After getting his first Big Ten scholarship offer from Illinois, Kernersville (N.C.) East Forsyth freshman safety Khalid Martin was curious to learn more about some of the other schools in the Big Ten conference.
One of the first schools he gravitated toward was Wisconsin, a school that has developed a reputation for success on and off the field.
“Wisconsin really stood out to me, because that’s a great school and a great program,” Martin told BadgerNation. “They offered my teammate, (2017 defensive back) Madison Cone, and I was talking to him about them, and he said he liked the program, liked the coaches and seems like a wonderful fit for me.”
The 6-1, 185-pound Martin has become an even bigger fan of the Badgers, who joined the Illini and Wake Forest in extending him an early scholarship offer. Martin’s self interest in Wisconsin turned out to be foreshadowing, as he hadn’t spoken to any of the coaches before the offer came.
“Seeing how I could grow in the future, I am really enjoying this offer,” said Martin.
Martin burst on the scene in the Carolinas by finishing his freshman season with 64 tackles and four interceptions, four pass breakups, two forced fumbles and an interception.
“I feel the plays that I made, as far as interceptions, were amazing,” said Martin. “Going into the season I dropped every pass that was thrown in my direction. The fact that I made plays on the ball by high pointing the ball, and still managed to do tackling, forcing fumbles, coming downhill, reading and reacting, I just feel that all around my game was good this year.”
Martin plans to take advantage of getting three early offers by trying to visit the three schools by the summer.
“It’s a blessing,” said Martin. “I honestly didn’t think it would come this early. I was talking to my dad, and he said (the offers) would roll in as I got older, but I didn’t think they would roll in my freshman year. That way I have time to research schools and can go visit them to see how they look. I am blessed that they offered me this early.”