Martin: 'I'm A Tar Heel'

ROANOKE RAPIDS, N.C. --- Kareem Martin announced Monday afternoon in front of family, friends and classmates at Roanoke Rapids High School that he's decided to become a Tar Heel. Afterward, the 6-6, 229-pound four-star defensive end spoke about his decision ...

What was it about UNC?

"Throughout this process, I've been trying to find a school that can give me the best fit as far as academics, football, and environment. Of the three schools, each one possesses a unique quality that I liked. But one stood out from the others and the school is: North Carolina. I'm a Tar Heel.

"I really liked the coaching staff at UNC. Coach [John] Blake, Coach [Ken] Browning, and Coach [Butch] Davis are doing an outstanding job of recruiting. They really have their team on the rise and they'll be contending for ACC, and even national, championships in the future."

How many schools sought after you?

"I started out with 13 and I narrowed it down [eventually] to three, throughout the year."

When did you actually know your decision?

"I was really set on North Carolina after my official visit (a week ago). After spending time with the players and getting to know the coaching staff more, I felt like that was where I wanted to be."

How important was it to stick to your game plan throughout the recruiting process?

"It was really important. I made sure I was consistent throughout the process. I wanted to make sure that when I made my choice that it be my final decision. I didn't want to deal with de-commitments or anything. When I made my choice, I was set 100-percent."

Did you inform the UNC coaches before you announced?

"They were pretty sure after I left my visit."

What were the UNC coaches' reaction when you told them?

"They were really excited to have me come along and [commit]. It's a start of great things."

Did you tell any other recruits or commitments of your intentions?

"Darius Lipford, he knows, and a couple of other commitments who I was down there with on my official visits."

The last couple of years, UNC has played its true freshman defensive ends. Was that a factor?

"Yeah. They have a top defense and they'll lose a lot of guys next year. I think being able to go in there this year and possibly getting some playing time and playing behind some of the great players they have was really important for me."

How much do you think you'll be able to learn from those guys?

"It's going to be great, because most of the guys are probably going to the NFL. It's great to be able to learn from guys, who are going to be on the next level, and to be coached by coaches who coached on the next level – specifically D-line."

Can you talk further about the relationship you developed with Coach Browning and Coach Blake?

"Coach Browning, he's been recruiting me for about a year. And Coach Blake started recruiting me about halfway through. They're both great guys. And I'm really excited to play with Coach Blake – you know, he really has his guys prepared for the next level."


Martin's finalists were North Carolina, Duke and Virginia Tech. He also received offers from Clemson, East Carolina, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Maryland, NC State, Stanford and Virginia.

He recorded 163 tackles as a senior, including 25 tackles for a loss, four sacks, 10 forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and one interception. He was named to the All-State Team and was selected to the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas and the Offensive-Defense All-American Bowl.

Martin is ranked a four-star prospect and the No. 34 defensive end in the nation by

Kareem Martin Profile

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