KERNERSVILLE, N.C. --- Six Power 5 schools have offered Khalid Martin, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound safety. However, a school that has yet to offer -- North Carolina -- is sticking out to the 2019 prospect from East Forsyth High.
"He's got great size, great instincts," East Forsyth head coach Todd Willert said. "He gets better every game... He has big upside."
"We have a rule here: if we're going to bring up a freshman, he's going to start," Willert said. "Otherwise, he's going to be a JV guy."
Martin fell into the former category. He started every game of his freshman season at safety improving with each passing game. That improvement culminated with a playoff run -- which ended in overtime to eventual champion Charlotte Mallard Creek in the semifinals -- where he intercepted four passes, forced three fumbles, and made several big hits. He ended his freshman campaign with 64 tackles
Six games into his sophomore season, Martin is responsible for 24 tackles, an interception, and a pair of pass deflections.
Following the aforementioned playoff performance, the scholarship offers proceeded to pour in for Martin -- Illinois, Maryland, NC State, Penn State, Southern Miss, Wake Forest, and Wisconsin.
"Christian [Beal] and Madison [Cone] were offered early, but I don't know if either of them had offers after their freshman year like Khalid," Willert said. "I think that has a lot to do with is playoff run."
"It's good to know that my talent is being recognized by these colleges," Martin said. "But, in order to keep growing, I know I have to keep it in the back of my mind and keep grinding."
Although Martin has assembled quite an impressive early offer list, it's a school that has yet to offer that stands above the crowd -- North Carolina.
"I love it," Martin said. "It's home. When your father likes Carolina basketball, you check out the football team. I went to a couple of their games growing up."
Those feelings grew when Martin attended UNC's home-opening victory last month.
"They're dogs -- all of them," Martin said. "Everybody wanted to win for each other. They play for each other, definitely. The brotherhood at that school is high. The coaches talk to [the players] as if they are their own children -- you could see the passion that they have for their kids. And you can see the passion that players have for each other. It's a big family."
Also during the visit, Martin and Willert met with Charlton Warren, UNC's secondary coach. There a scholarship offer status update was provided.
"Carolina's interest is high," Willert said. "[Warren] was very open. He kind of wants to get another year of film on [Martin]."
Primarily, Warren is trying to determine whether Martin is a cornerback or safety, Martin was told.
Martin, who twice camped at UNC this past summer, made his first non-UNC visit on Saturday. He traveled to NC State for the Wake Forest game. There, the Wolfpack extended him his most recent offer.
Martin aspires to visit every school that has offered him at some point.
Although Martin will base his college choice on what's best for him, he admitted that Wake Forest and Wisconsin have built-in advantages. Beal is committed to the Demon Deacons, while Cone has pledged to Wisconsin. But the true X-factor is Martin's brother, Nique, who is prepping at Palmetto Prep.
Martin considers Christian Beal, who's committed to Wake Forest, his best friend... During his freshman year, football was the only sport Martin participated in. However, he plans to join the basketball and track teams this year.... Martin is considering pursuing a degree in either the law or culinary fields in college.