Aaron Schatz over at ESPN put together a top 25 list of potential breakout players for this next season (LINK, $). Here's what he had to say about Martin, who came in at #17:
Martin, a third-round pick in the 2012 draft, led all Titans defensive tackles last year with 8.5 hurries. That's surprising considering he's more of a classic nose tackle rather than a penetrating three-technique. Scouts considered Martin a blue-collar grinder whose best strength was his solid base. But in his first year in Tennessee, he was faster than advertised and showed a variety of pass-rush moves. Martin was considered a possible first-round pick until he really struggled during his senior year at Michigan. That was partly due to a scheme change, although oddly, the new scheme he struggled in was actually more similar to what he's playing now in Tennessee. He should be in line for a jump in playing time despite the signing of Sammie Lee Hill.
A couple other notable players are Ronnell Lewis of the Lions (#23), and Ryan Mallett (#8).
Similar to the thread about Molk the other day, here's the feedback Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's received about Martin. He has him #8 among DTs.
8. MIKE MARTIN Michigan 6-1½ 305 4.84 2-3 Described by one scout as "a modern-day version of Kelly Gregg." Shortest DT on the board but also one of the most tenacious. "He is one good football player" another scout said. "Strong. Bright guy. Got a lot of pizzazz to him." Won a state wrestling champion at Detroit Catholic Central High. "As good looking as he is and as athletic as he tests he just doesn't play with a lot of juice on a consistent basis or with a lot of power," a third scout said. "Not much of a pass rusher. He could probably be a two-down starter in a 4-3, not a 3-4." Finished with 172 tackles (25 for loss) and 10 sacks in 49 games (37 starts). "He will face 350-pound guys that are just going to fall on top of him," a fourth scout said. "You love his intensity. He's swelled up. He's run out of skin, that guy."
Reading the other evaluations, the scouts don't have the questions about desire or love of football that they lay on a lot of other players. I do wonder if the comments about a the lack of "juice" and "power" came from viewing games when Martin was hurt.
In other news, Water is Wet.
Bruce Feldman over at ESPN has an article about "College Footballs Strongest Men"
Hulk Smash ranks as his #2:
2. Mike Martin, NT, Michigan Wolverines
The Wolverines defense may have been flimsy, but don't blame Martin. The 298-pounder, a guy who won a high school state wrestling title in his first season competing in the sport, is a freak. He's squatted over 700 pounds, power cleaned 430, hang cleaned 475 and bench pressed over 500. Oh, and he's also run in the 4.9s in the 40.
More positive press for our wolverines on the WWL today. And those are FREAK numbers.
So it looks as if I'll be having at least 5 or 6+ U-M football players at my Thanksgiving table on Thursday. And I have now have to help my parents cook ALL THE DAMN FOOD THAT WILL BE NEEDED TO FILL THE STOMACHS of Mike Martin, JB Fitzgerald, Steve Watson, Renaldo Sagesse, Jibreel Black and possibly others.
Mike Martin's family is friends of ours and we had them over for Christmas dinner last year. With the OSU game being after Thanksgiving this year, the players obviously won't all be with their families to celebrate the holiday. Since the team has practice Thursday morning, some of the guys will be coming to my parents' house for the meal afterward.
So far, we have 3 turkeys and one spiral ham planned in addition to approximately 137 side dishes. But I'm thinking we need another meat/main course. Anyone have suggestions? I was thinking a beef roast in the slow cooker or some center cut BBQ pork chops on the grill.
What would you feed massive Michigan linemen? A little help here!
EDIT: I'll post pictures of the aftermath/table devastation next week.
Mike Martin in MS Paint, I call it "Hulk Smash"
Or see the rest in my album here: http://s669.photobucket.com/albums/vv59/trsaunders09/MS%20-%20Michigan/