive line in 2016. Therefore, his numbers were a bit down compared to his junior year.

After gaining 235 receiving yards and scoring 3 touchdowns in 2015, Mehelic, who was undecided about his major, caught 8 passes for 71 yards as a senior.

But having Mehelic on the field opened up a number of opportunities for the Explorers' other skill-position players.

As a result, Hudson finished 11-3, shared its first Suburban League National Conference title with Stow-Munroe Falls and reached the Division II state semifinals for the second consecutive year.

"Adam is a tremendous competitor," Explorers' first-year head coach Jeff Gough said. "He is one of the best tight ends in the state. He is able to stretch the field and he has the best hands on our team. He's a great leader, a very hard worker and is really passionate about the game."

So why did Mehelic switch from the most glamourous position in the game to a far less gaudy place on the field?

The answer is simple, really. He enjoyed being a tight end.

"It wasn't too hard," Mehelic said. "I had the size and I was good at it. The blocking part was hard, though."

Gough's favorite memory of Mehelic took place during a scrimmage. It's something he won't forget any time soon.

"He found himself in the flat and he grabbed the ball that was behind him, pulled it down and then just accelerated," Gough said. "For him to move that fast for a kid that big was really something. He just physically dominated the line of scrimmage."

Mehelic, whose brother Ben, a 2015 Hudson graduate, also attends Miami, does have one regret as he prepares to move forward from his illustrious career at Hudson.

He didn't lead his team to a state title.

"We really wanted to get that state championship," Mehelic said. "We had a great run. I'm definitely excited for Miami. I've had some great friends go there."

Gough has no doubt Mehelic will succeed on the collegiate level.

"He's a fantastic kid," Gough said. "He has a really bright future and comes from a terrific family."

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