Martin: 'I Was Really Surprised'

Dale Martin is one of the nation's top running backs, and he's got NC State on his early shortlist. He made a recent unofficial visit to State, and we've got feedback on that trip as well as the schools atop his current wish list.

Running back Dale Martin took unofficial visits to NC State and Tennessee last week. He is interested in both schools as well as a few others.

The 5-11, 195-pound tailback from Bolingbrook, IL spoke glowingly about the Pack and Vols.

"Tennessee did a very good job while I was there," said Martin. "In fact, I would go so far as to say that they're probably my leader. I was just really impressed with the coaching staff, the facilities and the tradition. They're working hard to re-establish their program and I think they're going to get it done.

"I was really surprised with what I saw and heard on my visit to NC State. I thought it would be a pretty good trip but I had a great time. It was a lot better than I thought it would be. Their coaches are all down to earth and you have to like Coach Amato. I have an uncle down there in that area, so that will help them out a little."

While Tennessee and NC State did a lot to help their cause while Martin was in town the talented running back is still showing a lot of interest in the two schools that once sat atop his list – Iowa and Wisconsin.

"Oh yeah, I could definitely see myself ending up at either of those places," he said. "I've been going to both schools since my freshman year because they've been recruiting guys that I've known.

"Coach Ferentz is one of the top coaches in college football and they have a really good program. The coaching change didn't hurt Wisconsin. Coach McCray (the UW defensive line coach) came over from Toledo this year, and he had been recruiting me for a while. My relationship with him is good, so I'm still looking at Wisconsin."

What does the near future have in store for Martin?

"I would really like to make my decision before the start of the season. But I'm still hearing from schools like Louisville and Cal, and if I decide I want to take a closer look at them then I'll probably have to hold off on my decision and take at least a couple of official visits. I don't think I really need to take officials to the other schools. I already have a good idea of what they're all about."

While Bolinbrook lost a lot of experience from their 2005 squad Martin's numbers could significantly improve this season.

"My numbers (1,100 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns) last year weren't as good as some of the other top backs in the country, but a lot of that had to do with the offense we ran. This year I think I'm going to get a lot more touches, so those numbers will go up."

Martin is a four-star prospect and regarded as one of the top running back prospects in the nation.

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