Top UNC Football players for 2017: No. 20 Jonah Melton

Keeping It Heel continues its countdown of the top 25 players on the North Carolina Tar Heels roster with player No. 20

#25 Noah Ruggles | #24 Tomon Fox | #23 Jordan Cunningham | #22 Tyler Powell 

#21 Brandon Fritts

Keeping It Heel is going to continue to help you countdown the weeks until college football season by revealing our list of the top 25 UNC players for the upcoming season.

Sure, you may be busy keeping up with the NBA playoffs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a break to get a little more football in your life. Besides the NFL Draft is less than a week away.

So let’s get started with player No. 20, a freshman who is coming off a missed senior season.


Jonah Melton (Freshman)

Position: Offensive Line, Guard

Hometown: Mebane, North Carolina

High School: Eastern Alamance

Last Season: Melton did not play his senior season of high school due to a torn ACL he suffered last April. However, it caused him to enroll early at UNC and got in some time this spring.

Melton made the Under Armour All-Star game but had to pass it up due to the injury. He was a top 300 player according to ESPN, including top-20 at his position.

Why he might move up this list: North Carolina lost three players off its line this offseason due to graduation. That opens up some spots for Melton to compete for.

At 6-foot-3 and 305-pounds, Melton will be hard for any defensive lineman to get around. He is powerful at the point of attack and can both push and pull from the guard position. Look at his highlights from his junior year.

Why he might move down this list: Despite enrolling early, Melton is the newbie. There are several other players who have paid their dues and may feel as though the open guard spot is theirs.

One of those players is former top recruit Tommy Hatton. Hatton played some at guard last year and may do so again this year.

Melton will also have to beat out upperclassmen Nick Polino and Brad Henson for the job. Both players served as backups at guard last season.

Prediction: Odds are good that Hatton moves inside to center, a position he played in high school. With Hatton out of the way, Melton is a clear upgrade over both Polino and Henson. He beats out both for the starting left guard spot on opening day against Cal.