Targeting Offers

A Mt. Lebanon wide receiver made the first visits of his recruiting process earlier this month, and is now ready to make a push in that arena as he prepares for his senior season of high school.

Mike Martin, a 6-4, 195-pound wideout, has now made two visits to West Virginia University, and has gotten a good feel for the program.

"I came down for junior day, and I went back down for the spring game last week," Martin said. "We took a tour, and Coach Stewart talked to us. We went through the weight room and got a talk about the lifting program, and that seemed really strong."

Martin and the other attendees also got the chance to speak with some current Mountaineer players.

"Noel Devine and Jarrett Brown were there, and they answered some of our questions," he related. "We asked them about the differences between high school and college, and about their offseason work. They told us that they only get a few weeks off per year, but that the biggest difference is the speed of the game. Noel told me that after a few plays he's out of breath, and that he never got out of breath in high school. That's all part of it – you just have to give 150% on every play.

Martin got the chance to take in a practice on his first trip to WVU, and then observed the spring game on his most recent visit. The speed of everything stood out to the rising senior, who had a chance last year to show his ability in the passing game.

"I think my ability to catch the ball is one of my strengths. I like deep routes, because you get the chance to attack the ball. I am good at going up to get it. We also run a lot of routes in the middle of the field, so I got a lot of yards on those patterns too."

As a junior, Martin had 34 receptions for approximately 560 yards and seven scores in an offense that featured the run and the pass in equal measure. This year, he might not get the chance to be as productive, as Mt. Lebanon will be breaking in a new quarterback. As a result, he feels a bit of pressure to make an impact during the summer camp season. He has camp visits set for Syracuse and West Virginia, and could add others as season progresses.

"There is some pressure in working for a scholarship," said Martin who has interest from Purdue, Syracuse, Michigan State and Delaware in addition to West Virginia. "We're not sure about the quarterback position this year, so camps will be chance to show what I can do in front of coaches. But I think someone will step in and do a good job for us."

Martin is also working with a personal trainer to increase his speed, which is one of his major goals for the upcoming season. His coach former Mountaineer linebacker Chris Haering, is also helping him with the recruiting process, and with pointers in areas that he can improve on.

"Last year I was kind of a possession receiver, so Coach Haering has me working on getting yards after the catch. I'm working on my agility so I can gain more yardage and get upfield."

Martin is also a backup safety for Mt. Lebanon, but is being recruited as a wide receiver by the schools on his list. His team has a solid corps of players returning, including a senior-dominated offensive line, which he hopes will help ease the quarterback transition.

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