football Edit

Rutgers Football brothers Max, Bo Melton both having a strong 2020 season

Coming into the season, there were two known commodities at cornerback for Rutgers football, Avery Young and Tre Avery. Behind them, depth was a concern.

But freshman Malachi ‘Max’ Melton rose to the occasion and solidified a spot as the third corner and even a starter at times depending on the opponent’s scheme.

“I am really impressed with Max. He's a freshman, so there's always the growing pains -- things that you take for granted maybe and you can't. But he's a really talented football player,” head coach Greg Schiano said.



In seven games, Melton has 17 total tackles (15 solo) with a fumble recovery against Illinois. He earned his first career start at Ohio State and tallied a best six tackles last week against Penn State. Pro Football Focus has him with a solid 79.8 tackling grade and teams are completing 65.2 percent of passes headed in his direction.

“He's very natural at the position. He's been productive on special teams. I think he has a very bright future. But, the future is now for him. He's playing a lot of football. He's in a lot of situations. I'm excited about what he can do. Can't we do to get him in coach Butler's weight program as well. He got a little taste of that but not enough.”

Melton’s older brother, Bo, is a senior wide receiver, but all signs show he’ll return next season due to the blanket waiver provided by the NCAA. Bo Melton has seen his production skyrocket in 2020 as he has career-highs in catches (37), yards (512), and touchdowns (six). Melton recently credited assistant coach Tiquan Underwood as being a big reason for his breakout year.

“Probably what stands out the most is the relationship that he has with these guys and how much he invests in them. And then I think in return, what you see is how their play is much improved,” Schiano said of Underwood. “Certainly, you could talk about skill development, you could talk about mindset all those things, but to me it's the connection he has with his guys that I think is probably the lead thing that comes to mind.”

The Melton's father, Gary, also played on the gridiron for the Scarlet Knights from 1987-91 and their mother was on the Rutgers women’s basketball team from 1989-93.

Follow Chris Nalwasky on Twitter @ChrisWasky.


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