IN THE HUDDLE: Jared Martin

Last year, as a junior, Jared Martin from Western High School in Davie, was discovered after stepping up his game against some impressive competition. Heading into his final season, he is now regarded as one of the top prospects in a state loaded with quality football players.

During the spring and into the summer, www.floridakids.us will bring you our IN THE HUDDLE segments with football players throughout the state of Florida.

These are similar to the evaluations we pass on to the hundreds of colleges who visit our website, call us on the phone and correspond via e-mail.

Here is another top football player to keep an eye on this season – and beyond.

PLAYER: Jared Martin
POSITION: DT
SCHOOL: Davie Western
HEIGHT: 6-2
WEIGHT: 295
SPEED: 4.97
HEAD COACH: Doug Dutton
www.floridakids.us Pre-Spring Rating: 136

Having the opportunity to travel this state gives me a unique opportunity to see football players who are often not talked about or not pushed as elite prospects.

Attending so many games and camps gives me an advantage to see these football players who I perhaps would have missed by staying home and watching tape. Here is a classic example of someone who would have easily flown under the radar screen in the off season if I didn't get the chance to see him during his junior year.

While many would have stayed away from a Hollywood Hills/Western game, where there were limited prospects, having the opportunity to come and watch and to discover Martin made the entire evening worth the drive and the time spent.

At a school not know for producing quality football talent, the Wildcats, with one of the up-and-coming head coaches in this state, may start to produce some quality football players, and Martin is someone who could be at the head of that class.

Martin's appearance at the FloridaKids.us/Perfect Competition combine/camp in March certainly turned some heads. His quickness, strength and ability to play this game came out as the many players and coaches who attended the weekend left talking about this rising senior.

"Jared Martin is someone who has only gotten better over time," said Dutton, who spent some time with the Arizona Cardinals as an offensive lineman. "His athletic ability is simply amazing, and his strength is getting better and better. In a state filled with tremendous football players, he is on the verge of being in that group."

STRENGTHS: Having watched Martin in one game, two practice sessions, at a camp and twice on tape, I see an athlete who will perhaps end up as a nose tackle. His low center of impact and upper body strength will give him an edge against nearly anyone he goes against.

At the high school level, he simply dominates. I looked back at last year's game against powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas in which he had the chance to go against the best line in the nation with Daniel Wenger, Sam Young and Marcus Gilbert.

The matchup was pure strength against pure strength. It was athletic ability and football savvy clashing on the line of scrimmage, and after the game, which was won in a close contest by St. Thomas, all the players acknowledged an outstanding game - on both sides of the ball.

Young and Martin would get another chance to go against each other at the camp, where both were simply outstanding!

What makes Martin such a rising prospect? First of all, his quick first step helps him to often beat the offensive linemen off the ball. At any level that gives you a major advantage. The other thing that attracts you to him is his ability to read offenses. He has great instincts and anticipates so well.

WHAT HE NEEDS TO WORK ON: While some have hinted that offensive center could be an option at the next level, I think that nose tackle will be his best bet. With that in mind, he needs to start playing the position more, and practice beating the center and stopping the run more effectively. In the two game tapes I saw, he had more success getting into the opposition‘s backfield rather than stopping the run.

OVERALL: Just another football player, loaded with athletic ability, quickness and strength that we will keep an eye on throughout the 2005 season. Right now, he is a mid to upper D1A prospect, but as he works more as a nose tackle, his stock will rise!

COLLEGES ON THE HORIZON: When we talked to him at the camp in March, he hinted that that University of Florida was the leader at the time, but certainly not the only school that was catching his eye -early on.

Auburn, LSU, North Carolina State and Texas were also mentioned as places he would like to check out.

Get IN THE HUDDLE with some more of Florida's emerging stars:
IN THE HUDDLE – COLIN MCCARTHY
IN THE HUDDLE - DONTAE JONES
IN THE HUDDLE - DAMON PIFER
IN THE HUDDLE - CHRIS SORCE
IN THE HUDDLE - SHOMARI GRANT
IN THE HUDDLE - DARRELL ROSEMAN
IN THE HUDDLE - JAMES POE
IN THE HUDDLE - RYAN ELLIS
IN THE HUDDLE - COURTNEY JONES
IN THE HUDDLE - BRYAN THOMAS
IN THE HUDDLE - JORDAN DALRYMPLE
IN THE HUDDLE - PRESTON PARKER
IN THE HUDDLE - SABBATH JOSEPH
IN THE HUDDLE - RYAN KHAWLY
IN THE HUDDLE - BRANDON JAMES
IN THE HUDDLE - KEITH HOUSTON
IN THE HUDDLE - REGGIE ODOM
IN THE HUDDLE - C.J. SPILLER
IN THE HUDDLE - RILEY COOPER
IN THE HUDDLE - JAMES JAMISON
IN THE HUDDLE - DESMOND GEE
IN THE HUDDLE - RICKY GARY
IN THE HUDDLE - LAURANCE MARIUS
IN THE HUDDLE - KENRICK ELLIS
IN THE HUDDLE - RICHARD JACKSON
IN THE HUDDLE - LABRANDON GLOVER

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