USC didn't recruit too many local offensive linemen a year ago but they found one they liked quite a bit this year in Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison's Martin Coleman.
Coleman, 6-5, 290 pounds is an incredible story going from not even playing high school football until his junior year to receiving an offer and committing to one of the nation's true heavyweight programs in USC.
Coleman moved from Tonga a year ago where he had never played football prior to his junior season.
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"Everything came to him real easy," Edison coach Dave White said. "We lucked out in getting him in to our program, I mean, the guy is an NFL player down the road. To be as good as he is right now without ever really playing the game is incredible. I've never had a player that generated the kind of buzz among college coaches that Martin has done this spring. He's one of those guys who you watch a few plays and know he's something you have to offer."
Earlier this morning, we received an email from Coleman's uncle and legal guardian Clark Christensen saying that Miami just visited the high school on Monday and offered a scholarship. We thought that was going to be the biggest news of the day until we talked with the family later on.
"Yeah, everything came together pretty quick," Christensen said. "I think USC is where Martin has wanted to go for some time now so once they offered, he basically jumped on it. He knew there was no need to wait around and see who else would offer. Coach Carroll was at the school today and then later on, Martin got a text message to call Carroll and that's when he offered. Martin committed on the spot."
Coleman has incredible upside and will likely be the top rated OL in the state for the class of 2007 as well as a member of the Rivals 100. He has great size and athleticism and was one of the top overall prospects regardless of position at the SoCal NIKE Camp two weeks ago. When you talk about upside potential and how good Coleman could be in a couple of years once he gets more acclimated to the sport and learns the game, it's no wonder he had so many schools knocking down his door so early in the process.
"I'm very excited to have made my decision to commit to USC," Coleman said. "This is a dream come true for me. I was pretty nervous on the phone when I was talking to coach Carroll and then when he offered me, I couldn't believe it. I had already told myself I was going to commit if they offered but I didn't know they would offer this soon. As soon as he did, I knew I wanted to be a Trojan."
The commitment from Coleman caps off a big day for the Trojans as earlier in the day, USC received a commitment from the state's top rising junior in D.J. Shoemate out of Anaheim (Calif.) Servite.