Created:Wednesday, April 24, 2013 11:56 p.m.CDT

Melvin awaiting next chapter

Buffalo receiver Devon Hughes (13) is upended by NIU cornerback Rashaan Melvin (11) during the first quarter of an Oct. 13 game at Huskie Stadium. (Rob Winner –

Rashaan Melvin didn’t waste any time.

On the morning of Jan. 2, Melvin and the rest of the Northern Illinois football team left Miami International Airport for their trek back to DeKalb after a 31-10 loss to Florida State in the Orange Bowl. The next day, Melvin started preparing for the rest of his football career.

The now-former NIU corner who led the Mid-American Conference with 17 pass breakups this past season, went back to work, preparing for NIU’s pro day and, eventually, the NFL Draft.

“I felt for me to show my best I needed to start working early,” Melvin told the Daily Chronicle. “I felt that was the best decision I made.”

Melvin spent the offseason working out at EFT Sports Performance in Highland Park, trying to get stronger and working on speed training and strengthening his legs, trying to get his 40-yard dash time down.

He graduated from NIU back in December, giving him the opportunity to soley focus on football.

Size has never been an issue for Melvin, who weighed in at 6-foot-2, 192 pounds at NIU’s pro day back in March.

He also showed that he can run, clocking an unofficial 4.38 40-yard dash.

“I think I showed at pro day how much of an athlete I was,” Melvin said.

Since pro day, Melvin has visited the Buccaneers, Colts, Lions, Packers and Seahawks. He had workouts at NIU with the Broncos, 49ers and Patriots, in addition to the Buccaneers and Colts. He also participated in the Bears’ annual local pro day in Lake Forest.

This weekend, Melvin is going to spend time with his family in his hometown of Waukegan. At this point, he feels he’s done a good job of controlling what he can. If he is selected in the seven rounds of this weekend’s draft, he would become the first Huskie defensive back to ever be selected.

He said the time period leading up to the draft has taken patience, focus and work. He’s waiting for the draft to get here, and most of all, getting ready to get back on the football field.

Not a bad situation for a guy who came to NIU as a walk-on.

“It’s a blessing to have this opportunity. A lot of guys don’t have this opportunity to be drafted or play in the NFL,” Melvin said. “I’m just taking it one day at a time and am pretty much excited.”

Will NIU football win the MAC this season?