The smile on Frank Martin II’s face did not fade. Grinning like a happy baby, Martin II had the same joy and wonderment in his eyes.
Those are the spoils of setting a goal and accomplishing it. The USC-committed four-star Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei offensive lineman had come to do a job.
“Get Open. That’s the main goal,” Martin II said before The Opening Oakland Regional at Burrell Field. “My first performance they said I did a good job, but I’m here to seal any doubt and prove to anyone that I’m a dominant player.”
He had an opportunity to prove that during the one-one-one pass rush repetitions, which is the only time the big boys in the trenches really get to display their talents.
Martin II showcased his abilities by stonewalling defensive linemen throughout the camp, dominating his one-on-one snaps regardless if it was speed rushes or power moves that were attempted. Twice the opposing pass rusher went ahead and gave up on the attempt before the final whistle was blown.
“I’m the best offensive tackle in the nation. That’s what I’ve got to think,” Martin II said about his mental approach when facing off against talented defensive linemen in the one-on-ones. “You’ve got to have that mentality. Just like Floyd Mayweather, you’ve got to think you’re the best.”
He even showed his versatility by lining up at center and dominating those reps as well. The talent evaluators were there to critique the linemen's ability to keep defenders from the quarterback not the centers’ ability to get the ball to the quarterback, but Martin II also produced solid shotgun formation snaps, which was an afterthought for many of the other centers.
“I can do whatever. Put me anywhere,” Martin II said of his versatility. “I’m going to work hard and I’m going to succeed.”
But Martin II almost didn’t make the trip to Oakland. When he didn’t receive an invite to The Opening Finals after attending The Opening Los Angeles Regional, Martin II was perturbed at the selection committee’s decision. It took a big, literally, influence to get him to Oakland — “Big Frank” Martin, his father.
“I’ve got to give a shout out to my pops. I didn’t even want to come at first, but I had to put my ego aside and show that I can ball,” Martin II said. “That’s it. That’s what I came out and did and showed out.”
After Martin II earned the MVP award for offensive lineman and the coveted invite to The Opening Finals, it was a veritable toss up of who was more excited between father and son. The younger sprinted over pointing up and his father obliged with a leaping hip bump before the two shared a bear hug that may have collapsed a lesser recipient on either side.
Besides The Opening Finals in Oregon, Martin II said he is likely to camp at USC this summer. Happy to have his school decision out of the way and be committed to a school he’s wanted to attend since he was a kid, he still hears from the USC coaches every day, including new offensive line coach Bob Connelly.
“He’s a great guy. I sat with him at meetings. He knows what he’s talking about and he can definitely make me into an elite player.”
Martin II is also still hearing from other coaching staffs.
“A lot of people are telling me to keep them in consideration,” he said. “I’m still 100 percent committed to USC, but I still like to keep my options open.”
Here's a short clip of Frank Martin II performing in Oakland: