Last month Michigan got in the game for Iowa City (Iowa) West wideout Oliver Martin by extending an offer after his scintillating performance at Nike’s The Opening. Thanks to an extremely impressive visit to Ann Arbor for the annual Barbecue at the Big House Saturday the Maize & Blue cemented its place among his favorties.
“I liked it a lot,” said Martin. “I got to meet all of the coaches, build a relationship, and become closer to them. Talking to the receiver coach and the head coach… I like them a whole lot. I spent a lot of time with Jedd Fisch, then some of the assistant receiver coaches drove me around campus and were closer and more personable with me today. I liked them all. (Jim Harbaugh) is a really really cool guy. He has a lot of energy. He is always excited about whatever he is doing. I think that’s really cool. (I like) how he is so upbeat all the time as a head coach.”
“Then getting to see all of the other commits and all of the other players just further proved that Michigan is a great place to come and play football. Meeting some of the players on the team and then other commits and how we all mingled and hung out on the football helped you get a good feel for what kind of people are here (and) what kind of people they bring in.”
“They’re right at the top with a few other schools. (Michigan) would be a great place to go, especially after coming and seeing everything that I saw today and knowing all of the commits. It didn’t let down at all.”
On a day where so many interactions were memorable, the ones that he had with his teammates from The Opening stood out the most.
“I really really like Nico Collins, Donovan Peoples-Jones, A.J Dillon, (and) O’Maury Samuel,” said Martin. “I met all of those guys back at the Opening. That’s where our relationship started. Coming (to Ann Arbor) I just furthered the relationships. I really like those guys a lot. That’s definitely a plus for Michigan.”
With his barbecue experience now behind him, Martin’s attention (as far as recruiting is concerned) turns to official visits. He hasn’t yet determined how many fall stops he will make, but said that Michigan will “probably” be one of them. A pledge to one of those schools will likely come after those trips and not before the season like he’d previously hoped.
“(Choosing a school before the season) would be good, but I don’t want to rush a commitment,” he said. “If you did it before you wouldn’t have the stress of the season. You would be able to build relationships with the coaches and all of that, but I don’t want to rush it. I want to make sure I make the right decision.”
Because Martin typically holds his thoughts on his recruitment close to the vest, speculation that he was close to making a commitment last month picked up steam without much opposition. Iowa, Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Oregon had emerged as his favorites and the Spartans were rumored to lead the pack thanks to his positive camp experience and the presence of his friend and former little league teammate Rocky Lombardi on their commit list. According to Martin such talk was premature.
“I haven’t really been too close on committing to a school,” he stated. “But they are up there (on his list) too. Michigan State is a great place. Having Rocky there is a plus. He is a great guy and a great quarterback.”
Relationships like that one and the ones he has forged at Michigan will go a long way towards determining which school the talented youngster will ultimately pick.
“(It will come down to) if it feels right to me,” Martin said. “Obviously the coaches they have there (will factor in). What there players are like, what their offense is like, where I would fit into the offense, their campus, and facilities also.”
Another consideration might be the opportunity to play baseball. Martin drew pro scouts and high major scholarship offers while leading his high school team to its second consecutive state championship appearance. He’d previously mentioned his plan to pick which sport to pursue in college before the season. Now it appears he will need more time.
“I think just I’m still not for sure,” Martin explained. “That would be an ideal time to (determine which sport he’ll play), but it’s not a definite (timeline). I’m not set on doing it before the season.”
“I’m definitely considering (playing both sports in college) because I love baseball. I still think one sport might be better to do in college. I’m not sure yet.”
Stay tuned to the Michigan Insider for more on Martin in the weeks and months to come.