As Jim McElwain tries to rebuild Florida football into a championship program, one of his mottos is “recruit daily or die.” Join us here on SEC Country for a daily recap of the latest UF recruiting news, tales from the trail and perspective on what it all means for the Gators.
Florida is pursing several running backs in the Class of 2018, but none have pulled the trigger yet. However, one target at the position could be close.
Asa Martin, a 4-star recruit from Decatur, Ala., made a two-day trip to UF last weekend with his mother and brother. The visit vaulted the Gators to the top spot.
“Yeah, they’re my leader,” Martin said. “I’m kind of getting that feel of what I want in school from Florida. Just that home atmosphere. I get along with everyone there and I already feel like I’m part of the team.”
Apparently, his 14-year-old brother felt the same way. He even put Martin on the spot while in Gainesville.
“He actually asked me if I was going to commit,” Martin said. “He really wanted me to. He loved the Gators.”
So did Martin’s mother, who plays a big role in his recruitment. Last weekend was her first time visiting Florida.
“It’s very important that she came on the trip,” Martin said. “Her being comfortable with the school is one of the main factors in my recruitment. She liked everything about Florida. She was talking about it the whole time.”
Despite his family’s approval, Martin didn’t consider committing before he left UF. He wants to wait until at least the summer to make a decision.
“I definitely need to think things through,” Martin said. “I still have a few more places I want to visit. I don’t want to end my recruitment quick. I want to see what every school has to offer.”
The 6-foot, 193-pound currently has 20 offers and said Auburn, Michigan and Oklahoma are the only schools standing out to him. One of Martin’s offers is from West Virginia, and that came in February of 2016 from Ja’Juan Seider, who is Florida’s new running backs coach.
“Our relationship goes back to when he was at West Virginia,” Martin said. “He recruited me there as well. I’ve been talking to him for over a year now. So we’re real tight.
“What he did with his running backs at West Virginia was awesome. He sent a player to the league four years in a row, so he’s a good coach and knows what he’s doing.”
Martin met 1-on-1 with Seider and Gators coach Jim McElwain during his visit. Martin thinks highly of McElwain and the job he’s done at UF thus far.
“What he accomplished the last two years has been very impressive,” Martin said. “He brought Florida to back-to-back to the SEC championships, so that’s big. I want to go a school that has success and can be a contender for a championship every year.”
Martin said the highlight of his trip was spending time with running back Lamical Perine, quarterback Kadarius Toney and safety Jeawon Taylor, all of whom hail from Alabama.
“I love that there’s some guys from Alabama, especially a running back. It’s definitely nice,” Martin said. “I hung out with Lamical all day Friday and a little bit Saturday. He’s a real cool guy.
“He wasn’t really trying to recruit me. He was just being open and real whenever I asked him something. I hung out with Kadarius and Jeawon, too. I liked all those guys.”
Miss a previous Gator Chomps notebook? Find every daily recap of Florida Gators recruiting right here.