Iowa Eight football: Iowa City West receiver Oliver Martin
School: Iowa City West
Position: Wide receiver
Weight: 195 pounds
Key stats: The top-returning receiver in Class 4A had 73 grabs for 1,187 yards and 14 touchdowns last season against one of the toughest schedules in the state. Martin is already West’s career leader in catches (154) and receiving yards (2,177). His ability stretches to other sports too, as he’s helped West’s swimming and baseball programs at all-state levels. And for his future, Nike’s camp measurables might be most important: a 4.57-second time in the 40-yard dash and a 41-inch vertical jump.
Why he’s one of the Iowa Eight
Martin’s prep stats should be enough, but there’s no way to quantify his offseason explosion as a recruit. From starting the summer with a few mid-major scholarship offers to the fastest-rising prospect in the country, he’s a four-star receiver and the consensus top player of the in-state class.
“His work ethicstands out first,” West head coach Garrett Hartwig said. “Second, he’s blessed with athletic skills. He’s the strongest guy in our weight room, pound-for-pound, so he’s very explosive and then on the field he’s the most polished receiver I’ve ever coached.”
Hartwig plans to move Martin around the field this fall and it’s easy to understand why. He had a 200-yard game against eventual runner-up Cedar Rapids Kennedy and caught all three of his team’s touchdowns in a playoff loss to Bettendorf.
“We’ve seen him three times in the last two years and I don’t think we’ve covered him yet,” Bettendorf coach Aaron Wiley said.
His summer camp spree skyrocketed his stock, too. Named MVP at Nike’s Opening Regional in Chicago, Martin was then invited to the Opening Finals in Beaverton, Ore., where he shined in 7-on-7 passing drills and was rated 13th overall in physical testing among the nation’s top football prospects.
“The question that schools had was just how good of an athlete he was,” Scout.com Midwest recruiting analyst Allen Trieu told the Register.
“He went out to Oregon and not only did he perform like one of the best players out there, he tested like it. These are the elite guys in the country.”
Army and the directional Michigan programs were the only FBS offers Martin had until June. Now, the player that 247Sports rates as the No. 67 prospect in the country is being courted by Iowa, Oregon, Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State, BYU, Duke, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana ... and the list goes on.
He’s a red-hot commodity coming out of summer.
“I heard from a lot of schools in the spring and they liked his film, they liked this, they liked that, but they wanted to see him in camp,” Hartwig said.
“The biggest surprise to me is how quickly other schools jump on a kid once the ball gets rolling. I can’t believe it. But his success doesn’t surprise me.”
The recruiting process has been a whirlwind, and Martin told the Iowa City Press-Citizen last month that he was still considering baseball as a college option. He’s scheduled an official visit for Oregon in September and has been selected for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl after the prep season. The pressure is on in Iowa City.
“Oliver has proven himself to be an elite athlete and a really good football player and that’s why you see why he basically has his pick of the litter with schools. He’s exactly what they’re looking for when you talk about a new-age slot receiver that can do a lot of different things on the field.” – Scout.com Midwest recruiting analyst Allen Trieu
Other Iowa Eight selections
- Tristan Wirfs, Mount Vernon lineman
- Jake Hummel, Dowling Catholic linebacker
- Zach Dykstra, Spirit Lake offensive/defensive lineman
- Devon Moore, Waterloo West quarterback
- Rocky Lombardi, W.D.M. Valley quarterback
- Mark Kallenberger, Bettendorf offensive lineman
About the series
The Iowa Eight is the Register's preseason list of the eight best football players in the state of Iowa, weighing past performance and their projected future. Incoming freshmen through seniors are eligible. The team is selected based on Register staff observations and consultation with high school and college contacts. The Register will have additional Iowa Eight lists for key boys' and girls' sports throughout the year.