Nike Opening Finalist Oliver Martin Eyeing BYU

What if I told you that all of the typical measurables, on-field production, and off-season camp awards wasn’t enough to get major D1 recruiting buzz? Would you believe me?
Welcome to the recruiting process of 6’1” 195lb Iowa City West WR, Oliver Martin.

By Dusty Litster – @DustyLitster

What if I told you that all of the typical measurables, on-field production, and off-season camp awards wasn’t enough to get major D1 recruiting buzz? Would you believe me?

Welcome to the recruiting process of 6’1” 195lb Iowa City West WR, Oliver Martin.

Despite being named 2015 1st Team Elite, 1st Team 4A All-State-Des Moines Register, 1st Team All District and All Conference teams after posting 73rec and 1208yds as a JR, Martin received very little recruiting buzz by D1 programs.

Even recruiting guru Tom Lemming speaks highly of Oliver Martin. “Iowa City West HS has a Blue Chip WR in Oliver Martin 6’1” 195 with 4.5 speed. He has strong hands, runs precise routes and is physical.” (@LemmingReport 3/13/16)

“Colleges that I have been talking to are Eastern, Western, and Central Michigan, and Northern Iowa, and Army. I have offers from those five schools.”

Though offers haven’t been extended to Martin he has been contacted by and visited BYU, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas State, Michigan State, and Minnesota. He also plans on attending their summer camps as well.

Some would be openly frustrated by the lack of offers but Oliver is a worker and is willing to keep putting his head down and earning what he wants no matter the circumstances that he faces.

His drive and determination was put on display recently at the Nike Open in Chicago. Weather conditions were less than ideal for posting scores and times that colleges typically base offers from. “It was like 40 degrees and windy. I was shivering for a lot of the time we were testing. I do feel like I would have done better if it was warmer.”

Despite the unfavorable conditions Martin’s SPARQ score was 112, placing him 4th overall in the camp. Although his score wasn’t what he believed he would have posted if conditions were better, Oliver took the chance to impress where it mattered. In the drills.

“A lot of the DB’s like to press at these camps so you have to be good with your feet and your hands off the line. That is something that I have worked on a lot more this past year. My releases were good at the camp. I feel that working on that this last year really helped me.”

His offseason work has truly paid off. This spring has been a time of great reward for Oliver. He was named MVP in his WR group at the Nike Regional Opening, Chicago. A week before that he was named Unanimous Camp MVP at Don Beebe’s House of Speed combine/camp.

Although he believed he could have done better, shortly after his performance in Chicago, Martin was invited to the Nike opening Finals in July, which will be televised on ESPNU.

To show Martin’s athletic diversity, he has sharpened his football skills while excelling at other sports simultaneously. He is a 2 year starter on the baseball team and is rated the #4 baseball player in Iowa (Prep Baseball Report) drawing collegiate offers, and recently MLB attention as well. Martin’s talents extend to the swimming pool as well. He currently holds 3 Iowa state records, and has posted 5 High School All-American times as well.

“I think being a multi-sport athlete gives them [coaches] more confidence about me because they know that I’m not committed to football year-round and I have more room to improve if I focus on football year-round.”

Oliver isn’t one to publicize his own success. Now enter former BYU DB and family friend, Doug Henstrom (92, 96-99). Henstrom, former USA Today Player of the Year (Utah) has been very active in supporting Oliver in his recruiting experience. “Oliver is a great athlete. He is also a great kid. He is very humble and doesn’t like to push his own agenda on social media.” Henstrom continued, “He’s a kid with an unbelievable work ethic who loves the process as much as the end product.”

Being a former teammate of Kalani Sitake, Ben Cahoon, Reno Mahe, and recruiting coordinator Tevita Ofahengaue, Henstrom helped get Oliver on the new coaching staff’s radar. “Oliver proved at the Chicago Nike opening he belongs in the conversation about the top WR’s in the nation as he beat out the 6, 35, and 36 ranked receivers to be named camp WR MVP and get an invite to the finals. All this while he’s in the middle of his baseball season.”

Back in March, Oliver was able to make an unofficial visit to Provo and meet the BYU coaching staff. “I really, really liked my visit with them. They are really cool guys. They made me feel very comfortable. They are energetic. I got to sit in some wide receiver meetings and got to meet some of the WR’s and see how players see the program. It was a great visit.”

The trip in March was unique for Oliver not only because it was his first visit to BYU but because he is not LDS. “I think going to BYU would put me in a really good environment for my education and my development as a young adult. I think it would be a great environment to develop as a person and a football player. Besides, who wouldn’t want to play for Ty Detmer, and that awesome upcoming schedule?”

The recruiting experience has yet to match the performance and potential of Oliver Martin. But at the end of the day, the results of hard work are shown in the moments that are provided. If his history has shown anything, Oliver Martin lives for and thrives in those moments.

Summer 2016 has the potential to be the summer he has been working for.




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