Many Wolfpack fans remember James Martin as the Wake commitment that made the switch to NC State in late January. We asked James about the change of heart and it all came down to which school was better for him. "It was an important decision. NC State just had a better football program than Wake. It did not matter where people said I could play early. The way I look at it is if you are good enough to play, you will play anywhere. I think I can play any place. It's just a game and I can play it."
The confidence in his abilities is not some figment of his imagination either. James has been playing football just about all his life. "I've been playing since I was young. I love the game. I love laying licks on people. NC State is talking to me about playing outside linebacker and defensive end. It's wherever they need me. I'm an all around player."
James helped Blanche Ely High School (Pompano Beach, Florida) win the 5-A State Championship this year. In that game, Martin forced a fumble and had one sack. "We are getting our rings this week at a special ceremony. I am happy about it. I have had an urge to get that ring. We have always been one game away from winning it. We would lose by 1 or 2 points every year in the semi-finals. This year we blew out the scoreboard. It was my senior year and it is special, but I had the same desire to win it every year."
Like most NC State signees, James is in full training. However, the company he keeps in doing so can catch an eye or two. "I'm in training. I am trying to get ready before I get there. I am running with some NFL players. Henri Crockett (OLB, Minnesota Vikings), Zack Crocket (RB, Oakland Raiders) and Tony Carter (RB, Green Bay Packers) are some of the players I train with. We run at West Side Park. Tony Sands is training us. I hang with them everyday. I lift weights for 2 hours also. I am benching 415 and my best 40 is 4.43."
According James, he will be arriving in Raleigh in July, although he still is unsure about his future roommate. He also is fully qualified and is just waiting to graduate. "I am qualified and ready to go. I could have left school in January but I wanted to stay in school here to do some of the things with my friends like the prom and going through graduation. I'll be up there after the fourth of July."
Martin had 84 tackles, 22.5 sacks, 32 quarterback hurries, and five forced fumbles as a senior. Martin made the prestigious All-Broward Class 6A-4A Football Team in 2002.