By: Cameron Mellor (@CamMellor)
The Mellor Company
Created after the youngest member of the Mellor’s started gaining popularity both locally and nationally in the high school football recruiting realm, The Mellor 97 stands as a list of 97 of the top high school football players across the country. The name derived from the year of the youngest Mellor brother’s birth, 1997, and will stand as a vessel to highlight 97 of the top athletes from all across the country.
While big-name websites and other established recruiting companies have their annual list of the top athletes from across the entire country, The Mellor 97 was created to display similar attributes while also featuring a variety of other categories and grading criteria in an attempt to highlight as many unique athletes as possible.
Instead of scouring the entire country, The Mellor 97’s starting point was to find data, information, and common ground among top athletes playing football across the nation. With that in mind, The Mellor 97’s main grading protocol arose — in order to be considered for the list, your high school team must have utilized the statistical-tracking software powered by Digital Scout.
In pairing with Digital Scout, The Mellor 97 was able to access statistical data for hundreds of teams and thousands of athletes across the country, giving a strong starting point. The statistical data from Digital Scout was carefully considered, not only just individual statistics but also compared against other athletes of the same position and also with the percentage of the team totals.
The goal of obtaining 97 athletes to highlight compiled quickly as the list of athletes with an impressive statistical showing in 2013 was staggering. It was quickly realized another aspect of the selection process was essential. We decided to focus on a critical part of every recruit’s journey – game film.
After hours of watching all available game film for athlete’s who held impressive statistical performances, the list continued to slim down. Some film impressed and moved some athletes up, maybe even despite a discrepancy in statistics with an athlete of the same position, and vice versa.
Even with film and statistical data in tow, the list was still in need of trimming. The next grading criteria incorporated several categories combined into one: location. The location grade included not only the city and state but also the conference and district the athlete’s team played in. Also, the team’s success had a large factor in the final production of the list and further helped our goal of a cohesive, impressive list of 97 athletes... A state champion would be graded higher than a player on a team with a sub .500 winning percentage, for example.
All of the aforementioned criteria were carefully considered and The Mellor 97 was completed early in 2014. With the completion of the list, we have also created the first-ever set of The Mellor 97 trading cards, available electronically.
This list is in no way intended to single out any one athlete or program nor is it meant with any malicious intent towards any athlete not named to the list. Again, this list is meant to simply highlight some of the top athletes from across the country. We are aware that this list may prompt questions and we urge you to email any you may have as well as any comments or concerns to Cameron Mellor (email@example.com).
If your athlete made our list and you would like access to the cards please email the aforementioned email address and follow Cam on Twitter (@CamMellor) for any further news and information on the list and many other Mellor Company Productions.