Five-star DE/LB Chris Martin transferring to UF

Five-star defensive end/linebacker Chris Martin, one of the top recruits in the nation last year, will transfer to the Florida Gators after originally committing to the California Golden Bears, according to Rivals.

Martin, who was heavily pursued by Florida throughout the recruiting process, decided to attend California in order to be close to his hometown of Oakland, CA. As OGGOA reported early Wednesday, Martin felt he was too distracted by playing close to home and wanted to concentrate on both football and his studies in Gainesville, FL.

“When you’re distracted like that your heart isn’t fully focused on where it needs to be and it wasn’t out there,” Martin told The Gainesville Sun. “I felt it was somewhere else, and I think I found the place. [...] I came to this decision because I felt that’s where my heart was and I decided to follow it. It ended up being a decision that my family supported me through. I probably have one of the craziest stories on how I ended up at Florida. It’s been a wild, wild road.”

Considered the top recruit coming out of Colorado (he recorded 11 sacks and five forced fumbles for Grandview High School in Aurora, CO), Martin will have to redshirt his first season because he had already enrolled in Berkley, CA.

“I’m not upset about [redshirting],” he said per the Sun. “I’m actually looking forward to it because it will allow me to get into the weight room and get me in the playbook. It will give me a chance to get in and settle down, because when I get there there’s going to be a lot of stuff thrown at me. Next year is when I’ll do all my damage, but this year it’s going to be an adjustment.”

Rivals ranked him the No. 18 overall recruit in 2010 and fifth best DE/LB; ESPNU had him pegged as the No. 111 player available and a top 10 DE.

Martin could play either strongside defensive end or outside linebacker and is looking forward to joining the nation’s top recruiting class.

“I have been blessed to have a second chance with Florida,” Martin told ESPN. “That was where I was going until coach [Charlie] Strong left for Louisville. Then I made up my mind I was going to Florida again. Then it came out about coach [Urban] Meyer and his heart problems. I freaked out and couldn’t do it. It just didn’t feel right at the time for me with the Gators. [...] My heart was in Gainesville.”

Photo Credit: ESPN

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15 Responses to “Five-star DE/LB Chris Martin transferring to UF”

  1. npgator says:

    Adam – you answered my question. Can he play this year or have to sit out a year?

  2. Yeah. Didn’t know until it happened.

  3. Trent says:

    Good Get by the Gators! Just makes you wonder on the rankings though…one service has him at #18 overall and the other at #111. That’s about as big of a difference as I’ve seen. Welcome aboard either way!!!

  4. npgator says:

    I see that he will redshirt but will he play DE or LB? I don’t his size, speed etc?

  5. FatCatG8r says:

    Here is his Rivals recruiting line:

    DE Chris Martin Aurora, Colorado, Grandview High School, 6’4″ 240 lbs, 40 yard time: 4.7, 5 stars, rating 6.1, position rank: 2

  6. dp says:

    I would say linebacker given our need and the d-line depth.

  7. Mr2Bits says:

    welcome, this years class just keeps getting better

  8. Mr2Bits says:

    anyone who trims strips into their eyebrows has to be a badass

  9. sammy says:

    This whole thing is kind of odd. He was “too distracted”? We have had quite a few arrests recently, I hope he is able to avoid “distractions” during his time in Gainesville.

  10. Bryan says:

    Read on Gator Sports that Meyer wants to use him like Spikes. Big linebacker who can play off the d line.

  11. Joey says:

    guessing he will count in 2010 commitment list. and since OL left USC and going to UM does this make our class #1 across the board?

  12. If they were to re-rank, without a doubt. Even if Seantrel stayed at USC, it would probably be enough of a bump.

  13. John Shanks says:

    What a class, almost a complete team of 4 and 5 stars. That is reloading. Come on 2011 O-line.

  14. Cory says:

    When Rivals does their enrolled rankings next month, we will be number one without a doubt.

    Trent, don’t let his rank on ESPN fool you. Kid is the best jumbo athlete in the class of 2010.

    Also, bigger ranking discrepancy would probably be Jonathan Dowling in my mind. Top 10 on ESPN, and barely cracking the Rivals250

  15. eric says:

    Damn. i went to middle school with him. nice.

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