Kareem Martin said his official visit to Georgia Tech this past weekend went flawlessly and elevated the Yellow Jackets significantly in his eyes. But not so much that he’d be willing to cancel other trips.
So it will likely be after the football season before Martin lets Tech know whether or not he’ll be playing on The Flats next fall. But in the meantime he definitely like what he saw.
“I had a great time,” said Martin, who is also considering North Carolina, Clemson, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech. “It helped [Georgia Tech] a lot. I liked everything about it. But being an official visit, I need to take some official visits to other places so I can compare them fairly.”
Martin is a 6-foot-4, 240-pound defensive end from Roanoke Rapids, N.C. He is pretty much the Jackets’ only remaining target for the 2010 recruiting class. Tech already has 12 commitments for its February signing class and, unless there is some sort of roster attrition between now and then, it won’t be able to sign but one more player.
As basically that designated player and the only official visitor of the weekend, Martin got the full attention of the Georgia Tech staff and a number of players and commitments.
Last Saturday began ridiculously early for Martin. He had to wake up at 3:15 a.m., mere hours after his high school team — named the Yellow Jackets, by the way — won their third game of the season 27-21 over Louisburg. Martin and his father then made the 90-minute drive to the Raleigh-Durham Airport, hopped a plane and arrived in Atlanta around 9:30 a.m.
The Martins were immediately whisked away from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to Bobby Dodd Stadium so Kareem could partake in the team’s pregame activities before facing off against North Carolina.
“They wanted me to walk down Yellow Jacket Alley with the team, which I did,” Martin said. “That was pretty cool. I was impressed with all the fans that were there before the game.”
Martin said he and his father then hung out on the field during pregame warmups.
“I talked to Coach [Paul] Johnson for a little while and we met a few of the commits,” Martin said. “I enjoyed that, getting to know a lot of different people and hearing about Tech from somebody other than the coaches.”
From a designated area behind the Tech student section, Martin sat and watched the Yellow Jackets steamroll North Carolina 24-7. That would seem significant since North Carolina is one of the four other teams he is seriously considering. But not necessarily, he said.
“They did pretty good against Carolina; they dominated the game,” Martin said. “But you can’t base your decision on how one team does against another team in one game. There’s more to it than that.”
After the game, Martin rested at his hotel for a couple of hours. That night he was treated to a dinner out at the pricey Capital Grille in Buckhead. Then he hung out with host Izaan Cross and several other players.
After breakfast Martin and his father got to meet one-on-one with Johnson and talk the business of football.
“That went well,” Martin said. “We just talked about the game and about football and what the future is with the team. He was real straight forward about what their situation is. He was real straight forward with me and I like that.”
Martin also learned more about Tech’s School of Management. A 4.0 student in his high school’s honors program, Martin had planned on pursuing a business degree in college.
“They have a real good management school,” Martin said. “I learned that a high percentage of their graduates get good jobs because there are so many major corporations there in Atlanta. That was good to know.”
Now, Tech waits.