VAUGHT: UK offers Junior Nick Martin

Kentucky couldn't convince Indianapolis offensive lineman Zack Martin to become a Wildcat when he opted to go to Notre Dame instead. Now the Cats are trying to see if they can persuade his younger brother, Nick, to become a Cat.

He was at UK's Junior Day Saturday and got the scholarship offer then.

"They have been recruiting me for some time. I wasn't surprised. I had kind of been expecting it," the 6-5, 260-pound Martin said. "I came down for the Tennessee game last year."

Of course, he had been to Kentucky many times before that because his father, Keith, lettered at Kentucky from 1981-83 and played one year with current Kentucky recruiting coordinator Chuck Smith. Martin's mother, Pam, is a former trainer at Kentucky who met her husband there.

The Martins have Kentucky season football tickets and Nick Martin says he has been coming to games for many years.

"My dad still tells me some Kentucky stories and stays in contact with guys he played with. He's really happy I got the offer," Nick Martin said. "I have been going to UK games my whole life."

Indiana and Ball State had offered scholarships before Kentucky to the Bishop Chatard tackle. He's also hearing from Illinois, Purdue, Boston College, Northwestern and others.

"I would say I am a physical player. I try to block to the whistle and threw it," Martin said. "I would say I am very aggressive."

Martin said he enjoyed the Junior Day visit and learned more then about UK than he did when he made the unofficial visit for the Tennessee game.

"Despite the turnout, there was a good turnout of players Saturday," Martin said. "I got to meet all the coaches, which is important. I got to see more of the facilities, got to talk to more players and meet them.

"I was impressed with the whole coaching staff, including coach (Mike) Summers (UK's new offensive line coach). I really like coach Smith, too. The whole coaching staff is honest and tells you the truth about what is going to happen. My dad knows (UK head coach) Joker (Phillips), too. I think they may have been together at UK one year."

Martin, like his brother, says family ties will not impact his college decision.

"My mom and dad are not going to push me. Whatever I decide, they will support me," he said. "I want to make a decision before my senior football season so I can focus on my team. I think once I start making a few more visits, it will come down to my gut instinct. But academics, coaching staff, the atmosphere and everything like that is important to me."

He does admit playing in the Southeastern Conference, which has had four straight national champions, is appealing.

"Anywhere you go in Division I, you will be around great athletes but the SEC is one of the best conferences there is and just thinking of playing in the SEC is very exciting to me," he said.

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