Those numbers were impressive enough to earn him All-Metro honors from the Chicago Sun Times and to attract the attention of major Division I schools, but when Martez Wilson showed up at the Nike Combine in Columbus last month weighing a chiseled 235 pounds, running a 4.58 time the 40, posting a 4.3 shuttle and bench pressing 185 pounds a total of 25 times, he jumped directly into that sparsely populated propsect category reserved for Super Freaks.
Undoubtedly, Wilson could use some polishing but his physical talent as immense as his upside is unlimited. He is listed as the nation's No. 2 defensive end in Scout.com's lastest rankings and is rated a five star prospect. Scout's Jamie Newberg offered the following appraisal of Wilson.
"Wilson is cat-quick off the line and has very good quickness of the edge. He can speed rush right by you or use his natural power. Wilson can get after the quarterback and stop the run. He's terrific in pursuit because he has a wealth of speed and he also moves well down the line of scrimmage. Wilson has the frame to add a lot of weight. He needs to use his hands more and learn technique but that should come in time at the next level. Right now he is a raw, athletic defensive end with as much upside as any end in the nation."
Scout's Midwest Recruiting Analyst Chris Pool was even more effusive in his praise of Wilson.
"Just how good is Martez Wilson?," Pool writes. "I've been covering football recruiting in Illinois since 1995 and there hasn't been a better football prospect to come out of the Land of Lincoln in all of my days of evaluating high school football players. Wilson is a better prospect than the "Big Five" Illinois prospects that played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl two years ago."
With scholarship offers pouring in it's hard for Wilson to keep up with the total number, but 30 is probably a conservative guess. Tennessee came through with an offer eight days ago and has landed a place in Wilson's top seven along with Notre Dame, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio State, USC and Wisconsin.
Wilson says he is wide open at this point and hasn't scheduled any visits, official or otherwise. He is also open about which side of the ball he plays. "I like both sides of the ball." Wilson explained. "It doesn't matter to me where I play on college. I'm going to listen to my coaches and play where they tell me to play. Wherever I can help my team."
During the Nike Combine Wilson worked out as a wide receiver to better acquaint scouts with his ability to impact an offense at the next level.
"I played wide receiver because all of the college coaches know I play defensive end and outside backer," Wilson told Scout.com's Sam Webb. "I wanted to show them I could play wide receiver too. I don't know right now if I'll play both in college, but I'll play both if I can.
"I think I did okay, everybody told me I was doing real good, and that I had good footwork. Most schools are recruiting me for rush end or outside linebacker. I have no preference as long as I am making an impact."
Making an impact is the most certain thing about Martez Wilson's future at this point.