Looking back on it, former Greenville (S.C) J.L. Mann grid standout Pat Martin thinks he probably should have chosen Arkansas the first time around.
Instead the former four-star prep standout signed with Tennessee and went through summer workouts and preseason practice with the Vols before deciding to leave Knoxville in late August.
The 6-1, 205-pund junior college safety – who is on pace to graduate in December and will have three years of eligibility left - spent all of last season out of uniform, but will suit up this fall with Arizona Western Community College.
"I needed to grow up and mature and it just wasn't the right fit for me at Tennessee," Martin said. "I probably should have come to Arkansas because it had that family feel and still does."
Martin, being recruited by Razorback assistant Chris Klenakis, is set to visit Arkansas unofficially on July 20.
While the Razorbacks have commitments from a pair of high school safeties, it's known they are looking for a older one with some junior college experience as well.
"I have a great impression of Coach Klenakis," Martin said. "He keeps it real with me. He says that Arkansas needs an older guy to come in and play safety right now and he thinks I can be that guy. I certainly am not afraid of competition."
After committing to Tennessee back in August of 2010, Martin scheduled a late visit to Arkansas right before signing date, but the Vols coaching staff talked him out of taking it.
"I'm coming down there on July 20th and I'm very excited about it," Martin said. "Arkansas has a great program, one of the best in the country. And they play in the SEC, which obviously is where the best football players in college football play."
Martin, who had 70 tackles, two interceptions and a fumble that he returned for a touchdown as a senior, has offers from Memphis Oregon State, South Alabama and New Mexico State.
He has interest from Arkansas, Mississippi State, Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Utah.
"What I am looking for is a place that is like family and where you can go to the coaching staff for things other than just football," Martin said. "I want a coaching staff that will be real with me about everything."
Martin chose Tennessee over South Carolina LSU, Arkansas and many others out of high school.
He's looking forward to getting back in uniform and playing this fall after sitting out last season.
"It was really tough not getting to play last season, but I just tried to work out and stay in shape," Martin said.
He arrived at Arizona Western in January after also considering Hutchinson (KA) Community College and Georgia Military College.
"I got to go through spring practice and felt like I did pretty good," Martin said. "My coaches feel like I need to work on my hands some, but I covered really well, feel good about my speed and I'm certainly not afraid to stick my nose in there and hit somebody."
Since he is a full qualifier and is on pace to graduate in December, Martin is anxious to figure out his next step.
"I am hoping taking this Arkansas visit will point me in the direction I need to go," Martin said. "I can really see myself playing there."
Martin Set to Visit Arkansas
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