IOWA CITY, Iowa – The Iowa football team might have some catching up to do with receiver Oliver Martin.
The senior-to-be from Iowa City West grew up cheering for the Hawkeyes. But his home-town school wasn’t the first to offer Martin a scholarship, or the second or third for that matter.
Wisconsin was the first to offer Martin a scholarship followed by Minnesota, Michigan State and Indiana. Iowa has since extended an offer, as have Oregon, Brigham Young and Michigan.
All of Martin’s Big Ten offers came within a five-day period, but Iowa apparently hurt its chances just a little according to Martin by not leading the pack.
"Not too much, but a little bit," Martin said when asked if the timing of Iowa’s scholarship offer would factor in his decision. "It all came at once. I think if Iowa would have offered before the others I think I probably would have fallen in love with them just because I’m from here and have grown up around them and know a lot of people at Iowa.
Since it all came at once I was a little sidetracked from them at first."
On a positive note for Iowa, many of the players who are committed to Iowa’s 2017 recruiting class have been actively recruiting Martin on social media.
Running backs Eno Benjamin and Ivory Kelly-Martin, quarterback Peyton Mansell and tight end Jacob Coons were all promoting the Hawkeyes on Friday, using the hashtag, "We Want Oliver" on Twitter.
"It was pretty cool, but I’m not a guy that likes a lot of attention as you probably know," Martin said. "They’re definitely showing that they want me and that’s pretty cool."
"Some of the kids from other schools will try and talk to me and I’ll talk to them but not nearly at the level that Iowa is right now."
Martin thinks he suffered a little bit as a recruit early on because the state of Iowa doesn’t have a history of producing Division I skill players.
It wasn’t until he excelled against elite competition at The Opening in May in Chicago that the offers started coming, with Wisconsin the first to extend an offer.
"I think the colleges weren’t very familiar with me besides watching my film," Martin said. "I think once I got there and they saw me in person and saw my skill set and what I can do it kind of opened their eyes a litle bit and they made some decisions with offers.
"I think maybe since not a lot of skill players come out of Iowa when they watch my film they’re not sure how good the competition is so they really want to see you in person before they make decisions."
"I want to get all the options that I can and figure out which one is the best for me," Martin said. I don’t want to jump and commit too soon and maybe not have it end up being the right place for me. I just want to get to know the schools as best I can before I make a decision."
Martin said he hopes to make a decision before the start of the season so he can focus on football and developing relationships with his coaches at the next level.