Central rising senior quarterback Tucker Melton found himself sharing snaps with another player in 2018. Now, Melton has the keys to the Red Devils offense, and college coaches are eager to see what he can do.
Melton backed up LSU signee Peter Parrish in Melton’s junior year, but now he’s next in line. As he preps to lead the team, he’s also handling an uptick in recruiting, which includes scholarship offers to South Alabama and Youngstown State as well as a visit to Georgia.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Melton said his trip to Athens was the best overall visit he’s been on so far. He got to know Georgia offensive coordinator James Coley and head coach Kirby Smart while also treating his grandfather, Terry Roberson, to an experience he won’t soon forget.
Roberson, a diehard Georgia fan, got to put on a Bulldogs jersey and pose for photos, much to his grandson’s enjoyment.
“They treated him like they treated a player. He was all for it,” Melton said. “It took him awhile to get into one, but it was nice. It was cool.”
Melton said the Georgia coaches liked what they saw as far as Melton’s physical and mental attributes. A scholarship offer, however, is not on the table yet, as they told Melton they want to see him lead the Red Devils team through the spring.
The wait-and-see approach is an understandable attitude, and Melton is eager to make that waiting worthwhile.
Despite backing up a future SEC quarterback, Melton got in plenty of reps in Central’s championship season, completing 56 passes for 1,076 yards and 10 touchdowns while also taking 36 carries for 156 yards and three touchdowns. Melton finished off the Red Devils’ title game victory with a nine-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter of a 52-7 victory.
For Central head coach Jamey DuBose, it’s not hard to see why coaches are keeping tabs on Melton. DuBose referred to Melton a the team’s “1A” quarterback last season and expressed his confidence in Melton going forward as the guy.
“You see a guy who if you watch him any at all on film has got a big-time arm. Tucker's advantage is his height and size, but the arm and the arm strength is just remarkable. Then, a guy that big that can run,” DuBose said. “Man, he's got all the intangibles. He's a leader. This guy's going to be something big. He's just waiting for the right place and the right offer.”
Along with his bigger role at Central, Melton has a busy spring ahead of him.
As far as his play, Melton said he’s dedicating time to improve his movement in the pocket, avoiding pressure and throwing on the run. He plans to visit UAB at the end of February and hopes to also visit Troy and Georgia Tech at some.
Melton will also participate one of the Elite 11’s regionals camps in March, which will allow Melton to prove himself among the best quarterbacks in the Class of 2020.
“It's a blessing,” Melton said. “In my opinion, I'm probably one of the top one or two quarterbacks in the state. I'm just ready to show it.”
Melton, who will graduate in December and enroll early in college, said the important factors in choosing a college are the coaches, the home environment and academics. Melton hopes coaches recognize his hard-working mentality along with his winning mentality, which he is eager to show on the field in his senior season.
Melton saw firsthand what it took to win a state championship. Now that it’s his turn to lead the charge, he is eager to prove the Red Devils won’t be taking a step back under his watch.
“People are doubting us already, saying we can't get back to it and that we can't do the same thing we did last year,” Melton said. “I'm just ready to show that we've got talent coming back.”