UNC 'In The Game' For Martin

By offering a scholarship a couple weeks back, North Carolina immediately became a player in Kareem Martin's recruitment.

"[UNC is] in the game," Martin said. "I grew up a fan and I had been waiting for that offer."

Martin, though, says he doesn't have a favorites list. The 6-foot-6, 229-pound defensive end from Roanoke Rapids (N.C.) plans announce his top six schools sometime in June.

"I'm wide open," Martin said. "I still want to wait a little bit more –write everything down and weigh the pros and cons."

Before his senior football season kicks off, Martin will make a verbal commitment. Up until that point, he will make several unofficial visits.

"I'm going to try to go to most of the in-state schools," Martin said. "And I may try to go to Georgia Tech and I will go to Virginia Tech.

"[During each visit I plan to] listen to what the coaches have to say in person, learn more about the academic support, and check the overall facilities and the area around the school."

Prior to the Evaluation Period, Martin received scholarship offers from Duke, East Carolina, Louisville, Maryland, NC State, Stanford, Virginia, and Virginia Tech. However, he heard little from UNC.

UNC's recruiting efforts flipped after area recruit Kenny Browning visited Roanoke Rapids High approximately a month ago.

"[Browning] came up to the school and we talked later that night," Martin said. "And then about another week later, he offered me. He said they had offered me and they want me to come up there sometime soon," Martin said.

Later that night, Martin spoke to John Blake, UNC's defensive line coach.

"We talked about UNC," Martin said. "They're not as deep as everybody thinks they are [at defensive end], because they roll guys in fresh every other play. They try to keep guys fresh."

The conversation furthered Martin's relationship with Blake, which began last summer at UNC's camp.

"He's a great coach – one of the best [defensive line coaches] in the country," Martin said. "It was nice to work with him last year. I think I might camp there again this year to work with him again."

Entering the Evaluation Period, Martin gave his recruiting stock a boost with his performance at the Shrine Bowl Combine held in Havelock, N.C. He recorded a 4.69-second 40-yard dash and a 33.7-inch vertical, and was unstoppable during one-on-one pass rushing competition.

"I think [my combine performance] helped a lot," Martin said. "It was a combination of my film to go along with [my combine performance]."

Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Wake Forest also offered Martin a scholarship during the Evaluation Period.

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