LaSalle's Martin Among Ohio's Top Juniors

Cincinnati LaSalle defensive end Ben Martin is considered one of Ohio's top five juniors. The 6-5, 225-pound Martin lived up to his billing on Saturday as LaSalle defeated Sycamore 35-7. Click here for more on this fast rising prospect.

Prior to the start of the 2005 high school football season, Ohio High recruiting editor Duane Long had ranked Cincinnati LaSalle defensive end Ben Martin as the state's No. 2 junior overall behind only Canton South's Devon Torrence.

Martin (6-5, 225) did not disappoint in his 2005 debut. He had two sacks, at least eight tackles and also forced a fumble as LaSalle downed Sycamore 35-7 in the Crosstown Showdown at Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium.

"Our coaches prepared us well," Martin said. "We watched a lot of film. We just came out and worked hard. We focused on winning and got it done today."

Martin talked about his mind-set as a defensive end.

"I just try to stay in there and do my job," he said. "I know I have to read my keys. My coach told me if I read my keys, I should be fine. I did that today and I was able to make a few big plays here and there. I couldn't do it without my teammates. I also want to thank our offense for scoring. We just tried to give them the best field position we could."

Martin said he spent plenty of time this summer getting ready for the season.

"I worked really hard during the off-season," he said. "I lifted four days a week. I wanted to make sure I was prepared. I got my body stronger and faster. I just wanted to do better than I did last year."

Martin is a lean athlete at 6-5. He could possibly pack more weight on that frame and could, perhaps, play end or defensive tackle at the college level.

"It's hard to say," Martin said. "I like end, but if they need me to move and play somewhere else I'd be happy to play another position."

Martin has speed to burn as well. Timed at 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash, he was spotted on Saturday running full bore down the field on LaSalle's kickoff coverage team.

"I just want to go down there and hit somebody," he said. "That's all I'm looking for."

Martin said he has not received any college offers yet.

"I'm getting some questionnaires, but no offers yet," he said.

He did list some of his top college choices.

"Right now, some of my favorite schools would be Ohio State and Notre Dame. I'd also probably say Texas and Cincinnati, too."

Things looked great for LaSalle in the opening game – until the Lancers lost starting quarterback Tyler Sheehan to an apparent collarbone injury in the final two minutes of the game. Sheehan had thrown for 152 yards and four touchdowns before the injury. It's unclear how long he may be out, but he could possibly miss LaSalle's tough Greater Catholic League games against the likes of Moeller, Elder and St. Xavier over the first seven weeks.

LaSalle hosts Clayton Northmont (and OSU verbal CB Kurt Coleman) on Friday.

EDITOR'S NOTE -- Stay tuned to over the next 10 days as we plan to present video of Ben Martin in action as well as video clips of Cincinnati Princeton OL Aaron Brown, West Chester Lakota West WR Josh Chichester and Cincinnati Colerain OL Connor Smith and LB Tyler Moeller.

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