JUCO defenseman has Cougs on top post-visit

HEADING INTO HIS trip this weekend to Washington State, a 6-5, 260-pound junior college DE/BUCK prospect had plenty of expectations regarding all things crimson. Were those expectations reached? Yes, and then some. He talks about that and much more with CF.C...

City College of San Francisco d-lineman Chris Martin returned home to the Bay Area on Sunday evening but his mind was still back in Pullman. The lone WSU visitor this weekend said he remained blown away by his two-day trip to Washington State.

"It was fantastic," Martin said. "Everything was great and it really fulfilled my expectations from everything I was hoping to see -- and some were even exceeded."

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An assist belongs to the Wazzu faithful, who made a lasting impression on Martin. He said the fans at the Cougs' 72-60 victory over Portland on Saturday night at Friel Court were an eye-opener.

"The fans at Washington State are great," Martin said. "In mingling with the student body, you can tell they sense the change and they support Coach Mike Leach and his vision for the program. When you have people on the outside showing their support, it makes you believe that things are changing."

Although Martin didn't commit over the weekend, he didn't hesitate in saying that the Cougs are his top college choice with the start of signing day (Dec. 19) for mid-year JC prospects fast approaching.

"Washington State has been recruiting me the most actively and coming off my visit, I'm pretty high on them," Martin said. "I'd say the Cougars and Kansas are my top two, but WSU is my number one team right now."

MARTIN MET WITH all of the WSU defensive coaches this weekend and spent plenty of time with outside linebackers coach Paul Volero. Martin said the Cougs are recruiting him as a BUCK linebacker and Volero told him he has a chance to make an immediate impact for WSU in 2013.

"It was awesome because they showed me on film how they use their BUCK in space," Martin said on meeting with the coaches. "I've always played kind of a hybrid role and it's exciting knowing that they think so highly of me that they would want me to be one of the featured players on their defensive unit."

The CCSF product was hosted by linebacker Eric Oertel and had the opportunity to meet with plenty of defensive players, including starting middle linebacker Darryl Monroe.

"It was awesome to hang out with the players, man," Martin said. "They speak volumes of positivity on the coaching staff and they want to change the culture out there. They have a motive and passion to succeed. They told me not to let this season's record fool me. They believe they are going to win and can make things happen. I appreciated getting that vibe from the players."

COMING OUT OF Grandview High in Aurora, Colo., Martin was the No. 1 ranked outside linebacker in the country. The scholarship offers were endless and his recruitment was closely watched by college coaches across the country. He originally verbally committed to Notre Dame his junior year before decommitting and switching to California his senior season. After signing with Cal, he transferred to Florida but never played for the Gators and has spent the past two years at two junior colleges.

Since he's experienced the recruiting process before, Martin said he wants to make sure he finds the right fit before making any kind of decision.

"I consult everything with my mother and father," Martin said. "I'm a grown, 21 year old man, but I have two wise people I can use as a resource for this tough decision. I want to make sure to get input before making the call. I don't want to relive my high school experience. I don't want to commit and then decommit. I've already been through that and I want to pick a school and stick with it."

Martin, who has two years to play two at the next level, will take an official visit to Kansas on Dec. 14 and hopes to make his final decision sometime before the end of the month (the midyear JC signing period runs from Dec. 19 - Jan. 15.) He said he'll graduate in December, enabling him to enroll with a four-year school in time to participate in spring ball.

In 2012, Martin has racked up 41 solo tackles (61 total) with 4.5 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, six pass breakups, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

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