Q&A with Jonah Melton
When you arrived at UNC on Saturday you intended on verbally committing, correct?
What was it about UNC that had you convinced?
“I really knew at the beginning of this month that I really didn’t want to go too far from home. That was a big factor for me, because I want my family to come and see wherever I go. And out of my options, Carolina was just everything that I wanted in a school – education, football, and the relationships with the coaches. It was just everything that I wanted.”
Speaking of your relationship with the coaches, exactly how important was your relationship with Chris Kapilovic, UNC’s offensive line coach?
“I really liked talking with Coach Kap, because every time I call him, he asked me how I was doing in football, but it’s always other stuff other than football that we talk about – how my family is doing, what I’m doing this weekend. I just had a relationship with him that was beyond football.”
The recruiting process hit you seemingly out of nowhere pretty hard. How did the grind of the process impact your decision?
“It was a little bit. But, it just felt right. It was the right time to do it, I thought.”
When did you actually decide that you wanted to make the commitment on Saturday prior to the game?
“It was this past week.”
Obviously you could have held a press conference, you could have just called the coaches, but what was it that made you want to wait until your pregame meeting with Larry Fedora to do it then?
“I just wanted it to be just a little more special where all my family could be there. My grandparents came over. I got to meet with Coach Fedora and it just seemed like a good time to do it.”
Did the UNC coaches know ahead of time? Did you give them any hints?
“I put out that tweet [on Friday night] that I was announcing the next day. I guess they sort of knew. When I went in [Fedora’s office], we talked for a little bit, but then Coach Kap brought up that I was going to announce that day. I just went ahead and told him. I think he already knew before I said anything.”
Did you do or say anything special?
“When I did, [Fedora] told me to say, ‘I’m Jonah Melton and I’m a Tar Heel.’ So I did that.”
What did it feel like to actually say that phrase?
“Growing up, cheering them on, and going to a lot of their games, it was real special. I’m just really excited.”
It’s well-known that you grew up a UNC fan, but you have another connection to the school.
“My stepdad works for the electricity, so for some of the [UNC] games he works them in case any of the lights go out.”
How firm is this commitment? Will you visit any other schools?
“I’m not going to visit any other schools.”
UNC has three more home games. Will you make all three?
During Saturday’s game, there were several 2016 UNC pledges in the stands – Jordon Brown, Chazz Surratt, and Jay Jay McCargo. Did they welcome you?
“After I went to the locker room after the game, I was with Coach Kap and then I talked to Jay Jay for a little bit. And while I was watching the game, Chazz saw that I was committed and I was talking with him for a little bit.”
How different did it feel for you being on campus yesterday, talking to the commits and the players, and knowing that this is your school?
“It definitely felt different. I was talking with my friends about it during the game. I was thinking about how in a year and a half I’m going to be out there for the next four years. It was just cool to think about. I’m just excited.”
Staying with this current season, what are your expectations for UNC, which had another ACC win on Saturday?
“I feel like they’re doing very well right now and hopefully they can go undefeated the rest of the season.”
We’re still in the 2016 cycle, but do you plan on helping with the 2017 class?
“I’m going to help recruit, yes sir.”
Are there any recruits that you have your eye on?
“I know Jordon Riley, he’s a defensive tackle. T.J. Moore, I know him out of Mallard Creek [and] he’s an offensive lineman in my class.”
Your focus now is Eastern Alamance, which is undefeated. How far do you think your team can go?
“I feel like we can go all the way, we’ve just got to continue to work hard day by day while taking one game at a time.”