Elon's Mellette earns invitation to play in Senior Bowl
ELON - Elon standout wide receiver and former Southern Lee star Aaron Mellette will become the second Phoenix player to participate in a football all-star game at the NCAA Division I level as he has accepted an invitation to play in the annual Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. Mellette is the first Elon player to appear in the Senior Bowl which began in 1950.
This year's Senior Bowl will be played on Jan. 26, 2013 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium and will air on the NFL Network. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.
"It's a blessing and an honor to receive an invitation to Senior Bowl," said Mellette. "I can't wait to go down there and make Elon and my hometown of Sanford proud.
"This is a great opportunity for me to display my skills and show that I can play with these guys. I was very shocked when Coach (Jason) Swepson called me in and showed me the invitation, but I was filled with a lot of joy at the same time," Mellette said.
"This is a great honor for Aaron, and one that he deserves," Swepson said. "He has worked extremely hard, not only this year but for the past five years. Aaron put himself in this position and we, as a coaching staff, are glad that we could help him be successful. He has a bright future ahead of him and I know that the Elon community is excited to see him play at next level. I know that Elon will always be a special place for Aaron."
Mellette was a first-team All-Southern Conference selection by both the league's coaches and media members and placed eighth in the voting for the Walter Payton Award which is presented annually to the top player in the Football Championship Subdivision. The Sanford native concluded the season with a league-leading 108 points and 18 receiving touchdowns. The TD catches are tied for the second-most ever in a single season in SoCon history. In his senior year, Mellette caught 97 passes for 1,398 yards. He led the SoCon and ranked second nationally in both receptions per game (8.82) and receiving yards per game (127.09). He eclipsed 100 receiving yards in eight of Elon's 11 contests, including matching career-highs with 237 yards and three touchdowns against Appalachian State on Oct. 6. Mellette posted a six-game span in which he caught at least two touchdowns.
For his career in the maroon and gold, Mellette posted 4,254 receiving yards, 304 receptions, 44 touchdown catches and 23 100-yard games. All of those numbers rank second in both Elon and Southern Conference history.
The Senior Bowl is the nation's most unique football game and is football's premier pre-NFL Draft event, annually featuring the country's best senior collegiate football stars and top NFL draft prospects on teams representing the North and South. The teams are coached by the entire coaching staffs from two NFL teams. Senior Bowl practices are attended by over 800 general managers, head coaches, assistant coaches, scouts and other front office personnel from the 32 NFL teams.
Last year, all 109 participants in the Senior Bowl signed with NFL teams with 82 players being drafted. The 2012 game included eight first-round picks and 16 second-rounders.
The only other Elon player to appear in a football all-star game at the NCAA Division I level was linebacker Chad Nkang who earned team MVP honors at the 2007 Hula Bowl. Nkang was a seventh-round pick of Jacksonville that year.