California prep-linebacker will visit NU

California prep linebacker Eric Martin has seen through the waning weeks of recruiting, his own recruiting go up. That's meant a lot of late official visits for the outside linebacker, one of which will be in Lincoln.

You don't often see prep-football players waiting this long for their college decision. It's even less common for prep-stars to have all of their official visits still in front of them. That's the case for Rancho Verde High School (Moreno Valley, CA) linebacker Eric Martin.

Between the season which saw his team go 10-1 this season, only four years removed from a season where his team had only won four games, and just waiting to see what recruiting does, Martin hasn't had his mind totally focused on recruiting.

It is now.

"Yeah, it's time to figure out where I am going to go, because I have a serious opportunity in front of me and I want to make sure I pick the right school."

Martin says of the offers he has right now Arizona State, Boise State and Nebraska recruiting him the hardest.

From the Huskers Defensive Line Coach and Defensive Coordinator Carl Pelini is recruiting martin, along with another future Husker. "I talk to Taylor Martinez every now and then, and he's been telling me everything he knows about the program," Martin said.

While Martin is going to try and figure out more things between now and Signing Day, he said that because he decided to hold off on his visits he got a real chance to see his main teams of interest.

Those teams are the trio mentioned above.

And sometimes watching and learning is the best way to get the information you wanted, rather than listen to a coach or even commit tell you what they liked. "It was great watching them all, because you can really get a good idea of how they play, what they do with the linebackers, what kind of team they have – all that," Martin said. "You want to see a team that plays hard, because that's the way I play every down."

Martin watched the Gator Bowl which matched up Nebraska with the Clemson Tigers. In what was ultimately a defensive battle between the two squads, Nebraska's defense came out on top. Martin was impressed with how the Huskers played, one Husker in particular. "Suh, I think that's the guy's name, they couldn't stop him," Eric said of the Husker junior defensive tackle who led the team in tackles and finished the year as an AP first-team all-conference player. "The guy was covering two gaps almost the entire game and they just couldn't stop him."

As a linebacker a good defensive line means a lot.

"If the defensive line is doing its job, the linebackers can just run around and make plays," Martin said. "I mean, I will always get my gap, because that's my job. But if the defensive tackle is taking two gaps, that's going to let me roam around and hit people." Martin did that this last season to the tune of over 12 tackles per game, six of which were sacks. At 6-1 and 218 pounds, if you were to project him to a 4-3 (his team plays a 3-4), he seems to be right at home at the WILL-linebacker position.

Martin doesn't really care about that. He's a linebacker and wherever he is put, his philosophy remains the same. "You have to give everything you got every play of the game. You can't leave the field with anything left in your tank," Martin said. "I live off just playing football, but you have to play it hard or you shouldn't be playing at all."

One thing which Martin has taken notice of in regard to the Clemson/Nebraska game was the make-up at the linebacker position. With starting linebacker junior Phillip Dillard out, this group was a bit of a mix-and-match. Martin saw that, and with the nature of the line up the Huskers had, which consisted of two walk-ons and a sophomore scholarship player, he sees opportunity knocking. "Well, it's a great chance to compete to play right away. You know by looking at that, that they need linebackers," he said. "Competition is great, but they obviously need some linebackers to step up for them soon."

Having learned a ton about Nebraska thus far this trip to Lincoln which will take place on the 16th of this month, Martin says he certainly likes what he sees. From the defense to the coaches he says things are looking up for the big red. "You know coach (Bo) Pelini is going to do great things there. He already has in his first year," Martin said. "They are building something good there, and I see that staying like that."

A trip to Boise State follows the weekend after Nebraska and then Arizona State the weekend after that. Being a California kid and ASU being his last visit, the first belief for most recruiting fans would be that ASU is his last visit, they play in a conference which plays closer to home more often and when it comes to the weather Martin said it agrees with him. "I haven't really played any cold weather games, so it's hard to know how something like that would be," he said. "I mean, I will go wherever fits me the best, and weather isn't going to be a factor.

"Sometimes you just have to deal with it and go on if you want to do the best things for your own future."

Martin said that he is determined to take all three of the visits he has scheduled right now, and after that he'll make his decision. Considering the timing of the last visit to see the Sun Devils, that means Martin will have around two weeks to decide .

Martin likes where the situation is now, and he's very comfortable with making sure to cross the Ts and dot the Is, because this is a one-time kind of deal. "I want to get out on these visits so I can see what players are like, coaches are like with the players and stuff like that," he said. "I want to know that there is an opportunity, but what kind of players I will be playing with for the next few years.

"That's pretty big for me, so I want to see they all get along."

Martin said of his trio of teams that nobody stands above the other right now, and he figures it will stay that way until all the visits are done. "I'm going to take my visits, go home and think about each one, what they have, what kind of place is it, the players – all that," Martin said. "But you have to take all the visits to the places you are seriously considering, or you are just selling yourself short."

Stay tuned to Big Red Report as we will bring you more on potential visitors, if Martin could be the last one for the class of 2009 if they get them and a look ahead to where recruiting goes from here.


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