Saturday, April 21, 2018
Colleges

TC's Martinez realizes FSU dream

TAMPA —Four years ago — before the latest national title, before the latest Heisman Trophy quarterback — then-freshman Corey Martinez decided it was his dream to attend Florida State.

Wednesday, when he signed his letter of intent in front of his family, friends and teammates at Tampa Catholic's Crusader Hall, Martinez made his dream come true by joining a Seminole recruiting class that is considered one of the best in the nation.

Tack on the fact FSU is now the defending national champion?

"That's actually just icing on the cake," Martinez's father, Ronnie, said. "Hopefully during his tenure at Florida State, he'll be able to at least get one.

"If he can get one ring, we'll all be happy."

Martinez, a consensus four-star offensive lineman, began playing football in eighth grade at Cambridge Christian. It wasn't long before coaches, picking up on his size — Martinez is now 6 feet 4, 290 pounds — knew he had a bright future.

Martinez said he already feels a part of the family atmosphere that FSU coach Jimbo Fisher works to establish in Tallahassee. He looks forward to joining his future teammates and admits he already has dreamed about what his first game day as a Semi­nole will feel like.

"When I took my official (visit), I was just walking out in the stadium with my mom, and I was just imagining the first time I'll do this," Martinez said.

"However many fans are going to be there, it's just going to be so humbling."

RECEIVER HAUL: The Seminoles landed top-flight receivers in five-star recruits Travis Rudolph and Ermon Lane — who backed out on an oral commitment to Florida — and four-star recruit Ja'von Harrison.

"Those guys are big-time players," Fisher said. "They know we're going to throw the football."

GOING BIG: The Seminoles signed seven offensive linemen who average 6 feet 6, 312 pounds.

"You've got to win those battles up front," Fisher said. "You've got to protect and do those kind of things. Getting great offensive linemen is critical."

TOURISM BUREAU: With Jacob Coker, last season's backup, having transferred and starter Jameis Winston having the potential to turn pro after next season, it was critical for the Seminoles to address their quarterback depth.

They did with J.J. Cosentino.

A Pittsburgh native, his family regularly vacations in Florida, and the western Pennsylvania pedigree can't hurt. The area has produced quarterbacks such as Hall of Famers Dan Marino, Johnny Unitas, Jim Kelly and Joe Namath.

"If he's in the same class with a lot of those guys," Fisher said, "I'll be a happy guy."

FUTURE DIVIDENDS: Fisher said he believes the national title helped with this class but it will really pay off next year. With the recruiting process starting so early and players committing well before the title game, Fisher said many of the relationships weren't affected over the past month.

But as recruiting heats up for next year …

"I think it'll have an even bigger effect," he said.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

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