Cincinnati (OH) La Salle is well represented in San Antonio at the 2007 edition of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Defensive end Ben Martin is making his presence felt on the second day of practice going against some premiere competition. Martin may be also close enough to a decision for his future collegiate choice and be able to announce it in front of a nationwide audience Saturday.
The San Antonio experience is usually a lot of fun for those in attendance. The practices are tough, but there is some down time when the players can hang out one another and have a good time. However, sometimes the fun has to be put on the back burner.
“It’s a good experience learning a lot of things and getting better,” the Scout.com five-star defensive end said. “I go against (Chris) Little a lot in practice, he and I go back and forth and stuff. He’s a big guy, but I am used to that, I am a small guy. We go out to the Hard Rock Café in a few minutes, but besides that we are in the hotel getting rest. After these practices we don’t want to do anything but rest anyway.”
The practices are usually one six hour session split by an hour lunch in the middle. That time away from civilization can lead to a pile-up of messages for someone like Martin who is constantly getting messages and phone calls from family and college recruiters.
“When I got back from practice yesterday, I had 21 text messages and three voice mails,” he said. “People just checking in and see how I am doing. The college coaches haven’t been too bad lately, they just check in me and see what I am up to.”
Martin could have a final decision as early as tonight and then make that decision public on Saturday. A call home to talk it over with family could be the final discussion about a commitment if he announces on Saturday in front of a national audience on NBC as they host the Bowl game.
“The decision could be made public on Saturday if I work everything out with my family tonight,” Martin said. “It’s still between Florida, Tennessee, Ohio State, and Notre Dame.”
Before he headed off to the Hard Rock Cafe, he listed off a quick sentence about each program he’s interested in:
Florida: “They play hard and just let their ends play.”
Tennessee: “It was like home when I went there, like family, some real cool people.”
Ohio State: “When I went there they showed me so much love, it was like a second home there.”
Notre Dame: “It’s close to my family, because I am from Indiana. It’s a real nice place.”
If a decision isn’t made this evening, he might find himself in a peculiar position come Monday evening. Two of his finalists are squaring off in the biggest game of the entire football season when Florida and Ohio State meet for the National Championship. Right now he isn’t going to talk about which team he might want to win that game.
“I will watch the game because it’s a big game, he said. “I wish I could make a hat with four teams on it, if you know someone that could make one, I would wear it.”