Coaching Staff, Facilities Impress Martin

Kareem Martin

Kareem Martin has a plan in place for finding the right college. Expect the Roanoke Rapids (NC) defensive end to visit schools this summer and evaluate all of his options before ending his recruitment.

Kareem Martin has a plan in place for finding the right college. Expect the Roanoke Rapids (NC) defensive end to visit schools this summer and evaluate all of his options before ending his recruitment.

"I've been planning all of my visits," said Martin. "I went to NC State [yesterday]. I've already been to Duke, UNC, ECU, and Virginia. I'm going to Duke on the 20th, and my team has a 7-on-7 at ECU the 13th. I may go to UNC for a camp, and I'm going to try and get back up to Virginia. I'm also going on a trip to Clemson and Georgia Tech in June, and I'm going to Virginia Tech in July.

Checking in at 6-foot-6 and 230 pounds, Martin tallied 121 tackles, five sacks, three forced fumbles and two blocked kicks during his junior campaign. He has offers on the table from NC State, Duke, Wake Forest, ECU, UNC, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Penn State, Louisville, Stanford, Clemson, and Georgia Tech.

"It's been exciting," said Martin. "The most recent were from Penn State, Clemson, and UNC. All of them like me as a defensive end, but Virginia plays the 3-4 and they are recruiting me as that hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end."

Martin's most recent visit was to NC State. The Wolfpack offered a few weeks back and Martin admitted at the time that he knew very little about them because he had yet to take a trip to Raleigh. What did he think of the visit?

"I liked it at NC State," said Martin. "It was my first experience there with the coaching staff as a whole, and I had a great time up there. I toured the facilities and they were really impressive, particularly the Murphy Center.

"I spent some time with coach Willis, and we talked about how they would use me at defensive end. He lets his ends get after it and early on I would be a five-technique with the potential to grow into a strongside defensive end.

"It was my first trip up there and I didn't know what to expect because I had only met coach Willis and coach Petercuskie before. I got a chance to meet the rest of the coaching staff and compare them to the other schools I've visited. It helped them out a lot."

Here are Martin's thoughts on some of the programs under consideration.

Clemson: "I still need to visit them, but Coach Powell is a nice guy and easy to talk to. He's really down-to-earth. I'm looking forward to going there this summer."

Duke: "They are a football team on the rise. They've been bad in the past but Coach Cutcliffe and his staff is building a football team for the future. They are getting better."

East Carolina: "I went up there, and they have a family-oriented coaching staff. They have a nice stadium and beat some of the bigger schools last year."

Georgia Tech: "I like that they are a good football team. I think they've been to 12 straight bowl games, and it is a good school academically. Atlanta is a place that appeals for me."

North Carolina: "They brought in a new coaching staff a few years ago, and they are building a team to win. They are bringing in new recruits, and coach Blake is one of the top defensive line coaches in the nation."

Kareem Martin (IC)

NC State: "I really liked coach O'Brien and the coaching staff. They didn't sugar coat anything. They talked to me about what I do that they like and how they would use me if I choose to go there. There's no room for error there, and I left feeling like I know exactly what would be expected of me if I went to NC State. I really liked that."

Virginia: "I like their staff. Coach Groh is a great person, and I've talked with him a couple of times. I like their facilities and it's not that far away from home even though they are not an in-state school."

Virginia Tech: "I still need to visit them as well, but I've talked to coach Wiles and I like him. I look forward to getting up there."

Martin projects as a full qualifier as he carries a 3.0+ GPA in the classroom. The plan is to major in Business and academics is one of several factors he will weigh when the time comes to finalize a decision.

"First off a big factor for me will be how I feel about the school itself," said Martin. "I need to feel comfortable with the environment and the coaching staff. I also want the school to have a good football program or at least be one on the rise that I can help take the next step up.

"Finally I want it to be a good school academically because I strive to do well in the classroom by making good grades."

Martin, who maintains that he is wide open, is in no hurry to give a commitment.

"I'm not really leaning anywhere," he said. "I want to take all my visits and compare everybody when I'm done with them. The ideal time to commit would be before the football season starts, but it's looking like I might not be ready to make the right decision before then. If it doesn't happen I'll either put recruiting to the side or commit during my season."

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