OL Mark Melichar Talks Recruiting

Oak Mountain High School (Birmingham, AL) offensive right tackle Mark Melichar, who was nominated to play in the Alabama Junior All-Star game, now has four scholarship offers, the most recent being Mississippi State. Mark talked about his offers, his favorite schools and his feelings about Mississippi State and their offer.

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According to his most recent interview with Scout.com (July 6th), Mark Melichar had three scholarship offers - Southern Miss, Central Florida and Samford. Tuesday, he received his fourth. And it was a big one.

"I received an offer from Mississippi State," said the 6-4, 272-pounder. "(MSU assistant coach Freddie Kitchens) called my coach today and he called me and told me that I needed to call Coach Kitchens, who is the recruiting coach for my area. When I called Coach Kitchens, he explained to me that he and all the rest of the State coaches reviewed my one-on-one tapes at the camp and they all felt very strong about me and wanted to offer me. He said they felt that I was the type player that they are after and they all agreed that they would offer me. I was excited to hear that."

Mark explained how the offer came about.

"They had showed interest in me after looking at my tape, but they had wanted me to come to their camp and perform," he said. "I met (Mississippi State offensive line) Coach (J.B.) Grimes and Coach Kitchens when I first got to their camp. And I met (MSU head) Coach (Sylvester) Croom Friday night. He said he was happy that I was there and I told him I was happy to be there and thanked him for inviting me.

"(At the end of the camp) Coach Grimes said that they were very interested in me and liked my footwork. He told me he wanted to review my tape some more. And he said he would be calling me when he could start calling again."

The call to his head coach about their offer came two days later.

Not only did the camp help the MSU coaches learn more about Mark, but it also gave Mark the opportunity to learn more about the MSU football program.

"I didn't know a lot about them, although my dad graduated from Mississippi State," Mark said. "I had never seen the campus or the stadium."

Will having a dad who is a graduate of Mississippi State give MSU and advantage? Considering all his other school connections, probably not.

"I have an uncle who played at Southern Miss, my mother also went there and my sister goes to Auburn," said the All-Shelby County selection.

He did admit that he grew up a fan of one school, but that won't influence his school decision.

"I have grown up an Auburn fan," said Mark. "But after recruiting got going, I decided that I am open to just everything."

Who are Mark's top five schools?

"I would probably say my top five are Mississippi State, Auburn, Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech and Southern Miss," he said.

He didn't mention Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech as two schools that have offered him. When asked what kind of interest they are showing in him, he said, "they have been showing me a lot of interest. I get things in the mail from them on a regular basis. Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt are in the process of evaluating my transcripts."

When asked what criteria he would used to select his future football team, it is obvious he has thought about it quite a bit.

"The coaches will be important because you will surround yourself with them for 4 or 5 years," said Mark. "The facilities are important. Academics are important. I know that Coach Croom has definitely upped the (academics) standards there. I've heard that they have the second highest graduation rate in the SEC, which is great. I actually saw that at Vanderbilt when I was up there. Vanderbilt had a (academic) chart which showed they were number 1 and Mississippi State was number 2."

Does he have an idea when he will make a commitment?

"I haven't really thought about it," said Mark. "I've talked to my dad and we decided we are going to wait and evaluate all the schools and weigh all of our options. I'm not really sure about the timetable right now. It's just going to have to be a feeling with me."

Look for additional Mark Melichar updates beginning in September.

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Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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