Defensive end Lorenzo Melvin from Phoenix (Az.) Desert Vista quietly had one of the best seasons in the state last year, yet few people are talking about him. Scout.com feels that will change soon and he will receive significant attention from division-one programs. Here is a Q & A with the talented and well-spoken Melvin.
Scout.com: What were your stats/honors from last season?
Melvin: "I was fortunate to be a member of the State of Arizona Division I State Championship Team, Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, AZ. We are ranked #1 in the state, and currently ranked in the top 50 nationally. By being associated with high caliber teammates; at the conclusion of the season, on several websites, I was ranked the #1 Defensive End in the state as well as the top in-coming high school senior Defensive Lineman in the state. I was named to the First Team All Region, First Team All Section, and Honorable Mention All State. Although I started as a Middle Linebacker as a Freshman, I was required to “Sit-out” as a Sophomore due to changing school districts. I am honored to have received the accolades I did, I look forward to assisting our team to back to back state championships and additional personal accomplishments as well."
What is your official height and weight?
"Although I turned seventeen a couple of weeks ago, I am still a growing young man. Currently, I am 6’2 ¾, and 230 pounds. I plan to continue gaining muscle weight for the rest of this spring and anticipate playing at 235 pounds at the beginning of the 2012 season."
What are your goals for the upcoming season?
"My number one goal as a team captain is to lead my team to another state championship. That is goal number 1! Secondly, I want to continue building my body to optimal strength during the off season. That means staying in the gym and working on my body so that I will be peaking around playoff and state championship time. Since I plan to make an impact on offense this upcoming year at the starting Tight End position, I have been working with my quarterback already on weekends enhancing my route-running and thrower-receiver bonding."
How are you preparing for the upcoming season? Will you attend any camps this summer?
"I have already attended several special invitation combines and have plans to continue. Currently, I am discussing with my family (in cooperation with family vacations) which camps I will be attending this summer. I have already confirmed to attend a camp at Navy (Naval Academy) this summer."
What aspect of your game have you really worked hard to improve? What area would you like to keep improving on?
"I have really worked to improve my quickness off the line and lateral movement. Reviewing my game film from the 2011, I was fortunate to be a force to have a good year; however there is always room for improvement and I am already receiving input from my coaches so that I can be the best that I can be. Also, since I plan to increase on the “three forced fumbles” from the 2011 season, I plan to improve my arm strength and “break-away” speed to increase on my fumble recovery touchdowns of last season."
Who are some of your teammates that people need to watch out for?
"On defense, at linebacker, incoming junior, Cullen VanGusen. In the gym and on the practice field, he is the hardest worker, next to me of course, I have seen.
On offense, at Interior Lineman, Mitch Wehlri, is by far the hardest working interior lineman in the State of Arizona."
Name one teammate you really respect and why?
"This is a difficult question, because I respect all of my teammates. However, since you asked, I must again go to Mitch Wehlri. He comes to practice daily with a “winner’s attitude.” He pushes me daily in the gym and brings me to my potential and I push him also. He is a smart player and student of the game. I respect Mitch because he wants “it” and he pushes himself to get to his goals. Mitch gets it."
What are your goals regarding playing football in college?
"As you are aware, I have excelled on the defensive side of the ball so far in high school. This year, I want to make it extremely difficult for the scouts because they will see how good my hands are and my catching ability along with my ability to get open on the Offensive side of the ball. My first love is Defense of course, however, I feel at the conclusion of this season, there will be additional schools looking at me as an offensive threat as well as a defensive standout. I want to be a starter and be an impactful player as in incoming freshman. I feel I have the ability to make an impactful contribution to a team in about 15 months from now. I am excited at the possibility of playing at the next level but more importantly at making an impact immediately. After winning a state championship at the high school level, I am excited at the opportunity of working toward a national championship at the Division I College level!"
Who is currently recruiting you? Do you have any offers yet?
