Sackmaster Talks Visits

Penn State's storied tradition at linebacker always excites potential linebacker recruits about the university. Ely HS's <b>James Martin</b> is no different. What is his take on the Nittany Lions? Will he visit Penn State? How many of his talented teammates could join him?

Name: James Martin
Position: OLB
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 227 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.47
School: Pompano Beach, Fl. (Ely HS)

Ely HS in Pompano Beach, Fl. may be able to challenge some Division II schools if they played each other on the football field.  This February 5th, Ely could have as many as 13 players sign Letter of Intent papers to Division One schools.

Ely players (Super running back) Tyrone Moss and offensive linemen Andrew Bain and Cyrim Wimbs received much of the early season buzz, gaining offers from a "who's who" of major college universities.  After the Miami Nike Camp in April, James Martin elevated himself into the elite class with his peers.  The then 6-2, 215 pounder reeled off a blazing 4.47 forty yard dash time, displaying the explosive speed and quick step which helped him record 19 sacks, 70 tackles, 20 hurries, and 5 forces fumbles (and counting) this season.

James' hard work off the field has helped him bulk up to 227 and opened a number of doors in recruiting for him.  

"I'm getting recruited by over 30 some schools, all of them Division One."

Of the thirty schools, twenty have already promised James a scholarship, though the majority have already sent him an offer in writing.  Just about every school projects him for the SAM, or strong side outside linebacker, at the college level.  For now, James' top five schools consists of North Carolina, North Carolina State, Miami, Fl., Penn State, and Michigan State

He took his first official visit to Michigan State on 10/26, though the trip to East Lansing did not impress him.

"I didn't like it too much.  It was ok, but it just wasn't me."

In early November, James and his cousin, fellow Ely HSer and starting middle linebacker, Clint Session traveled to Chapel Hill to officially visit the University of North Carolina.  Though the Tar Heels were smoked by Maryland 59-7, James came home from Carolina with a good impression of his visit.

"I have North Carolina leading right now.  They made me feel like I was at home.  The academics were real, real nice.  They showed me around the school.  It was someplace I could live with.  They have tutors there too."

Though leading, the Tar Heels are not runaway favorites for James quite yet.  This weekend he and teammates Tyrone Moss, Cyrim Wimbs, and Andre Bain will be flown to North Carolina State on the team's private jet.

Martin also lists Miami, Fl. and Penn State.  Have those famous linebacker institutions offered also?

"I have a written offer from Penn State and I'm waiting on word from Miami.  They were saying something about after the season."

James feels Penn State, who offered in him sometime in May, will definitely receive one his final two official visits sometime in early January.  Coach Tom Bradley calls him nearly every week to get an update on how things are progressing.  In fact, James has gotten in the habit of calling "Scrap" just to talk.

"I just called him today but he's out someplace recruiting.  I left a message on his phone for him to call me tonight.  Just to catch up on things."

"They [Penn State] always have the best classes of linebackers going to the NFL."

Martin feels that his teammate, Tyrone Moss will definitely accompany him to State College for his official visit.  

"We're real, real close.  My father and his father are best friends.  We're thinking about a package deal.  And my cousin Clint Session too."

Before James and his teammates jet off to Raleigh this weekend, they must first take care of Naples HS on the playing field Friday night.  Ely HS, at 12-1 now, has not advanced past the semi-finals since James entered high school.

"We might be going to the state championship if we win this Friday.  We go this far every year and then we end up losing.  So this year has to be the year because we're all seniors."

(Interview by Steve Curry)

Note: James was unsure if Clint Session was receiving any interest from Penn State.  Session recently took an official visit to Pittsburgh without his cousin or any other of his Ely HS teammates.

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