Martinek wants two-sport opportunity

New Jersey running back is also a standout in track and field

Joe Martinek, a 6-foot, 195-pound class of 2007 prospect at Hopatcong (N.J.) High School, has scholarship offers from Rutgers, Vanderbilt and Florida International. Those three schools are interested in Martinek as a running back, but some schools are recruiting him as a safety.

Last year, Martinek was named first-team all state by the Associated Press after running for 2,508 yards and 28 touchdowns.

A month ago Martinek reported interest from Wisconsin, but in a telephone interview Monday night he said the Badgers have not been showing him much interest recently.

"They have sent me letters and all that, but… I haven't heard that much," Martinek said.

Simply receiving letters from schools no longer impresses Martinek.

"Letters, I tend not to really look at them anymore because, to me, if they really are showing interest they are calling or asking my coach about me," Martinek said.

Rutgers, Vanderbilt, Temple and Florida International have called Martinek this month, and Northwestern, Penn State and Rutgers have made spring-evaluation-period visits to Hopatcong.

Martinek does not have any favorites quite yet.

"Not right now," he said. "It's definitely too early, but in the next couple months I'll be narrowing down (my list)."

Martinek called all three programs that have offered him "up and coming."

Did he grow up a fan of the home-state Scarlet Knights?

"I grew up just a college-football fan in general," he said.

Martinek seemed intrigued by Florida International's recent leap to the Division I-A ranks. Vanderbilt catches his interest because it is a strong academic school in a power conference.

"The SEC is a great league," Martinek said. "It's very competitive. To have an opportunity to play running back in that league would be an honor."

However, the Commodores do not have a men's track and field program, and Martinek wants to compete in that sport in college as well.

"Track and football, I would like to do both," he said.

Martinek said his four main events in high school are the javelin (195-foot personal record), triple jump (44-9), long jump (21-6) and high jump (6-8). He would like to try his hand at the "multiple events" competitions—the indoor heptathlon and outdoor decathlon—in college.

"I love just trying every event," he said.

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