For some reason, there always seems to be a great interview on Georgia Tech’s roster. Roddy Jones is fun to talk to, and Anthony Allen and I went back and forth a few times last year. Now it’s time to meet receiver Tyler Melton. I’ll let him take it away:
I’m one of the people who is probably making Georgia Tech players mad because I just don’t know about you guys this year, man, I’ll be honest. Convince me. Make me a believer.
Tyler Melton: Oh, man, I gotta tell you, I respect your honesty, but you’re honestly wrong.
I love it.
TM: We’re definitely coming into this season with a chip on our shoulder. Being 6-7 was despicable, horrible, any bad word you can think of to put in that place. No one around here is used to losing, even throughout high school. With that said, we’ve attacked this season with a chip on our shoulders in that we refuse to go back to mediocrity and we’re going to be a great team again. This spring and this summer has been extremely competitive. I believe everyone individually has come leaps and bounds to be better as a player and it will contribute to us being a better team. There’s a lot of competition out there. Our secondary is looking great this year. Louis Young, he’s going to be a great player out there. He’s energetic, he’s a spark, and he’s a playmaker - point blank. Our D-line is looking great, we have a lot of great individual players out there.
As for the offense, I feel like we have a bigger chip on our shoulders than the defense, because the defense, you can attribute it to it was the first year under Al Groh as defensive coordinator. For us, we’re coming in, especially my position group, the wide receivers, we took a lot of heat from you, yourself, and others. With that said, we’ve put a lot of hard work in to make sure that doesn’t happen again. We’ve been with the quarterback, Tevin Washington, and he’s becoming a great leader. He’s going to be a great player. We’re stepping it up and we’re doing the little things to make sure this doesn’t happen again. I feel like we’ve learned from our mistakes. Now we’re at the point where we’re getting beyond our mistakes and starting to learn new things.
All good things. And I know for a fact I’m not picking you guys to lose that Kansas game this year. It’s not going to happen. You guys start out 3-0, and then there’s the Carolina game. I haven’t gotten that far yet.
TM: You haven’t gotten that far yet? You contact me immediately when you figure out what’s going on. I’ll help you make that decision.
(Laughing). I know, I know. The other thing I wanted to ask you was about your position group. Since Demaryius Thomas left it hasn’t been the same, and there was way too much pressure on Stephen Hill last year. Does there need to be an elite receiver at Georgia Tech? Can there be? Are you the guy?
TM: I feel like we just don’t need all the titles. Titles are what you put in the newspaper: Elite receiver, blah blah blah. We all know that the ball doesn’t get thrown a lot here. With that said, we capitalize on our moments as receivers. I feel like the people we have on the field are more than capable of getting the job done. When people put the label on it, elite receiver, that’s just not necessary. Those that we have on the field definitely can get the job done.
From the outside looking in, there are some questions surrounding the quarterback position because of the way Tevin played in the spring game and the way Synjyn played. From the players’ perspective, I know Tevin is No. 1 going into summer camp, but is there any concern on your part that you guys are going to have a dependable quarterback?
TM: Not at all. There’s no concern at all over here. I feel like Tevin is a great quarterback and we’ll have a great quarterback to start the season. The competition has helped everyone get better. I’ve always felt competition is a great thing. No one is complacent, and everyone is striving to be the best player they can be.
How did you wind up there? Aren’t you from Texas?
TM: I came from a spread offense.
That’s a little different.
TM: Yeah. I was all-everything in Texas. My junior year I think I had 1,000 yards, 15 touchdowns, and like 70+ catches. I tore my ACL probably second-to-last game of the season. I had already committed to Georgia Tech under Chan Gailey. I grayshirted. I was supposed to be here with Derrick Morgan, Jonathan Dwyer, Morgan Burnett, that class. When the time came around and I heard about the new coach, I honored my commitment and came to Georgia Tech. I’ve enjoyed my stint here. I have my degree and I don’t regret coming here at all.
That’s awesome. Good for you. That’s quite a change, though, compared to what you signed up for.
TM: Quite a change, quite a change. But that’s just life. You’re tossed curve balls and you face adversity, but it’s how you respond and how react to that adversity that defines who you are.
I’m not sure how Georgia Tech will fare this fall, but Tyler Melton made me a believer in at least one of the Jackets’ wide receivers.