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Saturday, February 23, 2013
Watch List TE Martin gains big SEC offer

By Sam Khan Jr.

The trek from Manvel, Texas to Tuscaloosa, Ala., is roughly nine hours.

On Friday, ESPN Watch List tight end Koda Martin and his father, Manvel (Texas) High School head coach Kirk Martin, made that journey -- with a stop in Baton Rouge, La., added in for good measure -- so that Koda could attend Alabama junior day on Saturday.

Koda Martin
Watch List tight end/defensive end Koda Martin visited LSU and Alabama over the weekend.
When the 6-foot-6 1/2, 247-pound prospect stepped into Nick Saban's offense at about 9 a.m. on Saturday morning, it made the lengthy journey more than well worth it as Martin left Alabama with a scholarship offer.

"It was a good experience and God has really blessed me with that offer, my size, my ability," Martin said Saturday soon after leaving campus. "I just feel really blessed and it was a good experience. It's definitely a great program that wins a lot of games. They put a lot of guy in the NFL. It was a great experience today to get to be here."

Martin, who is being recruited by offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, got to the junior day a little early at Saban's request. The coach took Koda and his father into his office, informed him he had an offer and then the pair went on to experience the rest of the junior day.

Koda met with Nussmeier and tight ends/special teams coach Bobby Williams. The Crimson Tide are willing to let Martin -- who plays both defensive end and tight end for Manvel -- pick which position he'll play if he chooses Alabama.

"It was a pretty good experience overall," Martin said. "They told me I could play defensive end or tight end, whatever I wanted to play. I told them I really didn't have a preference, wherever I'm needed to win. As long as I get to play football, I'll play wherever they need me."

Martin liked what he saw while touring the campus.

"It was a really pretty campus," Martin said. "They had tons of really historic-looking buildings and a beautiful campus overall. Their stadium and brand new weight room were probably the most impressive part of the deal."

On the way to Alabama, Koda and his father stopped at LSU to meet with head coach Les Miles. The Tigers offered Martin last week.

Before those two schools came in the picture, Martin had set his focus on Baylor, Oklahoma and Texas A&M. The two newest SEC programs to offer him will also get his consideration moving forward.

"I don't know if I can really rank them right now," Martin said. "They're all great programs and I just have to decide which one is the best fit for me. I just feel really blessed at this point to have the offers I have on the table."