The Alabama RBs: Max Martin

Dixie is chocked-full of great high school RBs, all top U-M recruiting targets: La.'s Jakouri Williams and Derron Thomas, Miss.'s Brandon Jackson. And Alabama has two as well, both with Midwest connections: Big Back Max Martin and speedster Marcus Manson. We talked with their coaches yesterday -- first <B>Max Martin</B>'s.

Big Back Max Martin from Madison, Ala., Bob (Hunstville area in N. Ala.) is's #8 tailback. In eight games as a junior, he rushed for 1,069 yards (7.7 yards per carry); he also caught five passes for 133 yards and four more touchdowns; as an outside linebacker in five games he made 53 tackles and two sacks. Yesterday we talked to Martin's head coach, Mike Bates.

"Max gets a lot of correspondence from Michigan. Their running backs coach will be here next week I believe. And I can understand why: Max is real intense, and he does things we want him to do: he practices hard, he has a great weight room ethic. He has grown quite a bit and gained weight, he's 6-2, 216 lbs. now, and he's gotten stronger -- he benches 400 lbs. now. I recently timed him at 4.59 in the 40. His forte is his running style: he's a cut back runner, he's a good inside-outside runner, he has great knee action. And he catches the ball well, he caught three touchdown passes."

Does Max have Midwest connections?

"He grew up in Chicago. He came to us in the middle of his freshman year. Did he grow up a Michigan fan? Well, what I know is that he brought up Michigan to me very early -- he talked about Michigan to me a long time ago. We didn't know if there'd be interest the other way. Now it looks like Michigan is interested in him too -- their running back coach, Fred Jackson, has seen his film and is coming down here to the school."

Does he have scholarship offers?

"He has eight or nine offers: Auburn, Alabama, Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech, Arkansas, LSU is fixin to offer him .... there is a lot of interest."

Do you think Max will play running back or lineback in college?

"Running back is what he wants ... people talking linebacker to him are not getting far."

How is he academically?

"He's already got a qualifying ACT score, a 24. His GPA is 2.5, so he wants to improve that."

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