December 2, 2002

MELILLO NAMED FIRST TEAM VERIZON ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICAN

LEXINGTON, Va. -- Washington and Lee senior offensive lineman John Melillo (Forney, Texas/Belle Plaine (Kan.)) was named to the Verizon College Division Football Academic All-America squad on Monday morning as voted on by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America.

Melillo was placed on the first team marking the second straight year that W&L has placed an athlete on the first team. Senior tight end Jay Thomas (Houston, Texas/Episcopal) was a first team selection last season.

An English major with a 4.025 grade-point average (GPA), Melillo was a three-year starter on the Generals' offensive line. The last three seasons, the 5-10, 215-pound Melillo helped pave the way for W&L running backs to rush for 1,000+ yards every season. During the past two seasons, Melillo has helped the offensive front allow just 12 sacks in 568 pass attempts.

A Verizon First Team Academic All-District selection each of the past three seasons, Melillo is Washington and Lee's 31st GTE/Verizon Academic All-America selection and the 10th W&L athlete to earn first team honors since 1975.

The Verizon Academic All-America College Division comprises all NCAA-member schools from Division II and Division III.

-- GENERALS --