Could Chris Martin Be The Next Cam Newton?

The easy and correct answer would be no, but that won’t stop Florida fans from thinking it every time a player who was all-everything in high school comes to the Gators with all the potential in the world only to transfer to a junior college.

Cam Newton did it and we all saw what happened. The only possible things making Florida fans feel better about the entire situation was the fact that Newton never beat the Gators and he was constantly under criticism for how he ended up where he did – Auburn – and where he didn’t – Mississippi State.
Now it’s Chris Martin’s turn. We don’t know where Martin will ultimately end up, but we know where he’ll play out the 2011 season. Martin will surface at Navarro College, which just happens to be the defending NJCAA champion. Again think of Newton who went on to win a title at Blinn College before going to the Tigers and winning the big boy title. There was also that Heisman Trophy and then the NFL Draft.
Martin won’t win a Heisman and he might never end up as the no. 1 overall pick in the draft, but we’ll keep asking the question. We – that’s Gator fans – saw it happen once and dread it happening again. Newton didn’t contribute much at Florida, but he did so much elsewhere. What Martin does anywhere remains to be seen, but we all might be a little sick to our stomachs if we one day see him hoisting the crystal ball. Sure we wish luck to anyone who looks for a different situation somewhere else, but the fan in fanatical in us doesn’t wish too much.

OEO: Florida Gators Arrests, Lerentee McCray The "Adult," And The Starting Running Back

One Eyed Observations of the Florida Gators. TBG asking; OEW answering.
The Bull Gator: Seriously? The Gators still have a problem with arrests?
One Eyed Willy: We all know the statistics by now: under Urban Meyer’s leadership, there were 30 (or so) arrests of Florida players for one reason or another. Rival fans had a field day with that stat and would point to it to show Meyer’s lack of discipline and a thug-like mentality of our football team. Even UF fans realized that this number seemed rather high and many believed the Gators had unfortunately taken a win-at-all-costs approach to the game.
With the hiring of Will Muschamp, most believed that he would turn the program around and no longer allow these types of situations to occur – at least not on such a regular basis. So, how has Muschamp done in his first eight months on the job? Well, maybe not as well as one would initially think:
Janoris Jenkins – Arrested in January 2011 for misdemeanor possession of marijuana; arrested again in April 2011 for misdemeanor possession of Mary Jane; dismissed from team shortly thereafter.
De’Ante “Pop” Saunders – Arrested in May 2011 for misdemeanor possession of the sticky-icky; punishment unknown at this time.
Chris Martin – Arrested in June 2011 for misdemeanor possession of the herb; transferred from team shortly thereafter.
Kedric Johnson – Arrested in June 2011 for misdemeanor possession of the wacky tabacky; punishment unknown at this time.
Matt Elam – Arrested in July 2011 for misdemeanor possession of cannabis; no wait…he wasn’t arrested for that? My bad. Arrested in July 2011 for possession of alcohol by a minor (for the second year in a row); punishment unknown at this time.
Let me first say that I was no choir boy when I was at the University of Florida. But I was smart. I didn’t do stuff in public that I wasn’t supposed to do. If I was drinking underage, I tried to hide it the best I could and certainly never drove afterwards. If I was taking part in Mother Nature’s medicine for glaucoma, I would only do so in the confines of my fraternity house and/or home. That doesn’t make what I did right, but it does make me like 95% of the people who attended the University of Florida.
So I am not going to sit here and bash these guys for smoking a little ganja or drinking while underage. But what I am going to bash them for being ignorant enough to do it in a place where they could easily be caught. They have to realize that they are under a microscope. Gone are the days when players could get away with anything and only have to run some stadium steps as punishment. In today’s world, the public knows EVERYTHING. Mess up and we will certainly find out. So go ahead and be kids, have fun in college and do the things that all of us did at one time or another. Just be smart about it!
TBG: In an interview, Lerentee McCray said one difference between Muschamp and Meyer was that Muschamp treated the players like adults. Thoughts?
OEW: WHACK! That sound you just heard was Lerentee McCray slapping Coach Meyer across the cheek and then pointing at him like the guy hanging out of the helicopter points at the dude trapped under the rock in that Wheat Thins commercial. (Side note: In writing this response, I went to YouTube to watch that commercial and someone wrote the following three comments: 1. If you have a dog named Lucky then you’re ironically screwed anyway; 2. Ginger people can’t hike; 3. People that hang from helicopters are jerks. No truer statements have ever been written in the history of mankind.)
But I digress. I think first you have to realize that McCray is probably a little bit bitter (or maybe sour) about the Meyer-led regime considering he did not get a ton of significant playing time over the last three years. But he is also probably stating a fact in that it seemed to me like Coach Meyer wanted to be friends with the players BEFORE he wanted to be their coach – especially over the last few seasons. I am all for coaches becoming friendly with their players, but that cannot come at the expensive of the players knowing that the coach’s #1 job is to teach them how to be better football players and to put the best product on the field. It seems to me like somewhere along the way, Coach Meyer may have forgotten this a little bit and tried to be friends with all the players rather than more of a father-like figure.
TBG: We play a game every year where we guess who the running back on the field for the first snap of the season will be. It’s not always who you might think it would be. Who it is this season and why?
OEW: Given the new offense we are running this year, I think one of two things can happen on the first play against that stingy FAU defense. (Actually about a million things can happen on the first play, but I am so smart I have limited it down to only two distinct possibilities.) First, we could have John Brantley line up under center and hand it off to one of the running backs and show the world that we are a running team first. Or second, we could have Brantley line up under center, fake the run, and throw it deep to show that we have confidence in our quarterback.
Either way, I think you will see one of the senior running backs line up in the backfield this year on the first play. Out of the two – Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps – my money is on Rainey being the “starter” at the tailback position. I think Rainey will be rewarded for what everyone is calling a terrific offseason and because he has been learning the offense nonstop for the past eight months while Demps has been focused on his duties with Florida’s track and field team.
As you and I both know TBG, being the “starter” in college football really means nothing. I think it was you who pointed out that last year Brantley actually started at wide receiver in one game. But what does mean something is a big fat Newberry bar-b-que sandweeech (spelled like it’s pronounced!). And since that is the going wager that we have year-after-year on this bet, I take this very seriously. So therefore, I have officially made my selection of Chris Rainey for the 2011 season! And hopefully when I win this year (again) you losers will actually pay up for once!

