Entering year three of the Lovie Smith era, you can see what kind of defense is forming. Ball hawking, disciplined corners who have skill and athleticism. Jartavius Martin from Lehigh Acres, Florida fits that mold and has great size as well. At 6’0 180 pounds and owning 39′ inch vertical leap, Illinois is gaining an athlete it hasnt had playing corner in a long time.

While Illinois depth chart in the secondary won’t be easy to crack for any freshman, I believe Martin has the tools to contribute early. I caught up with Jartavius before he moved to Champaign earlier this week about his offseason workouts and goals heading into August Camp.

In his words with Jartavius Martin

Its important for high school athlete’s to keep in shape and improve before heading into the grind of college athletics. I wanted to know what Jartavius was doing to be ready the moment he landed in Champaign

He told me “I’ve just been doing a lot of position drills and conditioning trying to get better everyday and prepare myself for the next level and the competition”

The Illini staff and class are all very close. I wanted to know How often they kept in contact during the year.

Martin told me “Yes sir majority of the recruiting class has been talking. And I talk with coach Abraham each week”.

With a young and talented secondary of Bennett Williams, Tony Adams, Nate Hobbs, Stanley Green returning. I wanted to know what goals and expectations Jartavius and his teammates have heading into the season.

He said “I expect for us to play ball, do our job and create some turnovers. I will be playing corner, that’s where they see me causing havoc.”

Swami’s Take

The 2018 class has some really good underrated talent. Sydney Brown and Ron Hardge are two more names I believe will see some time next year. Jartavius Martin has anything you could want in a Corner. Length, Athleticism and great instincts. Donnie Abraham genuinely loves Martins game and as a former Pro Bowler himself, he knows what it takes to be succesful. This is the route the staff is taking to bring back a winning program. I believe and trust the staff to evaluate and develop talent. Dont be suprised to hear this kids name a bunch in Memorial Stadium in the coming months.

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