Ball State Class of '08: Robert Martin continues to highlight each player in the class of 2008 and doing a brief scouting report on each of the 24 players in the class (21 new players signed and 3 greyshirts). Today we have the twelfth of those 24 installments.

Robert Martin, 6-2 230 LB, Indianapolis (Pike)

What he brings: Size, Speed, versatility. Martin has excellent size at 6-2 230 and can play any one of the LB positions. He possesses the bulk and sideline-to-sideline speed to play the MIKE as well as the ability to fight through the wash and also find a lane to attack the runner through, the strength and speed to play the strong or weak side and he has the beginnings of the skills necessary to be a RUSH DE. Martin played MIKE in high school, so his first shot might be there, but I think given his frame and speed either a move to SLB would be in order, if not, he could pack on a little more weight and become a monster at RUSH. Martin's success in high school was attacking the running game and also blitzing. He played for a very successful defense as a prep and he was able to dominate most teams thanks to his skills.

Areas of improvement: Finding a position and playing in space. If he sticks as a MIKE or makes the move to SLB, Martin will have to learn to play in space and play passing lanes as a zone defender and do a little bit of pass coverage. As a attacking MIKE in high school, Martin was able to key on running plays, but in college he will have to be able to read the pass vs. run. One key thing with Martin, in my opinion, is he gets into one position and learns it thoroughly. The Ball State staff can have a good player on their hands if they decide early where to stick him and keep him there so he can learn the nuances of that position. Personally, I could see him as an asset at the RUSH spot where he can focus on playing in the backfield and not having to work about pass coverage. grade: I have said this repeatedly about this class, but I really like Robert Martin. He has the size, speed and basic tools to be a force in the MAC. I am not sure why Big 10 programs passed on him, but he certainly is and will be a good player for the Cardinals. I fully expect that Martin will be a starter down the road at whatever slot the staff places him in and he has all the capabilities to be able to be a force at that position.

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