Chris Martin To Transfer From Florida

Former five-star recruit Chris Martin will transfer from Florida. The DE/LB will leave the program after coming to the Gators from Cal. It will be interesting to see where Martin ends up and when he’ll finally see the field for a college program.
Martin found himself in legal trouble earlier in 2011 when he was arrested for possession of marijuana. Since then rumors surfaced that he wasn’t a great fit for the program and he himself “joked” that he was dismissed from the team (merely a Facebook April Fool’s joke). While Martin may not be missed by those who never got a chance to see him play for Florida (that would be all of us), he was an intriguing athlete who was thought to be providing depth for Ronald Powell at the hybrid buck position. Instead, Martin will take his talents elsewhere. It’s hard to determine if you’ll miss someone you never really knew.

Janoris Jenkins and Now Kedric Johnson and Chris Martin

Janoris Jenkins was arrested for marijuana possession and we found out only a few hours later.  Kedric Johnson and Chris Martin were arrested for marijuana possession and it was months before the stories came out.  Johnson and Martin were arrested in separate incidents in January, but until now, we were in the dark about each.  Now we know, unfortunately.

During the Urban Meyer era, Florida was as much of a laughingstock as it was a disgrace for the number of arrests that piled up.  When Will Muschamp was named the new Gators’ head coach, fans hoped it meant a cleaner program.  So far, so…um.
With Jenkins you have a situation that isn’t strike one, or strike two, but might just be strike three.  No one knows what will happen to the star cornerback, but there are plenty of opinions out there.  With Johnson and Martin, two younger players with potential find themselves in trouble.  Martin was expected to provide depth at one of the most intriguing positions within the new defense – the “buck” shared with Ronald Powell.
Johnson and Martin will probably avoid suspension or miss a game at most.  For them, this is strike one.  They found trouble and (hopefully) learned from it.  If this is the last time we hear either name mentioned in a story such as this, then maybe it was a one-time mistake.  But then you have Jenkins and you see how easily one can become two can become three.
There’s not a Florida fan out there that enjoys the arrests.  There’s no one who doesn’t want to see them end.  Muschamp has been put in a difficult position right out of the gate, but one he can correct almost immediately.  Policy may have been lax is the past.  That must stop.  As a fan of the football team, I don’t want to see players miss opportunities to play.  As a fan of the university, I don’t want the reputation the program has developed.  Johnson and Martin should miss a game, Jenkins possibly more.
We’ve all done stupid things and if you’re anything like me many of those things came during your college years.  But many of us were also punished or had to live with the consequences of our choices.  These players are not beyond repair.  They aren’t broken.  They need to deal with whatever punishment comes to them, learn from their mistakes, and not let it happen again.  These kids came to Florida to play football and get an education.  Situations like these inhibit their ability to do both.

Florida Adds Chris Martin to an Already Impressive Recruiting Haul

Since he is actually transferring to Florida, Chris Martin won’t technically count toward the Gators’ 2010 recruiting class.  Even so, the five-star defensive end makes this year’s class that much more impressive.
When all was said and done on signing day, Florida had welcomed four five-star athletes to the mix.  Not bad considering Rivals.com only gave five-star ratings to 26 total players.  All four were on the defensive side of the ball.  Defensive end Ronald Powell (who could also see time at tight end) was the nation’s top overall player.  Defensive tackles Sharrif Floyd and Dominique Easley joined Powell among the top seven.  And safety Matt Elam came in at #25.
There were a few other five-star athletes that the Gators had been in the mix for.  One of them was stud defensive end Martin.  Originally committed to Notre Dame, Martin looked hard at Florida once he dropped the Fighting Irish.  In the end, Martin would decide on Cal and stick with that decision through signing day.
Martin now mentions that he was sold on everything Florida had to offer at the time, but questions surrounding Urban Meyer’s health and whether Charlie Strong would be around in 2010 pushed him to the Golden Bears.  We all know what happened.  Meyer reconsidered and remained the head coach and Strong did indeed get a head coaching job of his own at Louisville.
Martin headed to Cal and enrolled in classes, but while he was there it didn’t feel like the right fit.  And now Martin has made the decision to attend Florida after all.  Since he was already enrolled at another school, Martin will technically be considered a transfer.  Because of that, he will utilize his redshirt year during the 2010 season and then have four years of eligibility remaining.
Although listed as a defensive end, Martin will probably play mostly outside linebacker at Florida.  He is, however, expected to also be used as a pass rushing defensive end in certain situations.  Martin has great speed for someone of his size – 6’4”, 240 pounds and growing.  He has the build of an NFL player and has been compared to Julius Peppers by some.  Martin hopes to add strength during his redshirt year and be ready to contribute heavily in 2011.