Growing up junior running back Joe Martinek out of Hopatcong, N.J. idolized NFL great Barry Sanders. The 6-foot-0, 195-pounder has tried to mimic Sanders in his play and it certainly seems to have paid off as Martinek holds an offer from Rutgers and has plenty of interest from schools across the country.
"Barry has awesome speed and I try to follow the way he does it," he said. "A player once said about him that defenders never can get a perfect tackle on him because of the way he moves and that means less likelihood of getting an injury. I've never been injured either and I feel with my acceleration, great vision and ability to break tackles I play a lot like him too."
Martinek has received plenty of interest from schools including LSU, Ohio State, Virginia, Oklahoma, Florida State, Penn State, Notre Dame, Maryland, Wisconsin, Louisville, UCLA and Syracuse amongst others. Does he have a favorite?
"I wouldn't say anyone leads at this point. It's way too early to name a leader," he said. "I never grew up a fan of any one school. I'm just a fan of college football."
What is Martinek looking for out of a college?
"The first big thing I'm looking for is when and what position am I going to play. I'd really like to play running back and then I also want the option to do track as well. That's very important to me," he said. "I'll also be looking at how I get along with the coaches and if I could see myself playing for them. One other thing that is important to me is the facilities."
Many of the schools recruiting Martinek for football are also recruiting him for track.
Last month, Martinek took in a junior day at Rutgers and plans to visit more schools in the South and West later this month.
Martinek ran for 2,500 yards and 28 touchdowns as a junior. He added seven sacks on defense as he was named first team all-state, West Jersey player of the year and all-league.