MEBANE, N.C. --- Jonah Melton, a four-star offensive guard from the 2017 class, has collected a dozen scholarship offers. Three of those schools – including one he grew up rooting for – have emerged as favorites for the 6-foot-3, 293-pounder from Eastern Alamance.
“I think Jonah is a self-motivated guy,” Eastern Alamance head coach John Kirby said. “He works hard. He works hard to be a perfectionist. Coming in, he was a big kid and you knew he had some potential to be pretty good… I think Jonah is a really good player, but I think he’s a projection guy, too. He’s a big, strong kid that we feel like is only going to get better.”
Melton was promoted to varsity a year ago. He started from the first game on at right tackle. He’ll move to left tackle for the coming season.
Since late March, a dozen schools have offered Melton. Clemson, East Carolina, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, South Carolina, Wake Forest, and West Virginia are a sampling of his offers.
“We’ve never really had anybody like that here that exploded that early,” Kirby said. “We’ve had guys to go and play [college ball], but we’ve never really had anybody who at 16 years old has several college offers.”
UNC’s offer was extended in May.
“I was excited,” Melton said. “It meant a lot. I grew up being a Carolina fan and it’s just exciting having somebody you grow up watching want me to play football for them.”
Melton, who plans to make a verbal commitment “whenever it feels right,” says that UNC is a member of his top three schools, along with NC State and South Carolina.
“I really want to stay close to home, because I really don’t like to go far from where I’m at,” Melton said. “And I know South Carolina has what I want to major in. And NC State, all the coaches, I like them. And then North Carolina, their program that I want to do is fourth in the nation, I like all the coaches, it’s close to home, and just everything is right.”
Melton is looking to major in exercise science in college.
After attending a junior day at UNC, Melton returned to campus twice for camps in June. The first camp was more instructional and allowed him to evaluate offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic as a coach.
“He’s a technician and I like that,” Melton said. “He actually spent time with me and worked with me and worked on my stance.”
A week later, Melton was once again in town for a UNC camp, but this time it was Fedora’s Freak Show.
“The Freak Show it was just a different environment,” Melton said. “It was more exciting. We were doing the bench reps at 225 and you could tell it was an exciting atmosphere and all the coaches were getting hyped up. It’s totally different [from a normal camp] – there’s more competition at the Freak Show and just overall fun, too (We played dodge ball). It was just a good time.”
Away from Chapel Hill, Melton has focused on building a relationship with Kapilovic.
“I’m starting to get to know Coach Kap more and more,” Melton said. “I talk to him every week and just talk. I’m going to go up there soon to one of their practices to just get to know him and watch how they coach.”
In addition to the preseason practice, Melton is working out the details to attend UNC’s season-opening game in Charlotte against South Carolina.
Besides UNC, Melton has visited Clemson, NC State, and Wake Forest.
During his freshman year, Melton played baseball for Eastern Alamance. He played lacrosse during his sophomore year. … He is ranked No. 149 in the nation by Scout.com and a four-star prospect.
2017 Target Jonah Melton
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