Koda Martin - Wescott Eberts (SB Nation)
Martin is one of the best players from the state of Texas in the class of 2014.
Koda Martin is a consensus four-star 2014 tight end prospect from Alvin (Texas) Manvel High School. He has scholarship offers from Alabama, Oklahoma, LSU, Texas A&M, Baylor, Arkansas, Texas Tech, Colorado, UCLA, Nebraska and Stanford, among others.
Martin is 6'6 and weighs 245 pounds, and according to 247Sports, he could also play offensive tackle or defensive end at the college level. That service rates him as the No. 27 offensive tackle in the 2014 class. Scout considers him the ninth-best tight end in the class, and a three-star prospect.
Martin finished the 2012 season with five receptions for 33 yards and a touchdown. He also played defense for Manvel, recording 64 tackles, including 4.5 sacks.
When talking about Martin as a prospect, the first place to start has to be his physical upside. At 6-7 and 245 pounds, Martin is already on the large side for a high school tight end, with the frame to eventually play at close to 300 pounds, depending on where exactly his body takes him once he reaches college.
And that may be the overwhelming point to make about him and his future -- how much weight he gains will probably decide which position he ends up playing. Recruited by some schools as a tight end and others as a defensive end, where he would project as a run-stuffing jumbo strongside end, some schools see Martin as an offensive tackle.
As for defensive tackle? It's possible that Martin could reach a weight that would give him the mass to play inside, but his height creates leverage issues the closer he gets to the football on the defensive side.
So where does Martin have the most upside? There's no question that offensive tackles with his type of feet and athleticism are extremely difficult to find, so the answer to that may be tackle, but he also showed better fluidity and change-of-direction ability than expected in a live viewing at the Fox Sports Southwest 7-on-7 State Championship last summer in College Station, repeatedly making plays in the passing game, though he could more consistently attack the football with his hands on catches inside his frame.
Such a role is clearly limited during the football season based on his stats, though it didn't help that Martin had to share touches through the air with high-level prospects like Oklahoma signee Austin Bennett, Texas A&M signee Kyrion Parker, and Texas Tech signee Carlos Thompson.
As a blocker, Martin has an understanding of hand placement that is advanced for his age and may derive in some extent from the fact that he is the son of the head coach at Manvel. When he does get locked in on a defender, he has enough strength and explosion through his hips to plant many of them.
With his hand on the ground on defense, Martin displays solid get-off from the line of scrimmage and the ability to read and react against teams attempting to read him in the zone option game. Due to his height and wingspan, as well as live feet in these situations, the Manvel product has the ability to make the give/keep read a difficult one for opposing players. The same height and wingspan also helps him impact passing lanes, where he can shorter quarterbacks, a category that includes virtually all of them anywhere.
However, Martin does not display an elite first step defensively -- he doesn't always anticipate the snap count to get an ideal jump with his first step, though he makes up for it by covering a great deal of ground with his long strides.
In the end, Martin is something of a blank canvas for college coaches scouting him -- they can see what they want to see, whether it's a tight end, offensive tackle, or defensive end. Based on his measurables and what he has put on film, Martin could be successful at each of those positions in college. That's the definition of versatility and multi-positional upside.
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SB Nation Recruiting's Wescott Eberts contributed the scouting report.
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