With double-digit commitments for the Class of 2011 before the end of spring evaluations, the appeal of an early scholarship offer from LSU is evidently as strong as any in the nation.
On Thursday, Spartanburg, S.C. native Ronnie Martin headed to school expecting the typical day of studies followed by spring workouts.
Called into Spartanburg High head coach Freddy Brown’s office just shortly after arriving to campus, Martin heard news that he never expected to arrive.
“Coach Brown asked me what I would do if LSU offered, and I told him I would probably just go crazy and run out of the office,” Martin laughed. “When he told me that coach [Les] Miles had sent a scholarship over, I was just speechless.”
After following the Tigers on television this past season, Martin’s interest was peaked through defensive coordinator John Chavis’ aggressive attack.
Chavis, a South Carolina native, found a similar interest in Martin, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound cornerback prospect.
When Martin spoke with Miles later in the day, the message passed on was one of sincere interest.
“Coach Miles said that I was the cornerback that they wanted, and that the staff really liked what I can do as a kick returner as well,” he said. “It was great just talking with coach Miles. I think he’s a great coach, and I can tell he definitely loves me.”
The conversation went so well that Martin, whose other offer is from Nebraska, weighed out the option of ending his process on the spot.
“I honestly thought about just committing and getting it over with, but I figure I should think about it for a little while,” Martin said. “I need to digest what happened today, because it was a big part of my recruitment.”
While Martin put off the immediate commitment, he plans to make a pledge before his senior season.
“I want to commit in about a month,” he said. “Right now LSU is on top. I had Alabama out front, but that was only because they had shown a little bit of interest and wanted to see me in camp. This offer from coach Miles lets me know LSU is serious, so that just wiped out anything I felt before.”
Martin will fly to Baton Rouge on June 6 to participate in the first session of LSU summer camps, though the visit will serve more as an introduction to Baton Rouge than evaluation period.
“With the offer already sent, coach Miles said he wants to just get me in town and meet the coaching staff,” Martin said. “I am excited about getting there. It should help me pretty much decide whether LSU is the spot or not.”