Joe Mele, LB, 6-2, 220, 4.68, 30 inch vertical leap, Manasquan H.S.
Continuing with our coverage the best players in Monmouth County I got a chance to talk to Manasquan's Joe Mele on Thursday night.
After about five minutes of talking with Joe you realize he is a high energy and high aspiration type of guy. "I want to make every single play when I am out on the field. It is like I am a different person when I play football."
Joe is equally intense in developing his athletic skills. Off season weight training is scheduled 3-4 days a week, add to that speed training 2-3 times a week and, as Joe adds, "I'll do some running on top of that." Joe wants it made known that he is a worker. "I will walk through a brick wall for coaches", Joe noted, and added that his intensity on the field is one of his strongest assets.
All that work has paid off. As an outside linebacker last year Joe's stats were impressive. He had 110 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 interception, 4 forced fumbles and 8 passes knocked down. That performance won him all county honors in Monmouth County last season and this year Joe will get a chance to really pump up those stats even more as he'll be moved to the middle linebacker position.
Early interest in Joe has come from Rutgers, Boston College, Penn State, Virginia, Illinois and several Ivy League schools who have taken note of his academic as well as his athletic achievements.
In terms of a school Joe is focused on getting a top notch education. "That's important, that's my ticket to getting a good job." Joe would like to go to a school with a campus that is not too big or too small but he doesn't rule out Rutgers for some obvious reasons. "My Dad (Joe Mele, Sr.) played football there. He played on the undefeated team in 1976."
Joe already attended the PSU Nike Camp and this summer he will attend the Boston College Camp, the Princeton Camp and one other, possibly Rutgers or Virginia. Rutgers fans have to hope it is "Rutgers" so that the coaching staff can get a chance to evaluate this outstanding player up close.
Mele is being recruited by Joe Susan of Rutgers.
Mike Fasano: MikeFasano@comcast.net