The John Tyler Lions in Tyler, Texas didn’t make the state playoffs this season. For long-time followers of high school football in the state of Texas, the very idea of JT not making the playoffs is hard to fathom.
But it happened this year.
Of course with every bad thing that can happen, there’s always a silver lining to it.
The Lions’ not being in the playoffs made it easier for their top senior prospect Matt Melton to witness a game first-hand that he’s been wanting to see since he was a little kid.
“I went to the Texas-A&M game on Friday,” Melton said. “Me, my mom and my sister went down there.”
He liked what he saw.
“What a great game! I’m excited that I’m going to be playing in it for the next four years.”
Melton, a 6-foot, 190-pound safety, has orally committed to Texas and says that even though he was on the A&M campus for the game that he’s still committed to the Longhorns.
“We went to see the game. That’s all. It came down to Texas and A&M for me, and I thank A&M for being gracious for the tickets.”
Melton reiterated why he chose the Longhorns in the first place.
“They just reeled me in,” he said of Texas. “The coaching staff was great. They really recruited me hard. They also recruited my parents. They didn’t just send me letters, they would also send my parents letters, too.”
Melton is busy preparing for track this season. A standout hurdler and the third leg of the sprint relay team last year, Melton hopes to make it to state in the hurdles and looks to anchor the relay team this year.
While Melton’s solid commitment to Texas is in no doubt, Texas A&M can take heart that, according to Melton, the Aggies are in the lead for one of JT’s best junior prospects, 6-foot-4, 210-pound pass-rushing defensive end Tim Crowder.
“Tim went to the game, too,” Melton said. “I know he likes A&M a lot right now. He’s leaning that way I’d say.”
Another junior prospect to keep an eye on for JT is Quincy Whitaker, a 6-foot-3, 285-pound defensive tackle, who could be the school’s strongest player in history by the time he has graduated.
Whitaker bench-pressed 385 pounds during sophomore workouts, according to Melton, which is already just shy of a JT school record.