No player being recruited by Kentucky has more ties to the UK football program this year than Indianapolis offensive lineman Zach Martin.
His father, Keith, lettered at Kentucky from 1981-83 and played one year with current Kentucky linebacker coach Chuck Smith, who is Zach Martin's chief recruiter.
His mother is a former trainer at Kentucky who met her husband there.
That's why his family has UK football season tickets and Zach Martin has "been down there a bunch to watch Kentucky play" in past years even before he was offered a scholarship by the Wildcats.
"I have a bunch of ties there. I sent my film down and then they offered me a couple of months ago. I am starting to like Kentucky more and more. There's definite interest there," the 6-5, 300-pound Martin said. "I know it almost sounds too good to be true, but I guess it is a really good story if I go to Kentucky."
He says his parents are not "pressuring" him to give Kentucky preferential treatment.
"They are open to wherever I want to go. They think it would be great if I would go there and carry on the family legacy, but they also want me to make my own decision," he said.
Martin has 11 scholarship offers. He readily admits Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois are at the top of his list and those are the three schools he's visited the most. Purdue, Virginia and Iowa are three more schools he likes and Michigan and Notre Dame are also interested.
Other than his family, his reasons for liking Kentucky are a chance to play in the Southeastern Conference and the academic programs offered at UK.
"The SEC is the dominant conference in college. It would be great to play against those players to get me ready for the next level. And Kentucky has great coaches," Martin said. "All the academic people where there when Dad was, so I know they are good. The facilities are as good as anyone else's in the country. It's all good."
Martin, a starter at both offensive tackle and defensive end for two-time defending state champion Bishop Chatard, isn't sure when he'll make a college decision. He plans to attend the Nike Combine in Columbus where a strong showing could bring more scholarship offers. He'll likely limit his camp options this year to only schools he has a strong interest in attending.
"I always thought I would make an early decision. I would still like to make a decision before my senior year and get it out of the way so I can concentrate on my senior year. But as you progress through this and make relationships with different coaches, I realize it will be harder to make a decision by summer," Martin said.
So how will he decide where to go to school?
"All the schools are on the rise or have a great tradition. Probably the coaches will be a big part in my decision," Martin said. "I want to make my official visits and get to know the team and players and see how the chemistry works and how the players all like each other.
"But I already know this whole process is a lot harder than I ever thought it would be."
VAUGHT: Zach Martin has strong ties to UK
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