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December 27, 2012Chris Martin is the first to admit the first time he went through the recruiting process he was young and didn't know as much about the right things to look for. Three years later he claims to be much wiser to college football.
Martin was one of the most sought-after high school prospects in the 2010 class. He pulled in offers from places like Oregon, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, USC, Georgia, Florida, and many more.
He originally committed to Charlie Weis at Notre Dame. That changed when Weis left the Fighting Irish.
"I learned you have to commit to a head coach and a school," Martin said. "When I committed to Notre Dame I committed all because of coach Weis. It wasn't all Notre Dame but it was him. I remember once he left I was the first player to de-commit. I still remember that night when ESPN was scrolling it across the bottom when I decided to open up my recruiting."
His next stop after signing with Cal was Florida. Once again Martin followed Weis this time to Gainesville.
"It was easy to do because he was there (at Florida)," Martin said. "At the same time it was easy to say yes."
Martin ended up settling in at City College of San Francisco. He played for George Rush, who is one of the most successful junior college coaches in the nation.
"Coach Rush was the guy that got me going when I was there," Martin said. "When coach Weis was recruiting me he talked with coach Rush. He told him if I kept everything in line then he would recruit me to Kansas. They are the dominant juco program and they make you have discipline."
Weis was asked when he knew he could get a commitment from Martin.
"All I had to do was offer him," Weis said. "Those were the odds, because he wasn't going to go somewhere else, because his mother wouldn't let him and that's really the bottom line. See you guys don't know about the relationships with those situations.
"When Chris Martin was here we didn't talk once about recruiting. Not once. I said okay, we're going to do this, here's the deal. It wasn't like that. I talked to his mom yesterday or the other day for a half hour. There are a lot of parents who only trust certain people. We've known each other for a long time now. The first time he committed to me was signing day of his junior year. He committed that day and then when I got fired he bailed out. So we've known each other a long time."
Martin remembers the day he committed to Weis in high school. One thing that hasn't changed since then are his family's thoughts on the Jayhawks head coach.
"It was a family decision back then and it is close to the same way now," Martin said. "He knows my mother and father. My mom told him he has the green light to discipline me any way he wants."
When Martin was at Florida last year he went up against Weis' offense in practice. Martin said he moved up to second on the depth chart at the Buck linebacker spot. He was also number two at defensive end.
"I terrorized his offenses at Florida," Martin said with a laugh. "Coach Weis has seen what I can do."
Last season Martin picked up 65 tackles while playing defensive end. Although he's 6-foot-4 and more than 250 pounds he is just learning the defensive end position. He expects to keep getting better.
"If anybody knows me I am a linebacker in my mind," he said. "That's what I have always played. Last year was the first season I played with my hand on the ground at defensive end. When you play like a linebacker at defensive end that helps a lot. I'm ready to get to Kansas and show people I am going down the right path."