Chicago Harper four star offensive tackle Roland Martin has finished up his team's summer camp late last week, and Martin has now begun to focus his attention towards recruiting.
"I'm definitely starting to think about my options," said Martin.
"I've been blessed to have so many schools that want me to play for them. I really haven't made any unofficial visits at all this summer because I've been focusing on working hard with my team and trying to get better.
"I camped at both Illinois and Northern Illinois earlier in the summer and that was fine, but I really didn't want to lose alot of time traveling from school to school. I figured that I would be better off staying closer to home and working on getting better."
Martin, who has well over 40 scholarship offers this summer, has narrowed his choices for now to five schools that he is focusing on.
"My top five schools are Tennessee, Illinois, Nebraska, Miami and Michigan State," he said.
When asked what it would take for a college to land a commitment from him, Martin pulled no punches.
"I want a school to lay it all on the table," he said.
"I want that school to have a proud history and a great overall football tradition. I'm looking for a program that has an excellent reputation for developing offensive linemen. I want to play for a college that has a great graduation rate for players, and I also want to play in a town that loves it's football and supports the team and the players. I also want to play for a team that has great chemistry between the players and the coaches, a place that has a true family feel. Oh, and I want to play for a team that runs the ball."
Now that Martin has a few free minutes before his team begins getting ready for the upcoming season, has he been able to look back at how the entire recruiting process has unfolded for him?
"It's been amazing for me," he said.
"If you would have asked me a year ago that I would be getting all of this attention and offers from colleges and the media, I would have told you that you were crazy. Last year at this time I was thinking more about getting my diploma from Harper and maybe having a chance to play at a Juco. Now myself and my family are seeing a much different picture now and it still amazes me."
Has Martin begun to see or feel any negatives so far in his recruiting process?
"I worry about how I'm perceived and evaluated by others, having people look at me and wondering if I'm overrated or whatever," he said.
"On occassion I'll wonder myself after a bad day if I'm really as good as everyone say's that I am. I guess that's all a part of it, and I remind myself that all I need to do is to get better everyday."
When thinking about playing at the college level next season, Martin admits that "fear comes to my mind at first."
"Fear that I'll be in a new situation, a new town and being on my own for the first time in my life," he said. "The more I think about things though, I get more excited. I'm looking forward to playing with and against other linemen who can really challenge every day. It will be fun to meet new friends and to live in a college enviroment as well, then that feat turns into excitement for me."
So when can we expect Martin to make his college choice?
"I'm in no hurry at all," he said. "I haven't set any official visits yet, and I might not set any until after my season is over. I'm going to take my time making my choice. I have a great group of supporters, which includes my Mom and Dad as well as my coaches and my teammates and friends. They are all behind me and will support me in my decision."
Martin then fills us in on what we can expect from Chicago Harper in 2002.
"I think were going to have a great team this year," he said. "We have 21 seniors on our team, and that has to be a record about of seniors for us going into a season. We have 8 returning starters on offense and 9 on defense that are all seniors, so we'll be experienced."