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Max Melton talks return to Rutgers, previews upcoming season

Entering his junior season, cornerback Max Melton is looking to take his game to the next level and believes facing Rutgers' new-look offense under offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca will help him do so.

"It's a much different offense with a new offensive coordinator," Melton said. "It's way more competitive and guys seem more comfortable."



Melton is coming off a season in which he started all 12 games at cornerback and was selected fourth team All-Big Ten by Phil Steele and was voted an All-Big Ten honorable mention. While he feels there is room for improvement, he is confident he can take that next step under second-year defensive coordinator Joe Harasymiak.

"It's the same defense but we're just correcting some of the stuff in it," Melton explained. "We feel comfortable once again in [Harasymiak's] defense."

In addition, the Mays Landing native led the nation with three blocked kicks and recorded two interceptions, 10 pass breakups, and 33 tackles with two for loss. He also feels his strength and physicality at the cornerback position help him, along with his teammates, stand out amongst other teams in the Big Ten.

"When it comes to corner a lot of people underplay it when it comes to physicality," he said. " But here we preach it, we're going to be physical at corner."

Although Melton had his chance to test the NFL waters last year, he felt he had unfinished business in Piscataway and did not want to leave before reaching new heights with the Scarlet Knights.

"It was no question in my mind," he said regarding his decision to return. "I don't feel like it's selfish if I wanted to go into the league but I just want to win, I've always been a part of winning teams, so I didn't feel like it would be right if I left and we didn't win anything."

Although Melton enters this season with NFL aspirations on his mind, his main concern remains one thing: winning.

"I'm not too big on myself, I feel like I'll do what I have to do when the ball comes my way," he said. "But we got to win, I'm not concerned with really anything else but winning."


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