Michigan State picked up a junior college commit for the second straight season earlier this week.
On Tuesday, Saddleback (Calif.) Community College defensive back Drake Martinez committed to Michigan State. He was recruited originally by MSU out of high school, but went to Nebraska before transferring back.
His game is impressive, so MSU stayed interested and landed him this time. We take a look at what we see on Martinez’s film:
Everything is speed. It’s just speed, speed and then more speed. You do not often see a player fly around the field as he does from so many different spots.
And that is another thing you see with Martinez. From wildcat QB to safety to corner, he lines up everywhere and can do pretty much anything on the field, while playing with good instincts.
One spot he does not play is the position he will play at Michigan State, which is outside linebacker (STAR). But he does show his skills at some of those responsibilities. He shows he can cover in space and is comfortable being alone on a receiver.
He delivers big hits and plays with a high degree of physicality, hitting with force and showing good tackling ability.
But it all comes back to his quickness. From the first step, Martinez is in a very high gear and covers a lot of ground. As he likely will take on the third-down STAR linebacker role, this bodes very well for Michigan State against spread teams as he will bring the speed that MSU covets in bringing onto the field.
Martinez shows a dominant ability in his junior college tape, but where will his game be at a major level? No doubt his speed can translate, but he does not show other things.
One concern is his ability to shed blockers and continue pursuit. There is no doubt when he has a clear path to a player, he is a bullet speeding to the ball/player. But when his path is impeded, he will have to handle that.
Another transition to playing linebacker will be how he gets used to playing in the box – even though he won’t always be in the box in his likely role. He looks pretty comfortable close to the line though.