football

Four-star down to four schools

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Four-star offensive lineman John Martinez (6-3, 265, 4.75) from Salt Lake City (Utah) Cottonwood recently went on a three school tour and took in two camps while he was at it. Rivals.com saw him at the USC Rising Stars Camp where he was one of the best offensive linemen at the camp.
Martinez rarely took a rep off over the two day period showing tremendous grit and heart. Before he went to the USC Rising Stars Camp, he stood out at the NIKE Camp held in Provo, Utah where he made the first-team offense team.
Then Martinez and his entire Cottonwood team took in the Weber State full pad camp where he was voted the outstanding senior of the camp out of somewhere between 400 and 500 athletes.
The busy camp circuit continued for Martinez when he attended Ohio State's one day camp. Martinez didn't disappoint and had another stellar performance. He even won the bench press contest by benching 225-pounds, 25 times. The next closest competitor had 18 lifts. Needless to say Ohio State was impressed.
Martinez took a tour with offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, Jim Bollman then Martinez met with Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel.
"Coach Tressel told John that he opened up some eyes," Steven Martinez, John's Dad said. "They were impressed with John's strength and speed."
After Ohio State, Martinez and his Dad flew to Las Vegas and met up with the rest of the Martinez family and they drove to Los Angeles for an unofficial to UCLA and take in USC's Rising Stars Camp.
Martinez was originally going to camp at UCLA, but Bruin offensive coordinator Norm Chow told them that the staff already loved the way he played football and they wanted to take the time to really show off UCLA.
"It's an incredibly beautiful campus," the elder Martinez said. "It's in a nice area and is only five miles to the beach."
"It was impressive that Coach Rick Neuheisel would take basically his entire morning touring the campus with us."
"It is a little different that the stadium isn't on campus, but we took a ride out to the Rose Bowl and that was a nice facility," Steven Martinez said. "The grass is like a putting green."
"UCLA let John know that if he would come to UCLA that he could compete for playing time right away," Martinez said. "Competition doesn't frighten John. He's never backed down from a challenge."
"(Former high school teammate and now starting fullback at USC) Stanley Havili told John that people told him that if he would go to USC, he would never play, but he started as a true freshman. Stanley said that after watching John grow up and play that wherever he goes, he's going to play."
After the UCLA unofficial visit, Martinez went across town where he once again had a stand out camp performance.
"John has always liked USC's enthusiasm," Steven Martinez said. "He really recognizes how successful the program has been. He likes how USC competes hard in practice and the games. He also likes the fact that USC gets their players in the league."
Out of 30-plus offers, Martinez has a short list of four schools.
"John loves all three schools he visited (Ohio State, UCLA and USC)," the elder Martinez said. "All three schools have their plusses and minuses. His other school is LSU and we will be there in three weeks."
Martinez earned first-team all-state and first-team all-region honors as a junior. In the weight room, his current bench is 385, he squats 445 and has recorded a 28-inch vertical.
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