When his recruitment began, Greenville, S.C. athlete Pat Martin figured that schools from across the country would express interest, whether through the mail or by sending coaches to his high school.
What the J.L. Mann High standout did not expect was a call from LSU – especially at this stage in the game.
Yet on Tuesday afternoon, the word from the Tiger staff came – and the news was some of the best Martin has received in recent memory.
“I am completely speechless,” said Martin of the scholarship offer. “LSU was the school that I watched a lot of growing up, so for them to reach out to me is special. I would consider them one of my favorite colleges, for sure. It is a day that I won’t forget.
“I had five offers already, but this is definitely the big one.”
With scholarships from Arkansas, Duke, Maryland, Minnesota and UCLA, the Tigers not only join the short list but also jump straight to the top.
“With the offers I have, LSU definitely stands out,” he said. “I have seen the program put defensive backs into the NFL pretty consistently, and playing in the league has always been a dream. It’s a great opportunity, and LSU is definitely a place that I am going to visit and look at really hard.
“I am trying to be mature and let everything play out, but days like today make that hard.”
While Martin will stay on the East Coast to visit the likes of Clemson and South Carolina this spring, the Palmetto State native said that the fall would present the opportunity to board a plane for Baton Rouge.
“I am going to make trips to schools that are close to me right now, then once my official visits come in the fall I will start getting out of state,” Martin said. “After today, LSU is the first place that I want to get to when the time comes.”
Martin wrapped up his junior season at safety with 112 tackles, four fumbles caused and two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown). He was named to the All-Area, All-Region and All-State teams.
When it comes to college, the decision on cornerback or safety is one that he feels no pressure to make.
“Most schools said that they want to feel me out before making things definite,” said the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Martin. “When I talked to LSU on Tuesday they let me know that I could decide, so I went ahead and told them to recruit me as a safety.”
While the contact with the coaches has just begun, Martin is no stranger to the recruiting class that the Tigers are putting together for 2011. Thanks to the Internet, Martin and Lutcher High’s Jarvis Landry have forged a long-distance bond.
“I met Jarvis through recruiting stuff, and we tracked each other down on Facebook and have kept up since,” Martin said. “He tells me all about LSU, but I didn’t have an offer yet so we didn’t go too in-depth. Now that I do, I expect Jarvis to start recruiting me pretty hard.”
In the classroom, Martin reports a 3.0 core GPA and a 17 on the ACT.