One simple check of the advanced search function in the Rivals.com recruiting database, and it shows that only three defensive back prospects in the class of 2002 have received scholarship offers from the Texas Longhorns.
It appears the Longhorn program, which under Mack Brown has grown to have such high recruiting standards, is yet again being very selective.
Matt Melton of Tyler John Tyler, Edorian McCullough of North Garland and Michael Hawkins of Carrollton Turner are the only three defensive back prospects in the country known to have scholarship offers from the Longhorns.
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While being so selective can sometimes be costly to a program, Brown and staff are already imminently close to landing one of those three blue-chip players.
Matt Melton, the 6-foot, 190-pound safety that is ranked No. 13 overall at his position in the country by Rivals100, said he is on the verge of committing to the Longhorns.
“On Monday night, the coaches asked me to commit,” Melton said. “I couldn’t do it right then, because it’s something my family hadn’t discussed together yet. I’ll probably do it a couple of weeks after I go down there and see a game and stuff.
“They’ve been coming after me hard, and I’m not going to let that (offer) hang out there too much longer.”
If Texas does indeed land Melton, Brown will definitely have to give an assist to his new secondary coach, Duane Akina.
“Of all the D.B. coaches I talked to and worked with during this summer, coach Akina is the guy who fit my personality the best and he’s the one who I really learned the most from,” Melton, who attended summer camp at Texas, explained.
However, Melton says Akina is not the only attraction to the Horns. Melton, an excellent student with a 3.6 GPA and 21 ACT, says his reasoning is many fold.
“I want to major in mechanical engineering and Texas is a good school for that,” he explained. “I want to stay in state and they have good tradition, good facilities, all of that. And I like the way their defense really gets after it and the fact that they’re trying to win it all. I’m a winner, so I really like that,” Melton said.
There are only a couple more things that Melton says he would like to see before officially casting his lot with the Longhorns.
“My parents and I are supposed to be going (to a game) down there in a couple of weeks. That should give me a chance to see how a game is there and also talk to the right people about the school – the academic side of things – and for my parents to see everything, too.”
Melton also had several nice things to say about Texas A&M, Purdue and Arizona, who are the other schools he is considering and has scholarship offers from, but it was clear from the tone in his voice that he sees himself wearing Burnt Orange next year.
Melton sat out last week’s game against Arlington Bowie because of a sprained ankle, but is expected back in action this week as 3-0 John Tyler takes on Dallas Skyline in Dallas on Saturday.
In two games of action this season, Melton has made 18 tackles and one interception and also has a 25-yard touchdown catch, his only reception of the year.
As a junior, he tallied 83 tackles and four interceptions, returning one 26 yards for a score.
His trip to Austin, likely for the Texas Tech game (Sept. 29), follows on the heels of John Tyler traveling to Waco to play Waco High the night before.