2008 Focus: Harrison Martin

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Enter the East Mecklenburg football office and the coaches will tell you all about their top recruit in the 2008 class.

"Harrison Martin has all of the potential in the world," said East Mecklenburg offensive coordinator Jason Fowler. "He's got great speed for a man his size, and he is very athletic.

"The thing with Harrison is that he is just unproven. He missed some time last summer, and he didn't get to play as much as we hoped."

Late last summer, Martin took a vacation with his family, a trip that lasted four weeks. He missed most of preseason workouts, and that limited his effectiveness early in the season.

"I think I did fine last year," said Martin. "I got better during the season. I came back a few weeks late because of the summer, but I thought I improved as the season went on."

Martin certainly passes the look test. With long arms and quick feet, he was the most impressive lineman at this past weekend's Shrine Bowl combine held in Butler, North Carolina.

Measuring in at 6-foot-5 and 277 pounds, Martin ripped off a 5.31 40-yard dash, a 5.16 pro shuttle, a 25.8-inch vertical, and posted 19 reps of 185 pounds on the bench.

"From what I've heard, Harrison had a very good workout last week at the Shrine Bowl combine," said coach Fowler. "I believe there was a buzz there about him. He has long arms, great feet, and he's one of the types that if he gets his hands on you then you're done."

"I definitely think he's going to have a good year this season."

"He's one of the types that if he gets his hands on you then you're done."

Because of his late emergence in 2006, Martin's recruitment is just now taking shape.

He's on everybody's mailing list," said Fowler. "I believe all the big-time schools are going to be watching him. NC State came in and I believe they were impressed with him, and I know Virginia has been sending a lot of mail."

"I've talked to the assistant coach at NC State, and I've got letters from Auburn, Virginia, and Duke," said Martin. "Virginia has been sending a lot of letters. My uncle tells me a lot about them."

New NC State head coach Tom O'Brien has stated that he favors tall, lean offensive linemen, and Martin fits the bill. What does he like about the Wolfpack?

"State, I've heard a lot about their program," he said. "I know they've got a new coach, and I hear he's going to do some good things. I think he's going to do good."

Martin is taking care of business in the classroom. He owns a high-B average and should have no problems qualifying. He is in no hurry to make a commitment.

"I'm going to wait a while," said Martin. "I want to see what's out there. I want to see all of my options before I pick a school."

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