Jags Pick Up Big Defensive Addition For 2012 Season

July 30, 2012 · By · Filed Under Football 

There are two positions where mid-major football programs, especially young programs like South Alabama, always has need. Those positions are the offensive and defensive lines. The Jags picked up another one of those big defensive linemen this week.

Coach Jones has said on numerous occasions that, “God only makes so many 300-pound linemen.” He has also given a similar reason why South Alabama runs a 3-4 defense. On a number of occasions, when asked about it, he tends to give two reasons. First he says that, as an offensive mind coach, he does not like to go up against an ‘odd front’ because of the problems it causes in blocking. The second he says is with only three defensive linemen, you don’t have to find as many big defensive linemen while smaller, faster linebackers are more available.

Lucas Melo of Pierce College in Los Angeles, California will join the Jags on Tuesday, just before the Jags being their preseason camp. Melo is a 6’2″ 305 pound all-conference defensive tackle in the Southern California Football League. He had 47 solo tackles, 9.5 sacks, 13 TFL’s, two forced fumbles and two blocked field goals. He was rated a two star recruit by Rivals.com.

Melo had early offers from BYU, New Mexico State and Texas State among others and in February chose to sign with Maine, who is a FCS power. However, after signing day he discovered many of his class credits would not transfer to Maine or to several other schools. He asked for and was granted his release. Then Melo picked up offers from Akron, Buffalo, Georgia State, Jacksonville State, Washington State, Boise State and South Alabama.

When he visited South Alabama he enjoyed his visit. He said that he loved Mobile, the campus and everything about the South Alabama campus. But his decision came down to early playing time and the ability to get into school without any further problems.

Though, Melo does have one academic commitment he must meet before he can officially join the team. He will have to complete and online English class within 21 days of beginning practice as South Alabama or he will have not be able to participate in practice until he has finished it. However Melo anticipates he will have that taken care of within a week.

Melo said that he believe the coaches envision him as playing primarily at the nose guard position. However, depending on the defensive package he could play end or the 3 technique.

Not only does Melo’s size help the team overall, but he provides experienced depth. Coach Turner, who primarily coaches the defensive line, likes to be able to rotate out the defensive line every three plays or so. Having another big guy up front helps to protect the middle and puts more pressure on the quarterback in passing situations.

Look for Melo along with Romelle Jones, Montavious Williams, Randon Carnathan, Andy Dalgleish, Alex Page, Ceasare Johnson and others to make some big plays this coming season.

Below is Melo’s Sophmore highlight reel.

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