One of the things we love about the Nike camps is it's an opportunity to see the best of the best compete side by side. At the SoCal Nike camp coming up in a couple of weeks, arguably the top two offensive lineman out West, Javario Burkes from Moon Valley (Ariz.) and Martin Coleman out of Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison will be two players everyone will be watching closely.
Coleman, 6-6, 270 pounds is a player that just jumps off the screen when you watch him on film. For someone that big, to be able to move like he does, it's no wonder why he's quickly becoming one of the hottest prospects in the region. Coleman's ability is even harder to believe when you consider he moved only a year ago from Tonga and has played just one year, last season, of organized football.
When looking at a high school offensive lineman, the first thing we always look at is feet and overall athleticism. Everyone is big but at the next level, you have to be able to move and Coleman probably has the quickest feet of any OL we have seen so far. He has long arms and is a natural tackle prospect.
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Coleman recently attended Junior Day at USC and the Trojans are in the top four on his list right now.
"Junior Day went great for Martin," Coleman's guardian Clark Christensen said. "We had a one hour private meeting with Pat Ruel (OL coach) to go over everything associated with the program. My wife and I were really impressed with everything that SC does to ensure success, and Martin really seemed to hit it off well with Pat."
As for an offer?
"Basically, SC needs to see Martin in camp and then will likely offer him if everything is as it seems," Christensen added. "I think that Lane Kiffin is right to do such an extensive evaluation process to make sure it is the best fit so that everyone is happy - plus Pat Ruel has only seen him on tape so far. Martin is very impressive in person and I'm confident they will offer him either at the camp or shortly after."
Even if the Trojans do offer, don't expect an early commitment out of Coleman according to Christensen.
"We do want to do all five official visits if possible because this decision will have such a dramatic impact on Martin's life," Christensen said. "We obviously want the best fit for Martin, so we are planning to do an extensive evaluation of everyone that offers Martin. It looks like UCLA is not interested at this point, so the leaders are USC, Miami, Nebraska and Utah. Ole Miss and Oregon State offered earlier and in the last two days, Arizona and Arizona State have offered as well.
"The fact that Martin would have family close by in both Southern California and South Florida will play a role, and his coach Jason Peter's connections at Nebraska would be helpful in getting Martin the attention that he needs in transition to college life. Another one of Martin's coaches, Kyle Murphy, played at ASU so we will give them consideration as well."