Despite all of the talented prospects that have made names for themselves in the class of 2011 in the state of Louisiana, more names are continuing to emerge. The latest is White Castle, La. defensive back Ronald Martin.
Martin has plenty of reasons to be late to the party, the most prominent of which is that he plays at a small 1A program outside of Baton Rouge. He also has not made the camp rounds that some other prospects have, due primarily to being a star on the track, basketball court and baseball field as well. However, all of those factors are also reasons for him being such an intriguing prospect with so much upside.
Currently, Martin holds offers from Tulane, Memphis and Southeastern. He picked those up after passing for over 1,400 yards, rushing for over 1,100 yards and pulling in nine interceptions as a junior.
Though he plays quarterback and defensive back for his high school team, Martin most likely projects at cornerback, though he would be comfortable at either corner or safety. He lists a number of strengths he possesses as a defensive back.
"My strengths are probably covering and I can run the ball pretty well and I can catch," he said. "I've got really good hands. I have good vision when I'm on defense. [Playing quarterback] helps a lot on defense. With me being the quarterback it helps me read the QB better because I know what I'd do and most QBs do a similar thing."
Martin also thrives in his multi-purpose role.
"I play every play aside from kickoff," Martin said. "I love it. If you love the game, you love doing everything and you never want to leave the field."
Martin hardly leaves any field of play. He is also a Division-I basketball recruit and on the track, he has run as fast as a 46-second 400. He has jumped over 44 feet in the triple jump and over 23 feet in the long jump. His emergence this spring came following a strong camp performance at LSU.
"I went to camps at LSU and Louisiana Tech," he said. "I did pretty good at LSU. I had a bad hamstring but I still had a pretty great camp. The coaches liked me. They took me in the back and I talked to Coach Miles and the DBack coach and a few others on the staff. They were really interested. They wanted to offer me and wanted me to come back on the 17th or 18th to see my pro agility and evaluate me some more."
The offer has yet to come from LSU and though Martin tries to claim that he is open to every school, it is not hard to see his allegiance to the home-state program when asked specifically about what his reaction would be to an LSU offer.
"It would put them over a big hump," he said. "I love LSU. That's my favorite school. I really want to go there. I've been wanting to go there since I was small. My coach always told me when I was small that I was going to go to LSU."
Outside of the Tigers, Martin has several other programs that have a mutual interest in him including Missouri, Nebraska, Tulsa, Baylor and Oklahoma State. As he evaluates these programs, academics is most important to Martin.
"My basic thing is the academics," he said. "How do they treat people and what do they do with players outside of college. If they don't make it to the NFL how is their degree. The main thing is academics."
As his name continues to emerge among recruiting circles, Martin will be a player to watch.