Every quarterback needs a trusty tight end to bail him out of trouble and the Hoosiers may have found a tight end of the future in Brad Martin.
With reliable hands and the ability to get open, Martin should fit right in with the Hoosiers' new passing attack.
Just don't expect him to brag about it.
"My senior season went pretty well," said Martin. "We won our league and I thought I did well as an individual. We made the playoffs, but we lost the first game to the eventual state champion. Overall, it was a good season for us."
Doing well individually included 26 catches for 443 yards and 2 touchdowns – good enough to lead his conference in receiving and his second season over 20 catches. His Marion Pleasant (Ohio) team went 8-1 in the regular season before losing in the playoffs and Martin grabbed first team all-conference honors.
Martin was one of Indiana's first recruits after committing to the Hoosiers in August following his visit to Bloomington for the Hoosiers' football camp. It was his last of the season and the camp that made the biggest impression on him.
"I went down there for camp, met some of the guys and coaches and I just really loved being there," said Martin. "They had a lot of things that I found interesting so I figured I'd get it out of the way, focus on my senior season and not have to worry about anything."
With the Hoosiers' new passing attack, Martin could figure into Hoeppner's long-term plans. Tight ends Matt O'Neal and Chris Rudanovic will both be seniors during the 2006 season opening the position up for competition in 2007.
If plans change for Martin, there is no shortage of positions he can play on the football field.
"As of right now I'm going to come in at tight end, but you never know with big athletes they could end up anywhere to help out the team," said Martin. "In high school I punted, kicked and played free safety and my freshman year I played quarterback."
After his commitment, Martin started to keep an eye on what his future program was up to and liked what he saw. The potential the Hoosiers have is something that stood out to him from the beginning.
"I saw as many games as I could and I made it down for the Kentucky game," said Martin. "I thought they looked really good in that game. I know they started off strong and the end of the schedule was tough, but for Hoeppner's first season and a new system for the guys I thought they did pretty well. Having a new coach and a new system is tough no matter where you play."
While visiting the Hoosiers, Martin noticed the large emphasis Indiana puts on education. That focus only added to the reasons his became a Hoosier.
"I'm not sure which area I'm going to study, but I'm excited to get to school," said Martin. "I know it's going to be a challenge balancing school and football, but I'm ready for it. I know they have study tables to help us out, so it seems like they have a large focus on academics. That's always important."
Part of being an early commitment means less attention from the coaches after the courtship is over, but for Martin the important thing was just to keep in touch with his future coaching staff.
"I usually get calls about once a week from the staff and I've gotten to know them pretty well," said Martin. "Hoeppner seems like a great guy who really cares about his players and is really excited to turn the program around. That makes guys really want to play for him and do well. Overall he seems like a great coach and great person."
Now all Martin can do is sit back and wait for his dreams to come true.
"It's always been a dream for me to play big time football and the Big Ten is an excellent conference that is definitely on the upswing," said Martin. "I'm really excited to be a part of that."
SIGNING DAY 2006 - Brad Martin
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