Henry Melton was born in Cedar Hill, Texas. Like so many Texas youths, he was seemed to be born to play Football. He went to bed every night dreaming on making it to the NFL. But his path was not as clear as some other players. Melton was always the big kid, but that never stopped him from trying to be the best football player he could be. It did not pigeon-hole him into just being an offensive lineman. He wanted to be involved with the team and show what he could bring to the table. At Grapevine High school he became a name known all around Texas as a Running back. He rushed for over 2400 yards in his career and was a one man wrecking crew. He had the vision to find holes in the Defense and the power to make them. When he got past the Linebackers, Corners and Safeties were taken back by not only his size but the fact that he was outrunning some of them. When it came around for schools to recruit him, many scouts had him pegged as an athlete. Not necessarily a running back, fullback, or defensive player. The All-USA second team selection earned a scholarship to the University of Texas.
In 2005, Melton was a short yardage back and back up running back to Jamaal Charles and Selvin Young, two running backs that went on to play in he NFL. In his Freshman year, Melton rushed for over 430 yards (5 yards a carry) and 10 Touchdowns. Behind QB Vince Young the Longhorns went on to become National Champions. Melton played RB his sophomore year as well, but had limited playing time.
Melton soon made the change to Defense in his fourth game of his Junior year. He collected 40 tackles, five sacks and 10 tackles for loss in his career. For many players this would be hard to do. Developing the mental mindset to become a hunter and predator of Quarter backs. To go up against 300 pound offensive lineman every play. Being a running back helped him make this transition. He knew what type of holes the running back would be looking for. He used his quickness and speed to get around lineman and get to the quarterback and his natural strength to get off blocks. Face it, Melton was a huge load to handle no matter what side of the ball he was on.
In less than two seasons on Defense, Melton was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the fourth round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Making it to the NFL is hard, but to make it after changing positions makes it that much harder, and probably more enjoyable. He recorded his first sack versus the old gun slinger, Brett Farve in Week 10 of that year. In 2011 he recorded a career high 7 sacks, a half a sack behind the lead for Defensive Tackles. So far this year he already has three sacks in three games for the Bears.
Henry Melton is an example of what hard work and perseverance can do for you. If you have dreams and aspirations to do something, do whatever is possible to make sure you accomplish your dreams. You might have to make changes to your plan or go about it a different way, but never give up. As the Bears come to Arlington to play the Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on Monday night, we say Welcome Home Henry Melton.