LB Lee Martin

When you think of St. Bonaventure, you might think of the offense that Lorenzo Booker and Whitney Lewis, but it has been their suffocating defense that has led the team. So when their leading tackler is a rising senior and has Stanford on his list, I made sure to catch up with him at the LA Nike Camp. Read on for the latest on his performance, recruitment and newfound academic zeal.

LB Lee Martin (profile)
St. Bonaventure (Ventura, CA)
Ht: 6-0.5  Wt: 203
4.58 40; 4.25 shuttle
32 bench reps; 28.2" vertical

You may not have heard much about Lee Martin, but that might be understandable given that consensus All-American running back Lorenzo Booker stole so many headlines for St. Bonaventure on the offensive side of the ball last fall.  But the benefit in playing in such a high profile program is the exposure afforded through the work of the coaches.  Head Coach Jon Mack headed East in January with Lee and a couple of his players, along with reels of game film, to get to coaches at senior bowl events and coaching conventions.  That plus some very strong numbers Lee Martin showed at a combine at the All-American Bowl have pushed him to the forefront of this recruiting class.  Lee showed again at the LA Nike Camp that his testing wasn't a fluke, with a rare combination of speed and power numbers.  He benched the third highest number of reps at 185 pounds of the entire camp - and this was the largest Nike camp in its history - at 32 reps, which handily beat most all linemen at the camp.  To put his testing in perspective, he fell short of Brandon Hancock's other-worldly numbers from last year (except for the shuttle), but they still grabbed everybody's attention.  He has excelled on the field, leading his team in tackles as a junior this past fall, earning him all-CIF honors for his section.  In the classroom, Lee is just coming into his own and starting to match the excellence he has shown on the field and in combines.

After the camp was finished, I caught Lee and had a great time talking with him about his day, recruitment and newfound academic zeal...

The Bootleg: He do you feel about your day, Lee, with the testing and the drills?
Lee Martin: I felt really good.  I came out here to show people what I have, and I ran a 4.5 forty, 4.9 agility and I jumped 29 inches. I had a little trouble on the bench press.  I got 32...

The Bootleg: That's trouble?
Lee Martin: Yeah.  I normally can get 40 reps.  At 27, the weight fell off because it didn't have clips.  So I had to start over and only got 32.  I'm disappointed by that.

The Bootleg: How did the drills go for you?  Is there anything the coaches showed you, or anything you were able to pick up?
Lee Martin: Yeah - a lot of coaches.  The coach who was doing the ladders - he told me that one centimeter from every step will put me hundreds of feet in front of everyone else down the road.  I'll remember that for a long time.

The Bootleg: If we can talk a little about your recruitment, who are some of the schools you've been hearing from so far?
Lee Martin: The Oregon Ducks, Washington, Stanford, Colorado - I hear a lot from Colorado.  I like USC a lot.  I like Nebraska - I've always liked Nebraska.  And Penn State - I've always liked Penn State, but I don't hear too much from them.

The Bootleg: Is there someone like Penn State, who you'd like to hear more from?
Lee Martin: I'd like to hear more from Oregon and Penn State.  I like both of those schools a lot.

The Bootleg: Do you have any camps this spring and summer that you're scheduled to attend?
Lee Martin: I may come to the USC camp coming up.  But if I don't go, I'll go to the Stanford combine - the Nike combine at Stanford.  And I also have a combine coming up on May 22nd.

The Bootleg: Given early impressions from meeting a coach, watching a team play or what you've heard - who do you like right now?
Lee Martin: Probably Oregon.  I really like them.  They're a really good team.  I watch the games, and it seems like they never give up.  Right down to the last play, seems like they're working the hardest.  I like that.  I also like Colorado and Washington.  I like how they play.  I also like USC, too.  They have a good coaching staff this year, and they're really hyped up.

The Bootleg: You have quite a list of schools.  As you look to narrow them down, what are the criteria you are looking to use to choose between schools?
Lee Martin: I want to take advantage of getting an education.  I was having trouble with my classes before, and I got tested with a 144 IQ.  So they put me in advanced classes.  Then I got a 3.8 this quarter.  I really want to get a chance to do something good with my academic skills.

The Bootleg: If you don't mind sharing, what does your cumulative GPA look like at this point?
Lee Martin: I think it's like a 3.1.  I'm taking a lot of summer school classes because it was lower before, but now I want to get it up there.  My core this quarter I said was a 3.8, but my cumulative is about a 3.1.

The Bootleg: Have you taken the SAT or PSAT yet?
Lee Martin: No.  But I'm taking the SAT I think June 1st.

The Bootleg: What would you tell coaches today is the strongest part of your game?
Lee Martin: I fight until I day.  That's the kind of player I am.  I'll go to the last play, and then some.  Other than that, just being tough - a real physical player.  I feel I can play with anybody, in my heart.

The Bootleg: What are the parts of your game that you want to work on?
Lee Martin: I want to improve my pass coverage skills.  Hopefully get a few interceptions this year, make some big plays and lead the team in tackles again.  Last year I played in the middle, but this year I might be playing some outside this year - get faster.  I think that's what I'm going to try and improve this year, and learn new positions.

The Bootleg: What were some of your junior year stats and highlights?
Lee Martin: My junior year, I had a little over 130 tackles, about 8 or 9 sacks, caught an interception, a strip-and-run - that's pretty much it for my junior year.  I started varsity my freshman year at Royal High School before transferring over my sophomore year.

The Bootleg: What is it you like to do when you get away from football in your free time?
Lee Martin: I always lift and try to get better.  I like working on cars and stuff.  I like motocross, and used to ride BMX when I was little.  I'm not doing any of the extreme sports I used to do before, though.  I'm not snowboarding any more - any of that stuff.  Right now I'm just trying to take it easy - run, train and stay in shape for next season.  Hopefully make a big difference for our team.

The Bootleg: Do you know the timeline for when you w

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