Louisville stands out for top SC safety

Pat Martin is one of the South's hottest prospects. The Greenville (SC) J.L. Mann safety has offers from LSU and Tennessee, but told InsideTheVille.com that Louisville, along with those two SEC heavyweight schools, standouts out on his current list.

Pat Martin, a hard-hitting 6'0, 198-pound safety from Greenville, S.C., has received nearly a dozen scholarship offers this spring, including ones from SEC heavyweights LSU and Tennessee. While Martin has an impressive list of suitors, the J.L. Mann High School standout says that four schools have caught his attention this spring.

"The schools that are standing out probably are LSU, Tennessee, Louisville and Cincinnati," Martin said.

Martin, who made 90 tackles with a pair of interceptions last season as a junior, said he feels a strong connection with the Louisville coaching staff – a staff with strong ties to the south. His recruiting coach, linebacker coach Brian Jean-Mary, served coaching stints at South Carolina and Georgia Tech before coming to Louisville.

"I can relate to all the [Louisville] coaches," Martin said. "They know how it is where I come from and how hard it is to get out of here. That's why they stand out to me. I talk to coach Brian Jean-Mary about every week and I talked to Charlie Strong a couple weeks ago."

Strong, who also has ties to South Carolina, told Martin he wants him to come up to Louisville for a visit this summer to check out his rising program.

"He was just telling me that he was real excited about the things I do after watching my film and that's why he offered me," Martin said. "He wants me to visit this summer so I can check out their program. I'm going to come up this summer for a visit."

Besides Louisville, Martin also has strong interest in LSU, Tennessee and Cincinnati.

"Cincinnati's defensive coordinator was at Central Michigan and I met him at a Michigan camp and we started a relationship," Martin said. "Tennessee is telling me I'll be the same type of player as [All-America free safety/first round NFL pick] Eric Berry was there and I'll play the same role in their defense. LSU is pretty much telling me the same thing."

While most schools envision Martin becoming a hard-hitting safety in college, LSU and Louisville also believe he has a chance to make an impact at corner.

"Everybody is talking about safety, but LSU is giving me options and Louisville said that I could play corner or safety," Martin said. "I think my hitting ability helps me stand out."

How will Martin eventually differentiate between his favorites and make a decision?

"No. 1 is coaching staff stability. No. 2 is education. And No. 3 I'm looking for the coaches track record of getting players to the NFL," Martin said. "Early playing time is big, too."

Martin said he could make a decision at any time, but stated clearly that no program has emerged from the field yet. Martin attended Clemson's spring game, which he called "okay," and also will visit several schools this summer before making his decision.

"I could commit tomorrow, or anytime," Martin said. "I'm not setting a timetable. But I don't have a leader now. I know this summer I'm going to LSU, Alabama, Tennessee, Louisville, South Carolina and Clemson."

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