In a game dominated by strong defensive play and mediocre performances by all the quarterbacks involved, All-American Elon receiver Aaron Mellette (SLHS) never really had a chance to shine as he registered no catches in the South squad's 21-16 defeat to the North in the 2013 Senior Bowl this past weekend in Mobile, Ala.
The experience, however, was worth every moment as Mellette lined up and competed against some of the nation’s top college talent coming out in this year’s NFL draft. "It's brought out the competitor in me because you're learning from NFL coaches and they get to see how you interact with your teammates. It feels good to be here. It means I'm one of the elite seniors in the country and that I'm able to play with the SEC guys, the ACC guys, the Big Ten guys, the guys I'm watching on TV or playing with on video games," he said.
Fortunately for Mellette, his jaw dropping numbers that he accumulated in four years at Elon and impressive collection of awards and honors speak volumes about the ability he possesses at wide receiver. As he donned the pads for the last time as a college player, the realization of the next the helmet he straps on will more than likely feature an NFL logo had already started to set in. "I never dreamed of being drafted, especially not when I went to an FCS school," Mellette said. "It never really crossed my mind until I got to my senior season.”
ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay noted that Mellette will probably be a third- or fourth-round selection. "You can use him in the slot, use him outside and try to create mismatches. That would be the best fit. He's made some tough catches this week, and I've seen it on tape. A team won't spend a first- or second-round pick on him, but I think when you get into the third round, teams like the Texans and West Coast teams that value size could be in the mix."
Now that the hoopla of his final collegiate game has passed, Mellette will return to his temporary home of late, Miami, and pick up where he left off, training with Pete Bommarito's Performance Systems in preparation for his next big event, the NFL draft combine in February. Even with the potential of becoming the first NFL player to come out of Sanford in many years, the always modest Mellette continues to keep everything in perspective, “I’m just glad I got to represent my university today and went out there and had some fun with it.”
Williams collects 100th victory
Three-time all-American and defending national champion Mike Williams (SLHS) (28-1) became the 23rd member of UNC-Pembroke's 100-win club with a first-period pin to help the 13th-ranked Braves (6-6) topple Seton Hill, 28-13, in the second session of the NCAA Super Region I Duals on Friday evening in Newberry's Eleazer Arena. UNC-Pembroke would go on to finish 3-1 in the Duals, including an upset victory over ninth-ranked West Liberty on Saturday morning.
Williams would finish the weekend undefeated with a perfect 4-0 record, collecting three pins to escalate his mark to eight pins on the season. In his first action of the duals, he would pin Mercyhurst’s Grant Chase at the 2:28 mark and, in the next matchup, Williams pinned Seton Hill’s Randall Wagner at 1:17. Williams collected his third pin of duals against ninth-ranked West Liberty’s Andy Church at the 2:38 mark and would finish his unblemished weekend with a 9-0 major decision over 11th-ranked Pitt-Johnston’s Keith Ryan. The Braves will return home on Friday night to host region rival Anderson in the annual "Battle for the Belt" inside the English E. Jones Center at 7 p.m.
Akeem Richmond (SLHS) and East Carolina (12-7, 3-3) dispatched the University of Alabama at Birmingham, 91-85, earlier in the week, but then lost to University of Texas-El Paso, 68-67, as the Miners nailed a three-pointer as time expired. Against UAB, Richmond played an integral part of ECU basketball history as he was one of six players finishing in double figures, securing the Pirates' 1,000th basketball victory in the program's 80-year history. Richmond would finish as the leading scorer off the bench with 12 points and two rebounds in 16 minutes of play. In the loss to UTEP, Richmond contributed three points, one block and one rebound. The Pirates will host Memphis on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tipoff before hitting the road to face Rice on Saturday at 8 p.m.
Julian Martin (SLHS) and N.C. Wesleyan (12-7, 5-5) collected two victories, defeating Methodist, 82-77, and then downing Ferrum, 70-65, in front of a packed house at Everett Gym commemorating the program's 50-year anniversary. Martin started at guard for the Battling Bishops against Methodist, scoring five points and adding a rebound and an assist. Against Ferrum, Martin would come off the bench to score six points and grab a rebound. This week, Wesleyan will be on the road traveling to Averett on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. game and then to Mid-Atlantic Christian on Saturday at 4 p.m.
Josh Mellette (SLHS) and Wake Tech defeated Lenoir CC, 94-70, to improve to 14-5 and stay undefeated in conference play with a 4-0 record — extending their win streak to four games. Mellette has now started in all 18 games for the Eagles and leads Wake Tech in many categories, including scoring averaging 14.7 points per game, minutes played with 28.3 per game, rebounds per game averaging 9.4, steals per game averaging 1.5 and is second in blocks with 2.8. The Eagles will be on the road this week traveling Wednesday to Louisburg College for a 7 p.m. game and Saturday to Guilford Tech CC for a 3 p.m. tipoff.
Ace Chalmers (SLHS) and Davidson CC (16-5, 1-3) picked up two wins last week, cruising past Central Carolina CC, 85-60, and then downing Belmont Abbey’s JV, 96-84. Starting at guard in both contests, Chalmers would finish as the second leading scorer with 14 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals against the Cougars. In the second game, he would add eight points, eight assists, six rebounds and two steals. The Storm will host two games this week with Thomasville Prep visiting on Wednesday and Wytheville CC on Saturday.
Alex Tucker (LCHS) and Francis Marion University (6-9, 2-7) split games, defeating Clayton State, 70-61, but then falling to USC-Aiken, 100-82. The Patriots will have a two-game homestand this week, hosting Johnson and Wales on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. game and Flagler on Saturday for a 3:30 tipoff.
Elijah Buie, Dwayne McEachin (Grace Christian) and Davis College (5-10, 1-1) split games last week, defeating St. John Fisher College JV, 84-61, but then lost to Williamson Trade, 50-77. The Falcons will be in action three times this week, having played Broome CC last night, they will face the Albany College of Pharmacy on Thursday and host Penn State Worthington on Saturday.
Russell Tatum (LCHS) and Peace College (3-8) finished the week 1-1, falling to Randolph, 80-63, and then bouncing back to defeat, Johnson and Wales, 78-69. Tatum saw action in the loss to Randolph, grabbing one rebound in three minutes of play. The Pacers will host Central Carolina CC today for a 7 p.m. game, and then travel to face UNC-Chapel Hill’s JV at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Yazzy Butler (SLHS) and UNC-Pembroke (9-10, 3-7) finished the week 1-1, downing Montevallo, 61-53, but then losing to Augusta State, 57-40. Butler scored two points in the Lady Braves' win over Montevallo and grabbed two rebounds in Pembroke’s loss to Augusta State. UNCP will host Armstrong Atlantic at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.