The Terps are attempting to make inroads into the Garden State, and UMD-area recruiter Matt Barnes’ most recent offer went out to St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, N.J.) offensive tackle Robert Martin. The 6-foot-5, 265-pounder previously claimed verbals from Kentucky; BC; NC State; Rutgers; Wake; Pitt; and Temple, but the Maryland offer caught his eye.
“I’ve been talking to Coach [Matt] Barnes from Maryland for awhile now, and I just think he’s a cool guy,” Martin said. “I was down there before, last year, and I got to tour the Under Armour facilities, and I just thought it was really cool down there.
“But Coach Barnes, he first asked me what I thought about Maryland, and I told him I loved it. And then he said, ‘Well, we’re going to offer you.’ He gave me this little questionnaire type of thing, and I told him I’d been down there, I loved it, and it was a cool place to be. And when he said he was offering me I was like, ‘Wow.’ I didn’t know what to say. I was just pumped. Just pumped. He was pumped too. We were both pumped.
“I think we were both kind of humbled too, just about the whole thing.”
Martin admitted he didn’t know too much about the university, however. He was aware his teammate, Luis Accesus, had been offered by the Terps’ staff. But beyond that …
“Honestly I don’t know that much right now, but I’ll be doing research on them,” Martin said. “I knew they were Big Ten and an Under Armour school. But that’s about it. I didn’t really hear about their academics or anything like that, or what type of school it was. But it sounds like a place that I definitely want to check out and see what it’s about.”
Of course, Martin’s been to College Park, Md., once before. He said he’s toured the facilities, seen the stadium and trekked around campus.
“I told Coach Barnes I’d been down there and I loved it,” Martin said. “I told him I loved Under Armour, loved the location of the school, and I loved what Maryland was about. I said the uniforms were cool, and I felt like the program is moving in the right direction.”
After speaking to Barnes, Martin had a chance to chat with Dave Borbely, the offensive line coach.
“[Borbely] was a cool guy. I felt like we had a little bit of a connection going on. We were talking abut Under Armour and the brand,” Martin said. “And then we just talked about how I could help the team, and how he loved my game. It was very humbling. I can’t wait to talk to him again and meet him.”
Martin said Maryland would remain at the forefront of his mind, but it’s hardly the only school in play. Rutgers, which he’s visiting Feb. 13, has his eye too. And Penn State, Boston College, Pitt, Kentucky, Clemson, Tennessee, and others are in line for visits .
“Kentucky, I’d say that was one of the bigger offers for me. I had good talks with them, and that’s one I’m looking at,” Martin said. “And then Clemson, that’s one I’m hoping for, and Tennessee too. The SEC, that’s any kid’s dream, so Tennessee would be a big one. And Clemson, they just played in the championship game, so that would be a big one too.
“But if I had to pick one school I’d like an offer from, maybe Penn State. That would be a big one for me. Penn State is one I’m hoping for.”
Martin doesn’t plan to end his recruitment anytime soon, however. He said the earliest he’d select a school is after his senior season. At the latest, Signing Day.
“I’m going to go through the process and see what’s out there,” Martin said. “It’s very early right now. I like some schools, but I have to take some visits and see what other schools have to offer. I’m wide open right now.”