Martinez Eying The Buckeyes

Ohio State might already have a glut of offensive linemen verbally pledged to join the program in 2009, but the Buckeye coaching staff has not simply stood pat. Four-star prospect John Martinez was in attendance for a camp in late June and came away impressed with what OSU had to offer. How impressed was he? Read on to find out.

Although Ohio State already has three verbal commitments from offensive linemen for its class of 2009, that has not stopped the Buckeyes from pursuing more.

One of the faces who could fit into the picture is John Martinez, an offensive tackle from Salt Lake City Cottonwood. A four-star prospect as ranked by Scout.com, Martinez made an unofficial visit to Columbus to take in the team's final senior advanced camp June 20.

It was enough to make the 6-3, 270-pound Martinez seriously consider the Buckeyes.

"I did pretty good (at camp)," he told BuckeyeSports.com. "I liked (offensive line coach Jim Bollman) a lot. I like the facilities. I got to lift in their weight room a little bit and I liked it a lot. It's a lot different than back over here. I liked the environment over there. It was pretty nice."

Martinez arrived in Columbus one day prior to the camp and stayed for "a few days" once it concluded. It marked the first time Martinez had set foot in Ohio. Accompanied by his father, the duo stayed with one of his father's college friends who lives in the area.

"They're really big Buckeye fans so we just stayed at their house while we were there," he said. "I got to tour the local things because we stayed there."

Although having family friends near Columbus will have no bearing on his final decision, his overall comfort level at the school he picks will. Upon taking his unofficial visit, Martinez said he is comfortable enough with the Buckeyes to pick them.

"I could see myself going there," he said.

A first-team all-state player as ranked by both the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News, Martinez has been timed at 4.9 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Scout ranks him as the No. 3 offensive guard prospect in the country.

While on campus, Martinez also got to spend some one-on-one time with OSU head coach Jim Tressel.

"I was kind of nervous before I entered his office, just like how anybody gets before they enter a head coach's office," he said. "It was pretty cool because I got to know him a little bit more. I didn't know he coached at Youngstown and all that stuff."

Martinez is being recruited by both OSU recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach John Peterson and Bollman. While in Columbus, Martinez went to dinner with Bollman, OSU verbal commitment Corey Linsley and Glen Ellyn (Ill.) Glenbard West prospect Chris Watt – both of whom were in town for the camp. In addition, Martinez's father was on hand.

Although the class of 2009 is filling up, Martinez said he has no plans to rush a final decision.

"That doesn't really affect me that much because I don't really think about it, but if I was going to commit there I would ask the coach and I know they would be straight up with me," he said.

Moving forward, Martinez said he has narrowed his list down to basically three schools: OSU, USC and UCLA. However, he added that he was interested "a little bit in LSU" as well. He took unofficial visits to check out both the Bruins and the Trojans around the same time he came to Columbus.

The Buckeyes will receive one of Martinez's official visits this fall, he said.

"I'm going to take three official visits," he said. "I was planning on making my decision after my senior season. I'm going to take an official to USC to watch the Ohio State and USC game, and then I was planning on taking an official to LSU and Georgia and I was going to take an official to the Ohio State-Michigan game."


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