One of nation's top DT's names his favorites

Rolando Melancon (DT, Lutcher, LA) - One of the more sought after defensive tackles in the deep South has helped his team to the Class 3A quarterfinals.

"I could not ask for a better senior season," stated the well spoken Rolando Melancon. "I am closing in on a 100 tackles, and I have a bunch of fumble recoveries (7), forced fumbles (8), sacks (5), interceptions (3), and I even returned one of them for a 54 yard TD."

Melancon entered the season as the the 2005 District 9 (3A) MVP and was a preseason All-Times Picayune selection at defensive tackle but feels like he has taken his game to another level.

"I am just more active this year. I am moving well to the ball. I am chasing down QB's way down the field, and I am a better side line to side line player. My motor never stops going."

It is that motor and physical skills that has colleges from across the nation knocking on Rolando's door.

"I have over 45 D1 offers, but my top schools are Michigan, Nebraska, Tennessee, Ole Miss, and definitely LSU."

Melancon took an official visit to Tennessee earlier this month and had an enjoyable experience.

"It went real well. They are nice people. Very friendly people. They showed a lot of interest in me. As soon as I walked in the recruiting office, they had their whole staff in there and welcomed me in for my official visit. I got along with their defensive line coach (Brooks) really well. And Coach Trooper (Taylor) is a trip. They are a real close knit program. They are all real close."

Where will Rolando visit next?

"I have one set up to Ole Miss for December 1st and Arkansas for December 8th, but hopefully I will still be in the playoffs during those visits. The championship game is December 8th, so if we are still playing, I will schedule them as soon as the season is over.."

Coach Orgeron for Ole Miss is noted as one of the top recruiters in the country and this has caught Melancon's eye?

""The thing about Ole Miss is that I can play immediately. Coach Orgeron, that is who I talk to a lot. The intensity and passion for the game he has; I can relate to. He also coached my idol, Warren Sapp. That stands out. Recently, he recruited Matt Lienart and Reggie Bush, so you know he is going to get top talent in there at Ole Miss. The energy they have over there really stands out to me though."

The Hogs have had a magical run this season and Rolando likes the direction Arkansas' program is headed.

"I think in the near future they are going to win a national championship with Darren McPhadden and Mitch Mustain. I just think the opportunity to win a national championship is high if I go to Arkansas. I want to be a part of that, and Coach Campbell said I could help them out early."

Michigan was the early leader for Rolando's services and they are still very high on his list.

"They are still up there. Coach Jackson says they do not want me, they need me. That's big right there. They have a chance to compete for national championships every year. I like that about them."

Nebraska has been on Rolando's list from day one and nothing has changed.

"They are still up there too. Coach Blake is recruiting me. He told me he still works out Jason Taylor (Miami Dolphins) and that is pretty impressive. I have not talked to Nebraska in a long time because my phone is off, but they are still up there."

The home state Tigers have several factors going for them.

"They compare me to some of their greats like Claude Wrotten and Marcus Spears and some of those guys. They are going to give me a high opportunity for me to play a big role for them. They said they do not want me to leave the state. They want to keep the core players in the state like me and Stefoin Francois, Joe McKnight, Will Blackwell, Luther Davis, Rishaw Johnson, Chad Jones, and Drake Nevis together. They said if they can keep us all in state, they can win some national championships."

Two of Rolando's favorites faced off against each other Saturday when the Tigers faced the Rebels. What were his observations from the game?

"I did not get a chance to see the Ole Miss/LSU game because I had a game the night before. I heard LSU stole one from them though. That kind of surprised me that Ole Miss was that good because they are so young. I know they have been getting a lot of good players from around here like Drake (Nevis), Rishaw (Johnson) and Alex (Williams). Ole Miss is on the rise, and LSU is going to continue being LSU. They are two really good programs."

Melancon has two coaches that he has really been drawn to.

"Coaches Orgeron (Ole Miss) and Taylor (Tennessee). They have so much energy over there. They are like little kids. They are always hollering on the phone and getting me all fired up. They are my kind of coaches."

When it comes decision time; what will be the main factors?

"I am mainly looking at the rosters. I want to see how many guys they rotate in. Playing time is the main factor for me. The environment will be important too, but it will mainly be the playing time. Where I get a chance to play early and compete; that's where I want to go."

Rolando claims a 2.25 GPA / 17 ACT.

OM Spirit Top Stories