Melvin Ray has a great relationship with Florida coaches, but it's Florida State he's followed. "I…
Ray Favors Three
A member of the Scout.com National Top 100 is Melvin Ray. Ray, 6-3 and 202 pounds, plays wide receiver for Tallahassee (Fla.) North Christian High School. The past two seasons he played at Tallahassee (Fla.) Chiles High School. He finished his junior season with 25 catches for 518 yards and five touchdowns. Ray returned 11 kickoffs for 274 yards and one touchdown and returned five punts for 160 yards and two scores. Now at NFC Ray is excited about being coached by Casey Weldon. The former Seminoles signal caller is now his head coach. "It's exciting to play in this offense," said Ray. "They open it up and throw it. This is the place to be if you are a receiver. Coach Weldon is a great coach, especially with the quarterbacks. He has made those guys better. He is also a great guy to play for and a big supporter of mine. Everyone thinks he pushes me to Florida State but that's not the case. He just tells me the things to look for in schools and really hits me on the academics." In his short time at NFC Ray credits his new coach for improvement in his game. It comes with a cost, as Ray has put in a lot of time in the off-season to make himself bigger, strong and faster. "He's (Weldon) worked me hard, especially in the weight room. I am 202 pounds and faster than when I was 190. Coach Weldon has pushed me a lot. He has worked with me on my route running. Now I am ready to see what I can do on the field. It's exciting because I have seen the improvement." For Ray and his teammates they will learn more of his progression this spring and certainly this coming fall. In the meantime, coaches from across the country are flocking to his high school. Ray has a few dozen scholarship offers and will be one of the most sought after recruits from the Sunshine State. With that in mind, will it come down to the hometown Seminoles and Gators? "Right now I would say it will come down between three schools, Florida State, Florida and LSU. I also like Alabama and Ole Miss." Ray has been to the campus of FSU a ton over the years and he has been to Gainesville four times to visit the Gators. This spring he has also visited Oxford and Tuscaloosa. Ray plans on visiting LSU this summer as well as camping at Florida (Friday Night Lights) and Ole Miss. "I have been to Florida State so many times," proclaimed Ray. "It's not that big deal to me and people seem to take that the wrong way sometimes. I went to a ton of their spring practices and I liked what I saw. I met all the new coaches and I really like Coach (Lawrence) Dawsey. He is a younger guy that I can talk to. In fact, we talk all the time and it's more than just football. We seem to really get along well. Coach (Jimbo) Fisher is a heck of a coach. You saw what he did at LSU and who was drafted this past weekend. That has really caught my attention. He also seems like a great guy who is serious about his work but has fun at the same time. "Believe it or not, FSU is a place where I can play early. They are looking for players who can make big plays and be the go to guy. They haven't had that in a while and I am that guy." Of course Ray hasn't been to the University of Florida as much as Florida State but he has still visited Urban Meyer and the Gators four times already. He has been blown away about the atmosphere in Gainesville. "Everything at that place (Florida) is on point. You can see why they won the National Championship. They have everything going on right now and they have a great campus, great fans, great facilities, great academics, and a great athletic program overall. And, it's just a fun place to be, especially now. A.J. (Jenkins) and I try and meet up down and we would like to go there together. We talked a little while ago about how Florida spreads the ball with all those wide receivers. What does a defense do? How do they take one guy a way or double you? In that offense you can't double anyone and that exciting and I like how they spread it. It's easy money in that offense and it's like stealing." At this time LSU looks like they will play a critical role in how the Melvin Ray sweepstakes play out. Not only is he impressed with the program and how they develop players but one of his closest friends could end up there as well. "T.J. (Bryant,Lincoln High School) likes them a lot. We would love to play against each other because we love to compete against one another. But we would also love to play on the same team and just go at it in practice. "LSU is just a great school. In fact, Dwayne Bowe is one wide receiver that I really look up to. I am a bigger receiver like him and I love how LSU just develops great players. They do it as well as anyone. LSU also loves the big receiver in their offense. I am anxious to see them." Two other SEC schools will make some noise in regards to Ray, Alabama and Ole Miss. The Crimson Tide is under new leadership and what they do this fall could go a long way to what Ray decides to do. Then there is Ole Miss and the Rebels have a special quarterback waiting in the wings. "I went to Alabama for the first time last summer. I went to the (Paul) Bryant Museum and I couldn't believe all the tradition at Alabama. Coach (Kirby) Smart is recruiting me and he is one of my favorite coaches. We talk all the time and don't really even talk about football. I also liked Tuscaloosa. I am not a big city guy and I am real laid back. I was real surprised at how small (Tuscaloosa) it was but I really liked it. Then there is Nick Saban and I am real interested to see what they do this fall. I know he has them kind of starting over but there is no doubt that he will have them up. "I am fired up about a team like Ole Miss. They have recruited so well to and have a great future. I went there and coach (Ed) O (Orgeron) showed me so much love. So did his other coaches. It wasn't just a few, it was the entire staff. They have this way of making you feel so special and like part of the family. Coach O seems like a fun guy but also a serious guy. I mean serious and they want to win so bad. They surprised me. I was especially surprised at what kind of talent they have there. They are closer than people think and they can hit. There is no doubt that Ole Miss is coming up and they have that quarterback (Jevan Snead) for next year. He is very good and I would have three years with that guy." In the end Ray will have a very tough decision to make. But it will all come down to relationships and a place he can call home. "I have to have a very good relationship with the coaches and I want to pick a place where it's a home away from home. All that other stuff is fine to me but these two things will be very important to me." Ray is a bigger receiver that runs well. He is physical and great in the air. Ray shows excellent concentration and body control. He has good speed and better quickness. Ray can make you miss in the open field, run with some power and run by you. He also will catch in traffic and go over the middle. Ray's route running is good. Ray also excels in returning punts and kickoffs. He has great upside.
118 Fans online