Gridiron Football Top 300: Charlie von der Meden

Charlie von der Meden is a class of 2024 kicker and punter for Tomball High School in Tomball, Texas. Ranked as the 20th kicker and 34th punter in the nation, he has been labeled a 5-star prospect by Kohl’s Professional Camps. As a multi-sport athlete, Charlie also is a member of the varsity soccer team, spending a few months in the football offseason competing for Tomball soccer. Described by Kohl’s as having incredible explosiveness, his 75-yard kickoff in the showcase with a hang time of 3.83 seconds showed his remarkable ability. His participation in the December 2022 showcase camp yielded 12 points on field goals, 113.2 points on kickoffs, and 102.9 points as a punter. Not only has he demonstrated to be one of the top kickers in the country, but his 4.12 weighted GPA demonstrates his ability to balance his academic responsibilities and stand out as a top student-athlete.

Charlie Q&A:

Q: Why did you first start playing football and what has motivated you to keep playing?

“Well I started playing football just to hang out with friends, all my friends were doing it and that was the reason I got into it. The atmosphere of the football games, and now wanting to play at the next level, that’s what’s kept me going.”

Q: What is the biggest lesson your coaches have taught you so far?

“I feel like especially in kicking, just control what I can control, not worry about the snap and hold, but do the best with whatever is given to me.”

Q: What activities outside of football keep you sharp for the season?

“In the offseason, I take a 3-month break and do school soccer. It’s something different, it’s really different from kicking, I have to use different parts of my brain that I don’t normally have to use in football. Also it helps with strength and that type of thing for when I get back into kicking.”

Charlie during a kickoff (photo via Charlie von der Meden)

Q: What is one of the major obstacles you’ve overcome so far?

“My childhood I was a soccer and cross-country kid, so coming into football which is all about power and explosiveness, I had to get into the weight room and get more serious. Once I did, that’s when I started to become a better player.”

Q: What is your biggest strength as a player?

“My biggest strength is being able not to worry about the past. If I have a bad day kicking-wise I’m able to go home, forget about it, and come back the next day ready to grow on it.”

Q: What is your proudest football memory?

“My sophomore year, we had a playoff game at home. It sold out on a Saturday, and the atmosphere was just really really good.”

Charlie attempting a field goal (photo via Charlie von der Meden)

Q: What are some of your upcoming goals you have set for yourself?

“This offseason, I’m really getting ready, I want to have a great senior year and stay perfect on my field goals throughout the season and also want all of my kickoffs going for touchbacks.”

Q: Do you have a dream college school?

“My dream college would probably be the University of Texas, they have a really good football program, they’re close to home, and it’s also one of the best academic schools.”

Q: Is there a kicker in the NFL that you look up to?

“Evan McPherson. When I got into kicking, he was one of the better college kickers, so I watched him. I’ve seen him come up as one of the best collegiate kickers and transition into the NFL, so seeing that whole journey has definitely inspired me.”

Q: If you could talk to a college recruiter, how would you pitch yourself as a player?

“I would talk about how much I’ve grown. I wasn’t that good freshman year, but I kept working and working. Now I’ve gotten pretty good so I think that growth says a lot about me as a player.”

Charlie celebrating post-game (photo via Charlie von der Meden)

Q: Who is an inspirational figure in your life?

“My dad, growing up, he doesn’t play sports, but he has a job and he’s always working hard. I’m grateful for everything he’s done, he worked extra hours and gained promotions and that’s showed me a lot and shaped the discipline I have now.”

Q: Do you have a pre-game routine you go through?

“Before games, I really try to listen to music, I put my phone on do not disturb, drink a lot of water. Those are the habits before the game but I don’t really have an exact pregame routine.”

Q: If you had to give advice to any soccer players transitioning into football, what advice would you give them?

“It’s definitely to not sleep on the weight room. The sooner you can become explosive, put some mass on you, that’s when you can begin to take your game to the next level.”