2017 Season Countdown: #62 Oliver Martin

2017 Season Countdown: #62 Oliver Martin


June 29, 2017

Oliver Martin

Remember that one way you can support the blog is by making purchases at Amazon through links like this one (LINK).


Name: Oliver Martin
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 189 lbs.
High school: Iowa City (IA) West
Position: Wide receiver
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: N/A
Last year: Martin was a senior in high school. He caught 85 passes for 1,272 yards and 16 touchdowns.
TTB Rating: 83

Martin was a fairly late addition to the 2017 class when he committed in late January. That might be partly because he showed up on their radar relatively late in the process. Michigan hadn’t been in much contact until he attended The Opening, and some of Michigan’s commitments alerted the coaching staff to how much they liked playing with him out at Nike’s headquarters. The staff offered, and he visited shortly afterward, but he still held off on committing for several months.

Going into Martin’s freshman season, it’s hard to see where he’ll fit. I wouldn’t be surprised if he redshirted . . . or if he played a backup role . . . or if he finished second on the team in receptions. He will probably play in the slot, but he has the size and skill to contribute at multiple receiver positions. He’s a decent route runner with good hands, and he can work across the middle. The drawback is that he did not enroll early like some of Michigan’s other freshman receivers. I think Martin will play this season, but his production will be limited by a glut of talented young wideouts.

Prediction: Backup slot receiver

18 comments

  1. Comments: 342
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Jun 29, 2017 at 8:52 AM

    If Martin is our PR, I’d put him much higher than this

    • Comments: 2532
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Jun 29, 2017 at 1:42 PM

      I think we all can agree the PR spot is important. And probably most would say that reliability is more important than play-making at PR.

      The question is if a freshman like Martin is going to be given that level of responsibility when you have Perry, McDoom, Johnson and all the others. Is there any precedent for a freshman getting this job? (I can’t remember. Peppers had it as a RS freshman but I think not during his injury shortened first year).

      • Comments: 1951
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Jun 29, 2017 at 3:05 PM

        There are some coaches out there who don’t return punts at all (in high school) due to analytics.

        • Comments: 816
          Joined: 8/13/2015
          Roanman
          Jun 29, 2017 at 3:14 PM

          How do you not return punts at all, and analytics that tell them what?

          • Comments: 1951
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Jun 29, 2017 at 3:27 PM

            The theory is that the risk of a turnover on punt returns is so high that it doesn’t justify the attempt.

            Personally, I think returning punts in high school is usually a waste of time, too. Punters are erratic, the ball doesn’t travel far enough, and it sucks up practice time for a very minimal return on investment. It might be a different story if you have a truly dynamic player to return punts, but if you don’t have that guy, then it’s a waste.

            • Comments: 816
              Joined: 8/13/2015
              Roanman
              Jun 29, 2017 at 5:14 PM

              I think i’d go looking for a kid that can hit line drives that roll when the hit.

            • Comments: 342
              Joined: 1/19/2016
              je93
              Jun 29, 2017 at 7:12 PM

              I get the ROI retruns part Thunder, but all I’m talking about is catching that dang ball before it rolls 15-20 yards, putting our Offense further into their own territory

              • Comments: 1951
                Joined: 7/13/2015
                Jun 29, 2017 at 7:25 PM

                Oh no, in college you have to return punts. I don’t mean college coaches should ignore the punt return game. I’m just saying you have to weigh the pros and cons of installing a punt return.

                Last year we didn’t return punts – we just put a guy back there to fair catch it, so it wouldn’t roll that extra 10-15 yards.

  2. JC
    Comments: 83
    Joined: 8/17/2015
    JC
    Jun 29, 2017 at 9:53 AM

    Even if Martin is handling punt returner duties, I don’t know how much higher I’d put him. There are a lot of eligible people for that position. I can see moving him up if he lights it up this year, but how much?

    EVEN IF he comes out guns blazing and unseats Perry for the starting slot receiver spot and puts up decent numbers, there is still Perry who can take on that role, McDoom, spring game ball-security issue Nate Johnson, or maybe moving outside receivers inside. That’s a lot of people eligible bodies. There are nine scholarship receivers on the roster. To rename Magnus’s countdown, he may be the 62nd most dispensable player. If he ends the season as the starting slot receiver and starting punt returner, I think there is still an argument to be made for at least 25 people that are more integral members for the team’s success because there are so many capable backups at both spots.

    He is one freshmen I’m unjustifiably excited about.

  3. Comments: 342
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Jun 29, 2017 at 10:26 AM

    I don’t know if he’ll reurn punts, but the guy entrusted with that role in spring looked like the mess we had out there from 2008-14
    We need someone who
    1) catches everything (Norfleet and the others would let the ball rolling)
    2) catches everything
    3) catches everything

    With the potential problems we’ll have, field position will be critical this year. That is why our PR should be a little higher than other non-Starters

  4. Comments: 2532
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Jun 29, 2017 at 1:28 PM

    Perry and McDoom combined for 18 catches last year. Perry had 14 last year.

    Even in the unlikely event that Martin passed both of them, it would be an absolute shocker if he was in the top 2 in receptions. Rumors of an offensive revamp coming to fruition or not.

