ILS’ Dairo Melendez And Vashaud Williams Selected To USA National Team


Photo Courtesy of Dairo Melendez.

Anthony Yero, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Following a successful season, two Immaculata-LaSalle football players have the opportunity to represent their school, city and country.

Dairo Melendez and Vashaud Williams were selected to participate in the USA National Team for football. The two are amongst some of the top underclassmen in the nation that’ll compete and display their abilities at the invite-only regional selection combine in Frisco, Texas, from May 1-2.

“This opportunity for me to represent my city and ILS is one of the biggest opportunities ever,” Melendez said. “I hope to show people that big-time players can come out of little-town programs. I’m going to ball out, make sure everybody knows my name and what school I came from.”

Melendez (6-foot-2, 270-pounds) was the centerpiece of the Royal Lions’ defensive line this past season. He garnered 38 total tackles, five tackles for loss and three sacks during his sophomore campaign. As a freshman, he posted 4.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.

“The future is bright for Dairo,” head coach Helder Valle said. “Someone like him is an extremely hard worker. He understands what it takes to be great. He’s going to be successful simply based on his hard work on the field. He can play at the next level, he’s strong, he has a motor, he has a good change of direction and he does a good job block shedding.”

Williams was a vital piece to an ILS secondary that held five of its seven opponents to 10 points or less, giving up over 20 points just twice last season. He recorded 37 total tackles, which ranks as the fourth-most on the team.

“My ultimate goal is to get one percent better every day and be better than last year,” Wiliams said.

The combine will feature NFL-style combine drills, including the “L” drill, broad jump, vertical jump, 40 time, individual drill work and 1-on-1’s The top players to come out of the regional combine will be named to the U.S. National Team to compete at the International Bowl. Last year’s International Bowl featured teams from Panama, Mexico, Canada and Japan.

Notable participants for the U.S. team are Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley, Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu and New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston amongst other NFL players.