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Kam Melton’s Story is Far From Over

By Jim Johnson
SouthernPigskin.com
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Out of every cornerback in this draft, Melton was in the top ten last year in coverage snaps per reception with an allowed passer rating of 59.5.

"I feel like my film speaks for itself."
~Kamryn Melton

The first few years of Kamryn Melton’s career were hardly as he would have drawn it up. Graduating high school in the class of 2013, the cornerback out of Dothan, Alabama committed to in-state power Auburn.

His career was off to a promising start, as freshman seasons go, appearing in three contest before a knee injury ended his year prematurely. After redshirting in 2014, he decided it was time for a change of scenery and transferred about an hour and a half to Troy, where, after sitting out in 2015 because of the NCAA transfer rules, he finally began to live up to his billing.

“I was going from playing and practicing with guys everyday at a top level to the Sun Belt where the perception is that it’s a lower level, but the thing about the Sun Belt is, people don't understand how much talent there is,” Melton explained. “They're going to be overlooked because it's not a Power 5 school, but you saw us beat LSU this year. That pretty much proved that just because you're in the Power 5, it doesn't mean you're a top guy. You're still competitive.”

He’s right about that. It didn’t matter, though, as he quickly adjusted after his two-plus year hiatus from real, live game action.

“When I first came in, Coach Pogue and Coach Brown really accepted me,” he began, “and coming into the spring, the first year there, they gave me the keys to the defense and basically the secondary. So, I felt like that was an honor. I took that upon myself to try to build a different secondary -- a different type of defense, and for those two years I learned a lot about myself as a person on and off the field. We finished off with a Sun Belt Championship and we broke a lot of records there, too.”

Ever the team player, he mentioned Blace Brown, and he talked about some of the up and coming guys, but he played a major part in that said Sun Belt Championship run. Out of every cornerback in this draft, Melton was in the top ten last year in coverage snaps per reception with an allowed passer rating of 59.5.

With that knowledge, he’s not concerned about how any perception of the SBC will impact him as a pro.

“It's probably not going to affect me as much in the draft process period because I feel like my film speaks for itself. I'm a guy that stands out on film. I’m always around the ball and that's one of the things I really pride myself on. Hopefully the scouts can see that.”

He was quick to acknowledge that his development is in part due to getting to practice against a player of Deondre Douglas’ caliber for the past few years.

“He really brought out the best in me because he was like one of my best friends up there. We do talk crap to each other on the field. He probably would get me one play, and I would get him the next, but other than that he’s my dog. He's a certified stat improver that is a dog on the field, but he made me better. He made me go to a whole other level.”

However, while he appreciates the legacy he is leaving behind, at Troy, he acknowledges that he is, first and foremost, looking ahead to the next step in his life and career.

“Right now I'm back at home. I train Monday through Friday. I'm doing everything I was doing before my pro day, probably amping it up a little bit more, but I'm still in training mode to make sure I stay in shape.”

Speaking of his pro day, he displayed the exact mindset everyone wants from a defensive back. There was no anxiety, no nervousness, nothing but that cool, comfortable swagger that all the greats possess.

“All they're doing,” Melton said, “is coming out there to see you do football drills you've been doing all your life. I was having fun with it. It wasn’t nerve wracking with me because we were practicing for two months and when you're out there practicing you get all the nerves out of your system. It was a great day and I was happy to see all of my classmates and all of my teammates with me.”

With good reason, he’s caught the attention of a handful of potential suitors.

“Right now, I know the Falcons, Raiders, and some other teams are interested. At the Tropical Bowl I talked to the Eagles. They are really heavy on me, but right now I'm just trying to stay focused as a trainee.”

And what kind of player may one of those teams be getting?

“I have what it takes to be a leader, you know, just to make plays but be a great teammate, a great locker room guy, to make sure everybody is getting along well, make sure everybody stays on the same page. I'm a great guy to be around and I just love the game of football.”

As deserving of an opportunity as Melton is, it’s not lost on him the magnitude of this time in his life.

“It's very exciting,” he gushed, “because I have been playing this game since I was seven years old. In high school, I wasn't taking football seriously until my 11th grade year. Everything changed because the recruiting started to pick up. Now that I got to this level it's pretty exciting. I might be emotional during the draft. God brought through this crazy process. I know a lot of great ball players that didn't get the opportunity to make it this far and I am blessed to.”

Kamryn Melton may not be biggest guy. He may not be the fastest guy. He may not be the most highly touted guy, or come out of a traditional power, but the film speaks for itself. The numbers speak for themselves.

The first half of his college career may not have gone as planned, but he overcame, persevered, and wrote his own storybook ending. That, however was just chapter one. This book is far from over.

Jim Johnson - Editor of Southern Pigskin, Producer of "Three & Out", and host of "Explosive Recruiting" on the Southern Pigskin Radio Network. E-mail: jim@espncoastal.com Twitter: @JimJohnsonSP