Pitt Gets Third Verbal Commitment

Chris Hayden-Martin has cornerback's speed to go with the long arms and hitting ability of a safety, so college coaches call him a hybrid defensive back.

The University of Pittsburgh football team and its fans get a chance to see those talents in person next year, because Chris Hayden-Martin verbally committed to play for the Panthers during their Prospects Camp Saturday afternoon.
br> "I committed because of the location and because Pittsburgh coaches are great people," Hayden-Martin said. "Because of that I decided I didn't need to wait any longer and I committed today."

Hayden-Martin had about 27 offers and also considered Connecticut and Boston College, but Pitt won out after discussing the matter with his family.

Hayden-Martin canceled trips to UConn and BC because, "I really didn't think I needed to travel any more. My parents love this place, and my grandma graduated from Pitt, so I'm happy to be a Panther.''

Once he got started talking about Pitt, the athlete continued to praise it.

"It's great here,'' Hayden-Martin said. "This place, I learn something new and better about it every time I come here. You can't get better coaches at any other school. I've been to Boston College, and I've been to UConn. And neither has the coaching staff that Pitt has. Pitt's way up there. It's a good school.''

Hayden-Martin also appears to have developed a solid relationship with Chris Ball, who just completed his first season at Pitt as the secondary coach.

"Chris Ball is awesome,'' Hayden-Martin said. "When I came up here the other day, I had a one-on-one talk with him, and we talked about a lot of things. We talked about academics, and that's important to me.

"I want a coach who really cares about what I want to do academically. He knows I want to be a teacher, and I want to be a coach someday as well. So, I know he can help me achieve those things, too.''

Hayden-Martin believed that his 4.38-second speed in the 40-yard dash is what initially caught the attention of some schools, but once they watched him play it became evident that he could play anywhere in the secondary.

"I'm going to play corner the rest of the way in high school, but ... I'm willing to play anywhere. Offense, defense, special teams, wherever the coach wants me to play. I think I showed that I'm versatile.

"I got a little hamstring injury now, but I'm working hard to rehab it and play through it. I'm just trying to get up here and show them what I'm all about. I wish I was fully healthy, but I'm out here trying hard.''

And it's that work ethic that will pay off in the end for Hayden-Martin at Pitt.

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