The term eye-test is used quite a bit in scouting. Some players just look like football players. It isn’t always an accurate indication of how good a player will be, but it is the type of cursory assessment that often the starting point in separating those that possess great potential from those that don't.
Detroit Catholic Central DT Mike Martin passes the eye-test. He isn’t 6’4, 330 like most NFL defensive tackles, but he is compact, well built, and doesn’t have the extra baggage on him that most linemen tend to carry. A 6’1, 285-lb penetrator, Martin blew up backfields last season en route to racking up 75 tackles and 8 sacks. As if that wasn’t enough, he won the Division 1 state wrestling championship in his first year as a wrestler. He also boasts impressive weight room numbers (420-lb bench and 550-lb squat). Add all of that up and it is easy to see why he is starting to become a hot name in recruiting.
”The schools I’m hearing from the most are Michigan State, Michigan, Northwestern, Iowa, Purdue, Indiana and Duke,” Martin reported. “Iowa and Northwestern have offered and MSU will offer soon because I talked to the coaches about that.”
With so many interested schools in relatively close proximity to him, Martin has not wasted any time checking out possible college destinations.
”Northwestern was great when I visited (for a spring practice),” Martin said. “The city of Chicago was awesome and the coaching staff was really down to earth and had a fire about them. Coach Fitzgerald is a real good guy along with the rest of his coaching staff. Also, Purdue and MSU spring practices were really intense. Coach Dantonio is really changing things for the better and I'm looking forward to spending more time with them. Purdue was a long drive but well worth it.”
The big defensive tackle also has made it to Ann Arbor on a couple occasions. He traveled to games during the fall and was recently able to take in a spring practice. After every visit he came away more impressed with the Wolverines.
” I visited Michigan and I loved it!” he said. “They right now are currently number one on my list. I liked everything about it. I have a couple friends on the team and the coaching staff really took care of me so it really made it feel like home. I just really look forward to growing my relationship with the coaches and getting to know ALL about them.”
Martin will return to Ann Arbor for the Michigan summer camp as part of a busy camp tour that also includes stops at Duke, Purdue, Michigan State, Northwestern, a NIKE camp, and possibly the Notre Dame camp.
After all that travel, Martin may then be ready to make a college decision. Though he wants to take the time to ensure that he makes the best choice, he does not want to be a distraction to a Catholic Central team poised to make another playoff run.
”I want to shoot for committing before the season begins for me," said Martin. "I just want to relieve the stress of picking my college before my senior year starts because it's all about getting that ring.”