Baltimore Ravens draft Mellette
SANFORD - One day before the NFL Draft, former Southern Lee High School and Elon University star wide receiver Aaron Mellette looked at the prospect of being drafted by an NFL club as one more chance, albeit his biggest yet, to prove himself.
Mellette knows he'll have the opportunity with the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens selected Mellette with a seventh-round pick, the 238th pick of the 2013 Draft, on Saturday.
"When Mr. (Ozzie) Newsome (Baltimore general manager) called me with the great news, I told him, 'stop playing with me!'" Mellette told Ryan Mink in an article on baltimoreravens.com.
"God has a plan for everybody and I'm glad I was able to land with the Ravens," Mellette said.
Mellette and his family were watching the draft in Sanford and "straight pandemonium" was the reaction when Mellette got the great news a couple minutes before his name was announced at the draft in New York.
"Ozzie Newsome called me and at first, I couldn't believe it," Mellette said. "(Newsome) said, 'we're going to pick you and congratulations on being a Raven.'"
"We knew, but then my name came up on the screen and just straight pandemonium broke out with my whole family," he said.
All sorts of friends, undoubtedly with lots of fellow Cavaliers included, congratulated Mellette within minutes of the pick.
"It was crazy," he said, "I got about 90 texts on one of my phones...and I got lot of tweets coming in."
Mellette didn't pick up football until a sophomore at Southern Lee High School. He helped the Cavaliers to their first state playoff season in their fledging years as a new football program.
Mellette redshirted for a season at Elon before going on to a record-setting, multiple-time All-American career for the Phoenix.
This past season, he led the Football Championship Subdivision with 113 receptions and 1,637 receiving yards. He caught 18 touchdowns. He finished his Phoenix career first or second in a long list of Elon and Southern Conference receiving records. Mellette was the first Elon player to go to the Senior Bowl and he is the first Elon player drafted since linebacker Chad Nkang went to Jacksonville in the seventh round of the 2007 draft.
"Many pundits thought the Ravens would draft a wide receiver high after trading Anquan Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers this offseason," said Mink in the baltimoreravens.com article on the pick.
Mellette was the only wide receiver drafted by Baltimore.
While joining the defending world champs could seem daunting heading into training camp, Mellette sees it as an opportunity he's perfectly ready for.
"It means everything to go to the champs," he said. "In my mind, I'm a winner and the Ravens know all about winning.
"I want to be a part of their philosophy. I want to get to work, I want to fit in and learn from the vets who are winners and who have been there," Mellette said.
For at least a few new Raven fans around Lee County, Baltimore opens its preseason on Aug. 8 at Tampa Bay, then the regular season on Thursday, Sept. 5 at Denver.