Five-star defensive end says he'll transfer to Florida


Published: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at 2:19 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at 2:19 p.m.

Florida's 2010 defensive recruiting class just got even better.

After being dubbed as one of the greatest defensive hauls of all time, Florida added to its historic class when former University of California defensive end Chris Martin announced his intention to transfer to UF.

Martin, who is transferring from Cal to UF after being officially released Tuesday, was a five-star recruit rated as the No. 2 defensive end in the country by Rivals.com. He was second only to Florida signee Ronald Powell.

“I came to this decision because I felt that's where my heart was and I decided to follow it,” Martin said. “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.”

The former Aurora, Colo., Grandview prospect's journey to UF has been pretty exciting. He was in and out of three different high schools before originally committing to Notre Dame in February of 2009. He then decommitted and planned to commit to Florida, but decided on Cal in December after former UF defensive coordinator Charlie Strong left to become the head coach at Louisville.

After a summer at Cal, Martin decided that his heart wasn't with the program and that there were too many distractions.

“When you're distracted like that your heart isn't fully focused on where it needs to be and it wasn't out there,” he said. “I felt it was somewhere else, and I think I found the place (in UF).”

Martin said he called UF coach Urban Meyer after being released from his scholarship Tuesday to inform him of his intentions of transferring to UF. Martin said Meyer “loved” the idea of him joining the Gators.

“It was good to hear his voice again,” Martin said. “It was kind of like a long-time friendship.”

Martin said he and Meyer talked “every day” for about three months during the recruiting season before he committed to Cal.

Because Martin took summer classes at Cal he'll have to redshirt the 2010 season. He'll return in 2011 as a redshirt freshman.

Taking this year off will be a good thing, Martin said. He'll be able to get better acclimated to his new position at the “Brandon Spikes” spot in which he'll play both on and off the defensive line. At 245 pounds, Martin said Meyer expects him to play at around 250 or 255 pounds and is “penciling” him in at linebacker for now.

“I'm not upset about (redshirting),” he said. “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.”

Martin is unsure when he'll arrive in Gainesville because he's still working on dropping classes at Cal and is still filling out his UF application. The transfer should be finalized soon, allowing Martin to work out with his new team before the season starts.

“When I get all that situated, I'll be out there in Gainesville for two-a-days where they are going to kick my (butt),” he said.

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