New in ’16: Defensive tackle Chris Martin has big dreams for Tech career

020216 ATLANTA: Grayson High School defensive tackle Chris Martin is all smiles sporting his Georgia Tech hat and bow tie during national signing day at the College Football Hall of Fame on Wednesday, Feb, 3, 2016, in Atlanta.    Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Georgia Tech freshman defensive tackle Chris Martin at national signing day at the College Football Hall of Fame. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Chris Martin is receiving his first dividends on the investment in his dream.

The Georgia Tech freshman defensive tackle said he chose to pass on parties and girls in favor of working out and pursuing a college football scholarship.

“I’m determined,” said Martin, a Grayson High graduate. “That stuff’s not going anywhere. I’d rather sacrifice it now and you can get it all later.”

Having enrolled this summer with his freshman class, and with preseason camp less than two weeks away, it’s getting close. This is clearly important. In June, Martin said the two greatest day of his life were the day he got his first scholarship offer and national signing day this past February. He even remembers the details of the first offer (Dec. 2, 2014, from Boston College assistant coach Al Washington).

“I had thoughts I wouldn’t even get a scholarship because I’m not the tallest dude,” he said. “It’s a blessing. I’m just excited to live out a dream that not a lot of people thought I could do.”

Martin was among the first to commit to the class, recruited by defensive coordinator Ted Roof. While defensive tackle isn’t a spot where first-year freshmen typically play, there is some uncertainty on the depth chart.

“I’ve got three goals,” Martin said of his first year. “I want to make A’s and B’s, I want to make All-ACC freshman. I want to do that and I want to, of course, be in the playing rotation.”

Martin was a second-team all-state pick at Grayson and rated a three-star prospect. Coaches like his motor and quickness off the ball. While he’s up to 271 pounds –he was at 260 at the end of his senior season – he is a little undersized at 6-1. (Martin said he is 6-1 ¾)

“(Defensive line coach Mike Pelton) told my family if I was with my skillset, if I was 6-3, 6-4, they wouldn’t even try recruiting me because they know I’d be looking somewhere else,” Martin said. “That just shows they think really highly of me.”

Martin has a most fitting player to emulate. Former Pitt All-American and first-round pick Aaron Donald. Martin said he almost went to Pitt because Donald, who is also 6-1, went there and because coaches pursued him with the idea that he could be the next one in Donald’s mold.

Martin likes “just how fast he is, how hard he plays,” he said. “How he’s able to shoot in the backfield so fast, and he pass rushing is amazing. I love him. I watch his highlights almost every day.”

Martin knows he has work to do – gaining strength and size and improving his pad level, for starters. He’s ready to start, though.

“I’m a big dreamer, and I’m anxious to do the things I’ve been dreaming about,” he said.

Series to date:

AB Xavier Gantt adds ‘explosive’ playmaking to A-back mix

DT Brandon Adams brings size, playmaking ability

LB Jakob Brashear says he won’t be outworked

WR Jalen Camp wants ‘to make a statement’

OL Kenny Cooper bringing attitude, athleticism to Tech line

WR Stephen Dolphus brings the tools, drive to Tech

WR Jair Hawkins-Anderson threatens with top-end speed

OL Jahaziel Lee has All-ACC ambitions

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