California lineman catches Nebraska's eye

The hunt for offensive linemen continues for the Huskers. Never satisfied, as well as they shouldn't be, the search for up-and-coming bigguns motors on. It seems that Nebraska has stopped, though, in Sherman Oaks, California, taking a look at one of the better ones from that region of the state. The problem is, the Huskers aren't alone.

Sam Demartinis is touted as being one of if not the best offensive lineman in the state of California.

High praise, but when you look at his upside, it's hard to argue with a lot of schools at least taking a look. Standing just over 6 foot, 6 inches tall and weighing around 265 pounds, there's room to build and even room to improve.

That's something Martinis Demartinis doesn't see a problem with, because of himself and his coaches. "I'm always trying to get better, but our coaches, they really do a great job with our technique and making sure we do things right," Sam said. "We're not just a bunch of big guys out running around. Our feet, hands, all of that is a big thing."

You don't see that as often as you'd like to see from the prep-level, so many kids of Sam's size basically utilizing the strategy of running into someone being good enough to get them out of the way. The Notre Dame high school standout doesn't have to worry about that, due in large part to his coaches, but Sam already knows that after high school, everyone is going to be as big as you. "It's important to work on that stuff as early as you can, because it just gets harder at the next level," Sam said of the jump to college. "The more you know about how to properly use your hands and feet now, the better chance you have to contribute early in college."

Sam plans on doing that or at least hopes to, once he makes that decision. And based on his popularity right now, that's a decision that will be of acute interest from as close as UCLA to as far away as Gainesville. That's where Sam's attention is right now, in keeping his options as open as the attention he's receiving right now.

"I have offers from Ole Miss, Washington and San Diego State, but I am getting mail from Florida, Florida State, USC, UCLA, Alabama, Duke, Nebraska and a whole bunch of others," Demartinis said. "I know because my dad went to UCLA and I went to a lot of their games, people think I am going there, but that's not the case at all."

"Every school that sent me letters, I am looking at them all. Nobody is out of the picture right now."

The Huskers have been sending Sam mail, a lot of it actually, Demartinis figuring that between what he gets at school and at home, he's getting from the big red, around seven letters a week. The most recent was an invite to annual Red/White game, along with an invitation to one of their two summer camps being held in june.

Sam isn't thinking quite that far ahead, at least toward the camp, but he's already got plans for the spring. "I am heading to UCLA's junior day next Saturday and USC's jr. day next month, like on the third I think," he said. "And I plan on going up to visit the Oregon and Washington schools, too."

"I am going to make a lot of visits I think, and maybe some camps, but I haven't really made up my mind where they are going to go."

Of the Huskers, outside of the deluge of mail, Sam knows a little about the program. Some about what they have done recently, but even more about what they did for what Husker fans must seem like a long time ago. "They have been down the last couple of years, but they have a really good tradition," Sam said. "There was a time where they were the team to beat. Programs like that usually rebound pretty quickly, so I am sure they will be really good again."

The Huskers, while they probably won't hit the interior of the offensive line a lot, will more than likely still be looking for solid tackles for the team. Only this time, unlike in recent years, they will more than likely be very determined to get them from the prep level.

Sam marks himself as one of those they are eyeing very hard right now and while Sam is looking at everyone, he says that of Nebraska, they have some of what he's looking for in the future. "I'm looking for a school with good academics, of course, but I also want to look really hard at what kind of players a team puts out," he said. "Do they send guys to the league, what kind of league experience do they have and if the staff just knows how to develop their linemen?"

"I've gotten really good coaching here, so I want to continue that, because I am probably like most, I just want to know if I can make it and I know I need good coaches to do that."

As you might imagine, Sam isn't in any hurry to make a decision. Probably the opposite in fact, Demartinis looking forward to the recruiting process and getting to know all these schools. As to any favorites, he says none and that's the way he thinks it will stay. Sam did say of the big red, though, that they were definitely in his top ten.

We'll keep in touch with Sam throughout the recruiting process and, of course, his season, as he takes impressive measurables and increasing hype and see what he does his final year of prep ball.

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