Fred Melifonwu (San Diego, Calif./Lincoln) parlayed a big senior season into late interest from Division I programs.
The 6-foot-5, 215-pound defensive end proved he is capable of pressuring the quarterback, piling up 13 sacks. His performance should lead to several programs offering him a scholarship before signing day.
He currently has a scholarship offer from Hawaii and will take an official visit Feb. 1. He also has a trip planned to Nevada on Jan. 18, and would like to take a trip to Washington.
“They didn’t schedule an official visit for me yet, but they’re trying to schedule one,” Melifonwu said. “Washington has been there since the beginning of the season. They’ve always been looking at me, trying to set up a visit since the CIF football games. Whenever the time is right for Washington, they’ll let me know when the official visit is set up.”
With schools like San Diego and Washington State taking a longer look at the prospect, Melifonwu is checking out each school that shows interest, so he knows which program he wants to play for when the offers come in.
“I’m trying to find out what schools are the best fit for an athlete like me, what schemes they run and how I am going to fit on the defense,” he said.
Lincoln coach David Dunn said Washington has kept in consistent contact with the prospect. And, if the Huskies have a scholarship available late, he thinks the program will offer the athlete he said has “tremendous upside.”
Melifonwu would welcome the opportunity to play for the Huskies’ coaching staff.
“I like the defensive coaching staff,” he said. “The D-line coach, Tosh Lupoi, I’ve just been talking to him. We’re very good friends. I know he can coach me up at Washington and give me the best experience at the college level.”
Since the season ended, Melifonwu has been busy. He recently played in the Cal State Game in Visalia, Calif.
“That was a good experience for me,” said Melifonwu, who is also preparing for the Jan. 13 California Classic All-Star Football Game. “It gave me a lot of exposure.”
Dunn said Melifonwu has a frame that is capable of handling the 25-30 pounds he will need to add to play defensive end at the next level. The senior is an under-the-radar prospect with plenty of potential.
The interest programs have shown in Melifonwu should create an interesting month before signing day.