LUTCHER, La. - When you are named to the all-state team as a freshman, by the time your junior year rolls around, you probably going to be hearing from some colleges. That is exactly the case for Lutcher defensive tackle Rolando Melancon, who is a member of the class of 2007 and already hearing from a host of colleges.
"My biggest strength is my speed," Melancon said. "I think I have real good technique, I'm a player that everyone wants. I am just elite on the field. I see the play develop and can react quickly. I used to play linebacker, but with my power and explosion of the ball I was better suited for defensive tackle."
The 6-foot-2, 270-pound Melancon runs the 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds, has a 265-pound bench press and 405-pound squat. He is already hearing from colleges coast to coast and wouldn't have it any other way.
"I love the recognition," Melancon said. "We won the state title my freshman year and I got all-state. I knew then that I had a lot of talent. It has been easy to be a leader this year even though I am an underclassmen. As a younger player I feed off the older guys."
When Rivals.com walked into the Lutcher dressing room there were over 25 envelopes from colleges requesting film on Melacon, from LSU to USC to Nebraska to Miami, everyone knows about the stud junior.
"It's still early to start thinking too much about colleges," Melancon said. "I am trying to focus on my school work and my season. I'm looking at LSU, Miami, Florida, Alabama, all of the big dogs really. I admit that I think about it a little, but I'm trying to focus on other things."
Warren Sapp has been a dominant defensive lineman in the NFL for nearly a decade now and Melancon says he draws comparisons to the former Miami Hurricanes star.
"I try to be like Warren Sapp, I pattern my game after him as much as I can," Melancon said. "The coaches say that I am the leader of the team, I just try to help everyone get lined up right and make sure that everybody knows their job."