Melvin Ray has LSU on his early short list

LSU defensive line coach Earl Lane used his strong ties to the Sunshine State to land three players in the 2007 class and now he is after one of the state's top wide outs for 2008 in Melvin Ray (6-4, 196, 4.5).

Last season for Chiles High School in Tallahassee, Fla., Melvin Ray recorded 507 yards on 25 catches and averaged 20.7 yards per catch. He hauled in four touchdown grabs as well as ran three back on special teams.


So far, he has received offers from Maryland, Ole Miss, Florida State and Alabama, with schools like LSU, Florida and Georgia heavy on the recruiting trail.


"Right now LSU, Florida State and Georgia are catching my eye," said Ray. "They seem to really be putting a lot of effort out. I've received plenty of letters from LSU and I've talked with coach Lane and coach (Josh) Henson through text messages and I've called them a couple of times."


Ray said he hasn't had a chance to really get to know many of the coaches recruiting him but he feels like he is already starting to establish a good relationship with Lane.


"I like him; he's real cool," said Ray. "He came and watched me play one game and we've communicated well with each other. I feel real comfortable around him, which is a good thing. The only other coach I really feel that way with is the one from Florida."


At first glance, Ray said there are some things that stand out about LSU.


"I like the fact that their program is just outstanding every year," he said. "The receiving corps is always a top class and I'm just very anxious to see what it's going to be like down there. I know they have a good quarterback with more quarterbacks coming in. I love to watch them make the big play. I really just like their offense."


Other than that, Ray's conversations with Lane and Henson have made him feel at ease with LSU.


"I don't know the rest of the guys, but hopefully they are like coach Lane and coach Henson are," said Ray. "They are just down to earth and fun to talk to. They really make it seem like a place to be."


Ray said he talked to Henson a few days ago, and that he invited him to the spring game. He was also invited to junior day but he will not be attending because of a conflicting baseball schedule and some academic work he wants to get done.


The standout receiver recently switched schools from Chiles to North Florida Christian Academy because he felt like he would be better prepared for the course load he will encounter in college and the move has paid off well so far.


"I started out sluggish my freshman and sophomore year at Chiles," said Ray. "Once I realized that I had a real opportunity to play in college I started to buckle down. Since I've come to NFC I have done 10 times better. It's just a smaller atmosphere and I'm doing better here."


Note** Ray took both the ACT and SAT and said he scored in the high 800's on the SAT. He said he hopes to attend the camps this summer and the ones he is most likely to visit will be LSU, Alabama, Florida and Georgia if he is able to find time to make the trip.






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