"According to my coaches, several Division I schools have expressed a serious interest in me. I imagine after schools see me on YouTube, (Lorenzo “ZO” Melvin Football 2011) more schools will be interested. Several PAC 12 schools have talked to me and Navy has expressed an interest. (My sister is currently a student at the Naval Academy and I think she has been showing them my YouTube video). Seriously sir, I want to go where I can be an impact and where I can contribute to a national championship. I am excited by the caliber of schools that have already contacted me."
Would you consider staying in state to play in college?
"Of course I would consider staying in Arizona to play. I have ties to both Arizona State and the University of Arizona. I feel that I can contribute to both schools and I feel I can start as a freshman at both universities. I have visited both of them and can see myself as a student athlete at both schools. I have also attended some of their special invitation-only combines."
What would your top 5 college choices be?
"Whew! I knew this question was coming. As you can imagine, this is an extremely difficult question. I would hate to eliminate possibles by excluding a top prospect schools… But, again, since you asked, I will provide you my top 10, not necessarily in numerical order:
• University of Southern California
• University of Arizona
• University of California, Los Angeles
• University of Texas
• University of Miami
• University of Alabama
• Louisiana State University
• Arizona State University
• University of Michigan
• Ohio State University"
Who is the best player you ever played against? Why?
"So far it has been J.J. Diehlman, graduating Offensive Lineman for Desert Vista High School. He was recruited by Utah. I believe I go against the best players in the state of Arizona in practice and we proved it by winning the State Championship. I played against the best players in the state this entire year, in practice!"
Name one opponent who you really respect and why?
"D.J. Foster from Saguaro High School. He is being recruited by Arizona State University as a running back. He led his team to back to back division III level championships. Although we beat them this past year, he was quite competitive and never gave up. You gotta respect a guy like that."
What other sports do you play?
"I wrestled as a freshman winning the State Freshman State Championship at the 189 pound weight class. As mentioned earlier, I sat out all sports my sophomore year and decided to concentrate on academic excellence and football my junior year. I plan to work out with the Varsity Track Team to increase my speed and agility this and next year."
What are your best max lifts in the bench, squat, power clean and 40 yard dash?
"Bench: 305, Squat: 405, Power Clean: 315, 40 Yard: 4.8."
How do you think your coach would describe you as a player?
"Definitely a leader, humble, gives all-always, a machine, approachable and most importantly, Coachable! I was described at an awards banquet as being the “Proto-type Defensive End.”
What are your strengths and weaknesses as a player?
"My strength and weakness are one in the same. That is my desire to win! I try my hardest to win and I will prepare, prepare and prepare in order to be successful in all that I desire to accomplish. My weakness is that I don’t understand why it seems as if others may not possess my extreme desire to be successful."
Who is your favorite athlete and why?
"Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens! In my opinion, he is the hardest working player in the NFL. He is a leader on the field and his actions on the field speak for themselves."
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
“It’s possible, even when it seems impossible.” And my parents have always told me to “Be the Leader.”
Tell us what can we expect from your team this season?
"Another State Championship!"
What position do you think you will play in college?
"On defense, I feel I can play, start, and be an impact at Defensive End, and Linebacker. On offense, I feel I can play, start and be an impact at Tight End, and Fullback."
What can a college program expect from you as a player?
"Success, leadership, and a hard work ethic. I am “that guy” who will always be working to improve myself both physically and mentally. I will know the plays and schematics and will continuously be a student of the game. I will be that “go to” player that my coaches and teammates can depend on as a player and leader. And, I will continue to excel academically to remain eligible so that I can be the leader both on and off the field."
What is your GPA and SAT/ACT score?
"Currently my GPA is 3.1 and improving. I am awaiting the results of my first ACT taken on February 11th."
What will the main factors be when you choose a school?
"The main factor for choosing my school will be where I feel I can be the most successful academically and on the field. I definitely want the opportunity to play as an incoming freshman but I also want to contribute to a successful run for a national championship. Success in the classroom is important and feel that the school environment must be conducive to academic achievement and success. Can’t play if you are not eligible! My parents would like that answer!"