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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Gold medal, baby.

A day after losing out on Georgia DT Omar Hunter, Michigan has picked up a commitment from instate tackle Mike Martin. Michigan's primary competition was Penn State, but as soon as Michigan offered, Martin's recruitment was widely regarded a foregone conclusion:
Martin said Michigan could be the team to beat if the Wolverines stepped up an offered, especially since he's got some family ties to the school and he grew up a Wolverine fan.

"A lot of my family went to Michigan, so I watched them a lot growing up," he said. " I think that could really play a role in my decision. I really have liked Michigan for a long time. They have always been in the back of my head. And they're only like half an hour away so they are definitely in my mind."

(So was Hunter, but sometimes foregone conclusions are actually correct.)

What does Michigan have in Martin? He's actually rated higher by Rivals than the departed Hunter, surprisingly, as a member of their top 250. He's a powerlifter with upper echelon strength:

"I bench max 420," Martin said. "I'm working a lot to get my reps up on 225. The most I did unofficially is 26, but officially I did it 23 times at Michigan and 19 times at a combine. I'm hoping to really impress some coaches at some combines and camps." Martin also possesses a 550-pound squat max.

For comparison, many defensive tackles at the latest NFL combine didn't clear 26 reps. OSU's David Patterson did 21, first rounder Justin Harrell did 24 (though he did have that bicep tear), and ND's Derek Landri also did 24. Martin, right now, is about as strong as most players who have spent four years in a collegiate strength program. He's also a state champion wrestler. As of now, he is around 6'1" and 290 or 300 pounds depending on which snapshot in time you'd like to pick. I've made this comparison before: Martin seems an exact replica of current starting NT Terrance Taylor, though the recruiting services aren't quite as high on Martin as they were Taylor. ESPN has put him on their top 150 watch list and doled out high praise($), calling him "disruptive and productive":
He moves very well laterally and at times looks like a crab. He has the ability to work along the line of scrimmage and keep his shoulders square and remain in a position to make plays. He is not a fire up field one-gap penetrator, but plays with a great motor and controlled fury.
There are some technique concerns expressed. Uh... looks like a crab. This is good? I guess it is.