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Better Know a Freshman: Marlon Martinez

Florida product could develop into a starting guard if coached properly

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: JAN 02 Under Armour All-America Game Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Of all the freshmen in LSU’s 2020 recruiting class, Marlon Martinez is the hardest one to evaluate. Not because he’s a prospect scouts are split on, there’s just not a lot of data on him. The last bit of data 247 has on Martinez came in February of 2019, the spring of his junior year; if there’s film or stats from his senior year I can’t find it. Every school thinks one of the big recruiting sites criminally underrates one of their incoming freshmen, I think Martinez could be LSU’s nominee.

The Story

Honestly there’s not a lot of drama with Martinez’s recruiting. Martinez had his fair share of bluebloods after him, schools like Auburn, Ohio State and Penn State all offered. The big three Florida schools—Florida, Florida State and Miami— were all interested in the St. Thomas Aquinas product, and Martinez took unofficial visits to the Swamp and the U. But as soon as LSU got into the mix for Martinez, it was over. LSU offered Martinez in April of 2019, he committed in May and signed in December.

The Numbers

Five-stars (98-110 rating): The top 32 players in the country to mirror the 32 first round picks in the NFL Draft. These are 32 players that we believe are the most likely to be drafted in the first round from each recruiting class. The full list of 32 with five-star ratings typically isn’t complete until the final ranking. Any player with a rating of more than 100 is considered a “franchise player” and one that does not come around in every recruiting class.

Four-stars (90-97 rating): These are players that we believe are the most likely to produce college careers that get them drafted. By National Signing Day, this number is typically in the range of 350 prospects, roughly the top 10 percent of prospects in a given class.

Three-stars (80-89 rating): This is where the bulk of college football prospects are found and it incorporates a large range of ability levels, all of whom we consider as possible NFL players long term.

Two-stars (70-79 rating): These are prospects that we consider to be FBS-level players with very limited NFL potential.

247 Composite Ranking: ***

247 Composite Rating: .8895

The Film

Like I said at the beginning, for whatever reason there’s not a lot of film for Martinez out there. Moreover, whatever film is available isn’t from his senior year.

Martinez played both tackle and guard in high school, but he’ll be a guard at LSU. He was listed on 247’s website at 287 pounds, but per LSU he’s up to 325. Remember, 247’s evaluation came in February of 2019, so I imagine he added weight throughout his senior year. At least I hope he did, because I’d be alarmed if he put on 40 pounds that fast.

Anyway, if we see Martinez it’ll be along the interior of the line. The staff is high on Dare Rosenthal taking over at left tackle; Marcus Dumervil was just outside the top-100 of all high school prospects in last year’s cycle; the Tigers are also set to add Garrett Dellinger to the 2021 class and are trending for five-star offensive tackle Tristian Leigh.

But LSU has plenty of talent at guard, too. Ed Ingram is the incumbent at left guard, Kardell Thomas was a five-star, Chasen Hines is back to playing guard, and Coach O has said Anthony Bradford is the Tigers’ most talented linemen on the roster. LSU has made sure to get talent along the offensive line, can Martinez rise to the occasion?

High End: Eventual starter at left or right guard in his junior or senior year

Low End: Never cracks the starting lineup, transfers after two years of riding the bench

Realistic: I think we’re looking at someone who provides quality depth but may not be a full-time starter. Maybe he gets games for mop up duty, goal line packages or the occasional start in place of an injured teammate but that’s it.