South Jersey Shore RB to nab Rutgers offer

During Rutgers' Junior Day there was talent everywhere, and one of the players to get great news during the day was a running back from the South Jersey Shore. He was told he will receive his first offer Monday, when Rutgers will fax a written scholarship offer his way. The player talks about his big news, recruiting, and the type of talent Rutgers had on campus.

Absegami High of Galloway Township's (N.J.) Ben Martin checked out the highlight films of some of the top class of 2011 running backs in New Jersey, and was taken aback by the backfield talent at Rutgers' Junior Day.

So, imagine the surprise when the 5-foot-10, 187-pound Martin was told he would receive a written offer from Rutgers on Monday.

"Rutgers is my first offer. I'm honored that they offered me a scholarship,'' Martin said. "I was kind of surprised. I feel like I've heard of some of the kids that were at the Junior Day, and I've seen their highlight tapes, and some of the kids are just amazing.''

A few of the other running backs in attendance where Savon Huggins of St. Peter's Prep (Jersey City, N.J.) and Charles Davis of Neptune (N.J.) High, both of whom hold offers, as well as Kevin Monangai of Seton Hall Prep (West Orange).

The humble Martin proved his value last season in averaging 6.7 yards per carry for the Braves. He carried 182 times for 1,216 yards and 12 touchdowns as Absegami finished 7-4. He was timed at 4.45 seconds in the 40-yard dash last week.

"I'm more of an elusive back,'' he said, "but I could run someone over if I had to, to get the extra yard.''

Junior Day gave Martin the opportunity to learn more about the football program, and academic life at Rutgers.

He said much of the football stuff he knew, but was impressed with how the Scarlet Knights staff views academics.

"One of the things that really stood out is how they care about you, the academic part, because they want you to succeed in life,'' Martin said. "They were talking to me about the academic part of things, and how it works at Rutgers.

"They told me it was a daily thing where you wake up and go to a team meeting, and then they have a work schedule for the whole week to get you situated with everything. You go to class, and after class you get your lift in, and then practice. After practice, it's study hall.

"And if it's not the season, it's the same thing, except you lift.''

As for Martin's recruiting, he is getting mail from a bunch of schools, but he said only Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Maryland stopped by Absegami to check in on him.

"I'm going to let it play out a bit,'' Martin said. "I've been talking about it with my family and we were just saying (it would be good) to wait to see what the other schools have to offer, and not to commit too early.''

Rutgers was Martin's only junior day invitation, but he is hoping to get a few others.

Scarlet Report Top Stories