“When I was up at the camp, Coach Shaw kept telling me not to kill anybody in the drill,” Blake Martinez said.
Perhaps that’s one reason why, roughly a week after Martinez participated in the camp, Stanford decided to offer the Arizona prospect.
“I went to their camp on the 19th [of June], and then after that, they called me a week later and offered me,” Martinez said.
But only a few months earlier, Stanford’s interest in Martinez seemed lukewarm at best. While visiting Palo Alto in May (after participating in the NIKE Camp), Martinez received a quick tour of campus from the coaches, none of which went out of their way to make Martinez feel like a priority.
That changed once the coaching staff got a look at his highlight film.
“When I got there, they were just going to show me around real fast and weren’t that interested,” Martinez said. “Then, they watched my highlight tape as they were showing me around the school. Once I got back in, both coaches wanted to talk to me and sit me down and everything.”
After Martinez returned home, Stanford made sure to stay in touch. Coaches Lance Anderson, Jason Tarver, and Shaw all maintained phone contact with the linebacker.
And just a week after getting his Stanford offer, Martinez called those same coaches to inform them of his Cardinal commitment.
“When I was up there, all the players were nice and welcoming and then the coaches, whenever I was on the football field, they were always energized,” Martinez said. “Just seeing the facilities and how nice the campus was, and definitely the academic part [was appealing to me.]”
It wasn’t automatic that Martinez would commit to Stanford once he received his Cardinal offer, however. He mulled over the possibility of delaying a decision until his senior season.
“I talked to my parents first and we were talking about waiting or not waiting and we decided that it would probably be the best thing [to commit now],” Martinez said. “I was thinking if any other school offered, I’d most likely anyways end up at Stanford. I kept going back and forth on waiting, not waiting, and just thinking about it, I’m going to end up there probably anyway, so might as well not wait.”
Martinez chose Stanford over offers from Oregon State, Boise State, San Diego State, San Jose State, New Mexico, as well as interest from Oregon and Arizona.
The three-star prospect, a Tuscon, Ariz., resident, chalks up the absence of a Wildcat offer to his desire to leave the area to play college ball.
“I think Arizona was close [to offering],” Martinez said. “I guess they kind of sensed that I didn’t want to stay home for college and I wanted to get out.”
Of course, before Martinez can relocate to California, he’ll have to pass through Stanford’s admissions process. He reports a weighted 3.8 GPA, and plans to retake the SAT in October.
“The SAT I’m taking again is October 1st, because when I took the first test, I didn’t really think about it the strategic way,” Martinez said. “I just answered every single question, even if I didn’t really know what it was.”
Martinez plans to begin work on the Stanford application soon, perhaps as early as this week. He’s debating between a business or engineering major.
With his commitment now behind him, Martinez said he will spend the rest of the summer focusing on improving his play in anticipation of his senior year.
Visits to other schools don’t seem to be on the horizon. Martinez claims to be “really solid with my commitment, so I’ll probably end up just going on the Stanford visit,” he said.
In the meantime, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to get to know his future Stanford teammates. Martinez recently received an invitation to join the rest of his 2012 Cardinal recruiting classmates in a Facebook group.
“On Facebook, they have a group I just got added to of all the recruits that committed so far, so we’ve been talking about official visits and stuff so we can meet each other,” Martinez said.
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