Rydell Melancon was a tenacious defensive lineman for LSU back in the 80's and now there is another Melancon coming out of South Louisiana in 2007 who could follow that same road.
Meet Rolando Melancon, a 6-2, 270-pounder with 4.8 speed, out of Lutcher High School.
Rolando made a huge splash on the high school front as a freshman when he earned first team all-state honors and was recognized by one college football publication as one of the top 10 players in the country for 2007.
Over the course of the next two years, Rolando did nothing to disappoint those who gave him his lofty rating following his freshman year. As a sophomore and junior, he harassed opponents to the tune of 233 total tackles, including 54 behind the line of scrimmage, 16 sacks and 12 forced fumbles.
Throw in two district defensive MVP awards and numerous all-state awards and it is easy to see why schools from coast to coast are after the impressive talent.
"I've got offers from LSU, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Nebraska," Rolando claims. "Coaches from Alabama and Arkansas have said they are pretty close to offering and I think Miami and Colorado are close too."
Is there a leader at this point?
"If I was to decide right now it would be LSU," stated Rolando. "After them, I'm pretty big on Tennessee, Florida, Miami, Nebraska and Florida State."
Rolando said he grew up watching his second cousin, Rydell, play for the Tigers and the home field advantage is one of several factors that give the Tigers the early edge.
"It gives them an advantage but even if LSU wasn't in my backyard they would be at the top," he said. "I love Tiger Stadium and their tradition. They always have good defensive linemen too like Marcus Spears, Chad Lavalais and Claude Wroten."
LSU running backs coach Larry Porter has taken over Southeast Louisiana's recruiting territory since Karl Dunbar elected to move back to the NFL and one of his pet projects for this recruiting class appears to be Rolando.
"We usually talk twice a week," said the blue-chipper. "We talk a lot about my grades and how they think I could make an immediate impact for them. He says I remind them a lot of Claude Wroten because of my speed and my quick first step. He says they like their defensive tackles to have that quick first step and a high motor and that I have both."
The recruiting process is all about coaches and players building meaningful relationships and often those relationships will be the key factor in a recruit choosing a school.
Although Rolando has not known Porter for long the two have formed a pretty strong bond.
"He's a great guy," said Rolando. "He's funny and he has a good sense of humor. He tells me exactly what they think of me and what I need to improve on. I like for people to be real with me and coach Porter has always been real."
One area that Rolando has improved on dramatically over the past six months is his grades and he has gone from being someone who many felt would have to go the juco or prep school route to being one who has a real good chance of qualifying academically.
"My GPA is about a 2.25 now but I've done real well this semester," he said. "That is going to go up when I get my grades this summer so I feel good about my grades now."
There is plenty of time for Rolando to get his grades in order and to pick up many more scholarship offers. If he stays on the same course he has been on then the likelihood of both happening looks promising.
Rolando Melancon Has the Tigers at the Top
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