At 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, Pompano Beach (Fla.) Ely standout defensive end James Martin is having an excellent season so far, with over 30 tackles and eight sacks in four games. However, Martin said he'll play linebacker in college.
"I love playing defensive end," Martin said. "But everyone is recruiting me as an outside linebacker. That's fine with me."
Martin, who celebrated his 18th birthday on Thursday, said all the hard work during the offseason has paid off.
After running a 4.57 at the NIKE Camp in April, Martin said he worked on getting his time down. "I'm running about a 4.47 now," he said. "I've worked real hard on conditioning and everything too. And I might run track after the season so I can keep working on my speed and quickness since I'll be making the move to linebacker."
Martin, who also posted a 32-inch vertical jump at the camp, is also preparing to take the SAT. "I'm doing that sometime later this month," he said. "Math and English are my favorite subjects so I think I'll do OK."
Martin has also been catching the attention of college coaches from across the country with his excellent play this season.
"Miami has been calling," he said. "Coach Hargreaves and I have been talking a lot lately. Some others that still call that I like are Michigan State, Penn State, N.C. State, and Florida State. That would be like my top five. I also like Florida."
So who might have the advantage at this point?
"Well, right now, I'm waiting for Miami to offer me," he said. "They're the only one of my favorites that haven't sent me an offer. But I talk to Coach Hargreaves on the phone every week and I also talked to him before their last two home games. He told me to keep playing hard and that they will be offering real soon since I'm still at the top of their list at linebackers. He said this is the time of year where a lot of kids start dropping off and I'm still high on his list."
Martin said if the Hurricanes were to offer, they'd become the team to beat.
"I might commit if they offer me," he said. "I like everything about Miami. I go to all the pre-game dinners and meet with other prospects and talk to coaches. Plus some of my teammates are liking Miami a lot right now."
Speaking of teammates, Martin is very close to running back Tyrone Moss.
"I'm probably going to Michigan State for a visit on October 18," he said. "Me and Tyrone are going up there. Since we've been playing together for awhile, we are taking the same trips together since we want to go to the same college. He's talking about Miami right now. Plus we have two offensive linemen (Andrew Bain and Cyrim Wimbs) that are thinking about Miami."
Martin said he'd love to be one of four Ely players to attend the same school.
"The Miami coaches said they haven't signed four players in the same class from the same school," he said. "That would be fine with me."
Martin said he's unsure about his other visits right now.
"I'd like to visit the other schools in my top five," he said. "Except, Florida State hasn't been calling much lately."
So how close does Martin feel he is to an offer from the Hurricanes?
"I think I'm real close," he said. "Andrew [Bain] told me he talked to them and that they'll be offering. I hope so and I'm going to keep playing hard."
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