West's Oliver Martin picking up recruiting steam
Leading up to his junior season at West High, Oliver Martin had already picked up recruiting interest from some big-time college football programs.
The likes of Notre Dame and Northwestern along with the hometown Hawkeyes all invited Martin to camps or junior days to take a look at the 6-foot-1, 195-pound receiver.
With two years of high school football remaining, Martin said the college recruiters wanted to take a wait and see approach with his recruitment.
He's putting the idea of racking up offers aside for now while rolling up receiving yards and hopefully wins for the Trojans.
“Basically they (recruiters) said they wanted to watch to see how I do this season before getting an offer,” Martin said. “That’s fine, I’m just focused on the season and I’m just kind of letting it play out to see what kind of options I’d get.”
Martin has given college coaches plenty to look at and opposing coaches headaches through two weeks of the new season.
He caught 11 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns in West's season opener against Cedar Rapids Kennedy. He has 14 grabs for 237 yards so far this year.
Martin drew praise from Kennedy coach Brian White after his performance against the Cougars that included touchdown grabs of 35 and 25 yards.
“Oliver Martin, I don’t know that we are going to see too many receivers that are his caliber all year long and it doesn’t matter if we get in the playoffs or how far we go,” White said. “That guy is a dude.”
With nearly half of his prep career still in front of him Martin has already amassed more than 1,000 career receiving yards.
After catching 20 passes for 231 yards as a freshman, he burst onto the scene with 61 grabs for 759 yards and five touchdowns as a sophomore.
Martin also had five interceptions last season from his defensive back spot.
“Offensively he’s as talented as a kid as I’ve ever seen and had the privilege of coaching,” West coach Garrett Hartwig said.
As Martin lets the recruiting process play out, he’s got a lot to consider.
He hit .321 with 33 RBI and 18 stolen bases last summer for the Trojans' state runner-up baseball team, and has taken an unofficial visit for baseball to Illinois.
The versatile Martin has also been a member of West's 2014 state championship swim team.
“I’m getting a little bit of interest in baseball, too, so I don’t even know if I want to do football or baseball yet because I like them both,” Martin said. “I would consider doing swimming, too. It was a big part of my life when I was younger and it still is and I like to swim so if I could possibly do swimming in college I would consider that as well.”
RANKINGS UPDATE: Regina (2-0) remained atop the Class 1A Rankings released by the Des Moines Register on Monday while West Branch (2-0) stayed at No. 4.
Solon (1-1) climbed a spot to No. 8 in 3A heading into Friday’s matchup with seventh-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier (1-0).
The other five top-ranked teams remained unchanged as West Des Moines Valley in 4A, Pella in 3A, Albia in 2A, Gladbook-Reinbeck in Class A and Don Bosco in eight-play all held onto their No. 1 rankings.
Reach Ryan Murken at 319-339-7369 or email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @rmmurken.