Versatility Defined

Look up "multipurpose" in the dictionary and you might well see a photo of Aurora High School's Anthony Melchiori.

Melchiori, a rising senior at Aurora, played wide receiver on offense, cornerback on defense, punted, kicked off and returned both punts and kickoffs in 2010. He's planning on adding placekicking to that list in 2011, which means that he might never come off the field, and raises the possibility that he could play every play in a game this year.

"Actually, I think I could play every snap of the entire season," the enthusiastic player said. "I just love to play football, and I want to be out there on the field all the time. I did get tired at times last year, but I just shut that out and don't let it affect my play. I do a lot of workouts to build stamina, including a lot of medium and long distance running."

Melchiori's energy and hustle, along with some impressive special teams work, has earned him notice on a summer camp tour that has included West Virginia, Syracuse, Cincinnati, Ohio State, Kent and Toledo.

"I've been going to those camps as a kicker and a punter, but I jump in there and take reps at wide receiver too," he said of his typical itinerary. "My future is in punting and kicking, but I want to get everything I can out of the camps when I go."

Melchiori did just that at one of West Virginia's one-day camps earlier this month. He worked with several specialists, then ran routes during individual and one-on-one sessions at wide receiver. At the conclusion of the afternoon, he changed roles to show what he could do as both a punter and placekicker.

"I shanked one of my first kicks, because I was still trying to get out of the wide receiver mode and into my kicking rhythm," he said frankly. "Once I got pas that, though, I think I did really well. I punted the ball well, and had good hang time, and I made seven of the eight field goals I tried.

"The coaches had good things to say to me," he continued. I talked with Coach Holgorsen and Coach Roberts, who is the special teams coach, and both of them said they were impressed with me. I'm also going to be talking to Coach Bedenbaugh, my recruiting coach, very soon."

Melchiori, who has a scholarship offer from Kent State, is hoping that his performance at WVU's camp will lead to an offer as well.

"I really hope I get good news from West Virginia, and that they offer me," he said. "West Virginia is my favorite school, and I told all the coaches that when I was there."

Melchiori believes he is more advanced as a punter and kickoff specialist at this point in his career, but is working to bring his placekicking game along as well. He boomed 87% of his kickoffs into the end zone as a junior while averaging more than 41 yards per punt, and thinks placekicking in games as a senior will help him progress.

"My punting wasn't my strong suit as a sophomore, but between then and my junior year I worked on it and got much better," he said. "I think I can work and do the same with placekicking. Getting out there in games and in front of a crowd will help me."

Although Melchiori is being recruited primarily as a punter and kicker, he makes it clear that he's a football player, first and foremost.

"I did start out playing soccer, but I'm not just a soccer guy that just wanted to kick," he said of his football career. "My dad played wide receiver at Kent State, and I've always wanted to play. It just worked out that I could do all of these things, and I'm really glad that it did."

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