Jason Winstead believes The Citadel just gained a top-shelf FCS talent with unlimited potential.
Goose Creek High School senior defensive back Melvin Ravenel has issued a verbal commit to the Bulldogs. The Gators’ coach emphasized Ravenel’s height and potential for growth makes him a good get for the Southern Conference program. He’s a 6-feet, 3-inch corner.
“They’re getting a Div. I talent,” Winstead said. “There’s no doubt about that. A lot of people don’t throw his way.”
Ravenel has been in on more than 70 career tackles and snagged four interceptions, including one he returned 99 yards for a touchdown against Stall High School in 2018.
Ravenel started at free safety as a sophomore and moved to cornerback last year. He’s likely going to play corner again this season and also has to deal with teammate Malachi Taylor in practice. Taylor (6-3, 185) recently verbally committed to Coastal Carolina and his battles with Ravenel are must see.
“They go at each other in practice pretty good,” Winstead said. “It’s pretty even. They go back and forth but it depends on who you ask. They are clones of one another.”
Taylor and Ravenel look like the top players in Goose Creek’s senior group but several more Gators have a chance to play on some level if they perform in the classroom and produce in between the lines. Recruiting on Red Bank Road has picked up the last two years.
“We had seven sign last year, and two that could have but chose not to. They paved the way for us to get our name out there,” Winstead said. “College coaches see that and figure maybe they ought to get over to Goose Creek. Schools build up reputations and college coaches say hey, this school signs a lot of kids. Let me go see if they have anybody versus this school that never signs anybody. Our coaches do a great job getting our kids’ names out there. Ultimately we’re judged by wins and losses but we want to get as many kids to college as we can.”
For Ravenel, the road to the next level was made possible by effort in the offseason. Once a tall, skinny kid, Ravenel has added good weight and thickened up.
“He’s put some work in to have a chance to go to a place like The Citadel,” Winstead said.