EATON — Eaton’s KJ Melling’s senior season on the football field didn’t go as planned as he battled injuries and missed several games.
That didn’t stop the defensive lineman from pursuing his goal of playing college football.
Melling recently committed to Division III Wittenberg, along with teammates Ghye Wilson and Lew Bowser.
“Little bit of a tough senior season in terms of injury and some other adversity. We actually had a conversation about halfway through the season. He was a little concerned about next level and recruiting,” Eaton coach Brad Davis said. “I told him not to worry about not being on film too much and missing games, because you immediately see a very physical player and wonderful instincts. You don’t have to look at a lot of film to see he is going to have a big impact at Wittenberg on the defensive side of the football. Great player. Going to miss him Tremendous work ethic. Very hard nosed.”
Melling said Wittenberg is the right fit.
“I thought Wittenberg is what suited me best,” he said.
Despite his injury-riddled final season Melling had no regrets about his time at Eaton.
“Eaton’s been great for me. I love the football tradition. I’ve loved the coaches I’ve had. Every time you get new players it’s like family around here,” he said. “It’s great to be an Eagle and I’m always going to be an Eagle … Coach Davis has been great to us and so has Coach (Ron) Neanen. It’s just been a great experience for football for all of us.”
And to continue to play with Bowser and Wilson is a bonus.
“It’s going to be a neat experience to get to play with two people that you’ve played with basically since third grade,” Melling said. “Not every college football player gets to experience that.”
Melling said he’s wanted to play college football for as long as he can remember.
“Since third grade,” he said. “I knew football was going to be my thing. I’ve just wanted to play college football my whole life.”
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.