May 1 is the first day that college coaches can make phone calls to junior prospects and for many players it signals the official beginning of the recruiting process. But for players like Cincinnati (Ohio) LaSalle defensive end Ben Martin the process is well, well underway.
Martin, a pre-evaluation period Rivals100 selection that might be the top player in Ohio for the class of 2007, already has a slew of scholarship offers from teams like Cincinnati, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Notre Dame and Ohio State. But that list has rapidly expanded over the final few weeks of April.
"Tennessee offered about two weeks ago," Martin, who is 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, said. "Tennessee is just about the same with everyone. They have a nice program. I haven't been there to see what it's really like, but I will check them out soon."
Also recently offering were West Virginia, N.C. State and Florida, plus the big guy has already taken unofficial visits to both Ohio State and Florida. He walked away seemingly impressed with both, but did talk about his time with Ohio State coach Jim Tressel.
"It went pretty good, and I got to ride in the golf cart with coach Tressel," he said. "Everything is top of the line at Ohio State. It is nice, and I like the football there."
The new offers were definitely big news, but the biggest news is that Martin already has three schools in mind that will definitely get official visits. Those lucky schools are Ohio State, Notre Dame and Florida.
"I'm going to visit Florida for one of my official visits," he said. "I've got to check it out."
He also mentioned that Michigan should be on his list as the Wolverines offered more than two months ago. He also wouldn't mind if the Texas Longhorns stopped by school some time here in May to check him out.
Why are all the schools after Martin?
It's because of his pass-rushing skills, he said. He said he tries to pattern his game after Dwight Freeney.
"He is amazing," Martin said. "Some of the stuff he does amazes me. The way he gets after the quarterback and has to be double and triple teamed. That just amazes me, and I try to pattern my game after his."