IOWA CITY, Iowa -- In the game of life, you have to take advantage of your opportunities when they present themselves.
Oliver Martin is a prime example of that.
In July, the Iowa City (Iowa) West wide receiver competed at The Opening Finals held at Nike's world headquarters. He squared off against some of the nation's best high school football prospects and proved he belonged among the nations elite.
“That was a great experience going out there with a bunch of the top recruits in the country for a full week getting to bond with them,” Martin said.
But it was also an opportunity to showcase himself to a certain collection of prospects who happen to be pledged to the same school.
“I was on a team with a bunch of Michigan commits," Martin said. "So I got to know them really well. Dylan McCaffrey was the quarterback, I got to know him really well. To catch passes from him was really cool.”
Martin wasn’t kidding. He played alongside U-M commits: McCaffrey, O’Maury Samuels, A.J. Dillon, Benjamin St. Juste and Josh Ross.
He also was one of the event leaders in receptions and touchdowns, too. And after such a strong performance, Martin eventually earned an offer from the Wolverines on his last day of camp.
“I felt like I built good relationships with all the kids on my team,” Martin said. “And the majority of them were Michigan commits, so I think they liked me enough to tell the coach to give me offer or something. I don’t know what they said, (but it was) something along those lines. So I ended up getting an offer at the end of the camp.”
Checking out U-M
Not too long after his offer Martin made his way to Michigan for his first visit in early August. It was his first opportunity to meet the coaches, players, and even more commits at U-M’s annual recruiting barbecue and scavenger hunt.
“I really enjoyed the barbecue,” Martin said. “I got to further my relationships with the commitments that they have right now, and the coaches even more. That was a great experience.”
After his barbecue visit, Martin admits his interest in the Wolverines started to escalate. But he still had yet to see an actual game at the Big House. So on whim, he and his family drove through the night to see Michigan take on Wisconsin on October 1st.
“What I wanted to do, I wanted to see what it was like on game day there,” Martin said. “And I hadn’t talked to the coaches in a while, so I wanted to go there and see them face to face and talk to them a little bit."
“The game day environment was really cool... one of the biggest stadiums in college football. It was a very lively environment. They played Wisconsin that day and got a big win. It was really cool to see that.”
Bonding with the coaches
Ever since his first visit to Ann Arbor, Martin says he has continued to grow his relationship with Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, as the talk about life and his ongoing recruitment.
“It definitely is starting to grow each time I speak with him,” Martin said of Harbaugh. “I mean, when I meet with him we just kind of talk about whatever. He’s really easy to talk to, a fun guy.”
Also, Martin has grown his bond with wide receiver coach Jedd Fisch, who wants the Iowa City standout to play slot for the Wolverines.
“With Jedd Fisch, I have great relationship with him,” Martin said. “He’s a great guy, I like talking to him. At the same time, he’s great at developing wide receivers.”
Martin also excels at baseball, and has been encouraged to play both sports at Michigan by Harbaugh.
“That is intriguing,” Martin said of playing both sports. “That would be pretty unique to play both football and baseball up at Michigan at a very high level. So I would definitely be interested in doing that. I’m not sure yet, though. I’m not sure if I would want to do both sports yet.”
Martin says he still has yet to talk to U-M baseball coach Erik Bakich, but plans to be in contact with him sometime soon.
Going back to AA
Moving forward, Martin says he plans to get up to Michigan again.
“After the season I’m thinking about getting up there maybe one more time, this time for an official visit,” Martin said. “Because I haven’t done any of those yet. So I could do that, and that would be towards the concluding process my recruitment.”
Martin’s younger sister, Ruby, is a star swimmer who finished fourth in the 200-meter butterfly in the U.S. Olympic Trials this summer. She also holds an offer from Michigan, and the idea of the two of them going to school in Ann Arbor together has crossed Martin’s mind.
“That would be pretty cool, I think,” Martin said. “I know it would be really nice for my parents if we went to the same school, traveling and everything. But being able to have a sibling at the college as me, especially when I get along with her pretty well, I think that would be pretty cool.”
At the moment, however, Martin says he hasn’t decided if he will graduate early or not. He has also yet to give a decision timeline. He plans to choose between Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Iowa, and Oregon among his multiple offers.
Be sure to check out The Michigan Insider's exclusive with Martin's sister Ruby for much more on her Michigan recruitment.