    I like Martin but Michigan took so many WRs in the last 2 years that it’s hard to see him arriving on campus and immediately plugging in ahead of the guys who have been on campus longer (including the early enrollees).

    I’m generally anti-red-shirting for most positions, but Michigan really needs to get some of these WRs spread out. Unless he wins the punt return job, Martin seems like one of the most likely candidates.

    • Comments: 2532
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Jun 29, 2017 at 1:36 PM

      They really only need around 5-6 WR to play. I think Crawford, McDoom, and Perry are locked in as being well ahead of Martin for now. Ways is around, capable, and a senior. That’s 4 –

      So Martin would have to catchup pass DPJ and Black who impressed so many in camp, plus Gentry, Collins, Johnson, Schoenle, etc.

      I just don’t see a place in the rotation this year. Martin’s path to playing is probably the punt return role, and we’re talking about a kid who is a true freshman and not Jabril Peppers.

      • Painter Smurf
        Comments: 191
        Joined: 8/12/2015
        Painter Smurf
        Jun 29, 2017 at 10:13 PM

        Think they will need 1 or 2 more WR to play than they did last year. There is more open competition for one. And word out of spring was that Pep will use more 4-wide sets than UM has over the last few years. I also expect overall TE snaps to go down a bit with the losses of Butt and Asiasi. Martin definitely has a shot to earn significant PT. Black, DPJ, and Martin are arguably the three most promising WR prospects UM has signed in the last decade.

      • Comments: 2532
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Jun 30, 2017 at 12:14 PM

        In a few weeks we will find out if there is anything to these rumors of 4-WR/NFL spread-pass. The personnel has certainly moved that way. Butt and Asiasi out the door means TE depth is average. While Hill and Poggi are solid FBs, there doesn’t seem to be much effort to find replacements as they depart. Greg Frey is getting more nimble OTs and our current OL would seem to favor a more agile passing attack. Add those factors with the massive recruiting hauls at WR and you have strong circumstantial evidence that change is coming.

        Still – Harbaugh is Harbaugh. Drevno is Drevno. And the last time these guys were with Hamilton it was the quintessential Stanford power stuff. Until I see us going 4-wide, I’m going to remain skeptical.

      • Comments: 2532
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Jun 30, 2017 at 12:21 PM

        I really like the WR talent Michigan is bringing in. There’s just been so much of it that it’s hard to see Martin being a top 2 guy, even if they do use a lot more WR.

        A couple things are factoring into Martin getting a little too much hype IMO. 1 is that the temporary ‘departure’ of Perry created an opening in the imaginary depth chart. That opening is gone. 2 is that some people have pigeon-holed McDoom a bit as a ball-carrying-specialist. I think that’s a mistake.

        Don’t sleep on McDoom being an elite WR — something between Breaston, Manningham, and Gallon.

    • Comments: 1951
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jun 29, 2017 at 3:09 PM

      Who’s going to be #1 in receptions? I don’t think anyone knows for sure, and you could probably make a case for about four guys (Crawford, Black, Peoples-Jones, Bunting).

      It’s not out of the realm of possibility for Michigan to look at Martin as an outside receiver. Maybe they think Crawford, Martin, and McDoom are their top three receivers, so they play Crawford and Martin on the outside with McDoom in the slot. I’m not saying I expect Martin to end up at #2 in receptions. I’m just saying it’s possible and wouldn’t shock me.

      • Comments: 2532
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Jun 29, 2017 at 8:50 PM

        While I appreciate the slot as outside WR angle and agree a freshman impact is likely, I would be shocked if Martin is starting at outside WR.

        Bunting seems like a near lock for top 3 in receptions. Crawford, McDoom, and Perry the top the contenders to lead among the receivers.

        For Martin to be a top 2 WR, not only does he have to be better than all the slots, but he also has to be chosen (over the bigger prototypical outside WRs) as the best complement whoever the #1 WR is (likely Crawford or McDoom IMO). In order for Martin to be #2, you almost have to assume that somebody like Black becomes the #1.

        We’re talking about a 6′ tall WR from Iowa ranked outside of the top 150 players in the country coming in as a freshman and beating out a gaggle of bigger, faster, more talented, and more experienced options.

        I would be surprised (but not shocked) if Martin beat out some vets to won the slot job.
        I would be surprised (but not shocked) if Martin was the most productive freshman WR.
        I would be shocked if he became a starter at outside WR.

        Anything is possible of course, but this would be pretty amazing.

      • Comments: 2532
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Jun 29, 2017 at 9:00 PM

        I would definitely include Perry and McDoom as guys you can make a case for #1.

        Perry is the top returning WR and played ahead of Crawford and McDoom. (Though McDoom did get more touches, I’m pretty sure he got fewer snaps). With outside WR in flux you could see Perry be a go-to guy out of the slot plus get heavy action in 2 WR sets.

        As for McDoom – while it was Crawford who garnered the most hype this spring, McDoom seemed at least even with him at WR last year. That’s discounting without considering that Michigan coaches went to lengths to get him the ball nearly every game last year. We can’t say that about any other WR…

You must belogged in to post a comment.