Martin Amid Official Trips

ROANOKE RAPIDS, N.C. --- Kareem Martin has unofficially visited all five of his finalists. However, it will be his official visits that have the biggest impact on his collegiate decision.

"The officials you get to really see the players," Martin said. "You get to talk to the players, see how campus life is, and how the coaches really are – other than how they are when you talk to them."

Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, and Virginia Tech are Martin's finalists. The 6-foot-6, 229-pound defensive end from Roanoke Rapids (N.C.) plans to officially visit all five schools, unless the feeling strikes him.

"I don't know if I'll end up taking all five [official visits], but I know I'll take a couple more," Martin said. "It just depends if I get the urge to commit and want to go to that school, I would cancel the other ones."

Martin doesn't anticipate making a verbal commitment until after the football season.

Nearly a month ago, Martin was in Georgia Tech for his first official trip.

"[The visit] was good," Martin said. "I had a lot of fun hanging with the players, getting to see the city and everything.

"[The visit] helps out [with my decision]. I learned a lot more about Georgia Tech from the players' point of view, instead of just from the coaches or the fans. So I got to learn what it really was about."

Martin is scheduled to officially visit Duke this coming weekend. The Blue Devils host ACC rival Maryland Saturday.

Martin is in the process of scheduling his three other visits. UNC in particular has asked to set its visit for after the season.

"They just think it's better to do it after the season," Martin said. "The coaches will be able to spend more time with me."

In the meantime, when his schedule permits, Martin has been unofficially attending college games. He has attended the UNC-Citadel game in Chapel Hill, the Virginia Tech-Nebraska contest in Blacksburg, and the Duke-Virginia Tech game in Durham.

On Friday night, Ken Browning, UNC's area recruiter, dropped by Hoyte Field in Roanoke Rapids to watch Martin play.

"You've got to step up every time, whether there are scouts in the stands or not," Martin said. "You've got to play the same every game."

And step up Martin did. He forced two fumbles, made eight tackles and had four QB hurries.

The night prior, Martin spoke to John Blake, UNC's defensive line coach.

"We talk about a little bit of everything – life, football, the things he's done, the things he wants to do with me," Martin said. "If I were to go [to UNC], freshman year, he'd want me on the speed team rushing the passer."

Martin says he speaks weekly to either Blake or Browning, but has spoken more to Blake recently.

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