Practice Tour: Kareem Martin

Practice Tour: Kareem Martin

ROANOKE RAPIDS, N.C. --- With additional responsibilities and tweaks to his normal roles, Roanoke Rapids' success and failure will fall on the broad shoulders of Kareem Martin.

"I don't feel a lot of pressure, because I know we have a lot of great players," Martin said. "Whether I have a great game or a not so great game, I know we've got other players that can step and make big plays for us."

Martin, a 6-foot-6, 229-pounder, is the Northern Carolina Conference's reigning Defensive Player-of-the-Year. To help him repeat that accomplishment, his role will be tweaked this season.

"We're going to be moving him around some this year," Weinstein said. "We're not going to be leaving him in one spot. We did that last year for the most part and a lot of teams would check off and run away from him. So you're liable to see Kareem anywhere in that front seven."

Additionally, Martin will see a drastically increased role on offense at tight end.

"The thing about Kareem, other than being an outstanding defensive player, he's a very good offensive player, as well," Weinstein said. "We need to get him worked into the [offensive] game plan a little more than we've had in scrimmages, thus far… It's not often you're going to have a 6-6 tight end with soft hands like he has."

Besides his on-the-field abilities, Martin provides the entire team with leadership.

"He's such a fine young man and his values are right and he has the right attitude about everything," Weinstein said. "He's just a good lead example for the rest of the guys on this football team."

Roanoke Rapids failed to make the playoffs the past two seasons, with records of 3-8 and 3-9.

"This year, the expectations are high," Martin said. "We're an older group now. The last two years we had a young core and now our best players are our older guys. So I'm looking for some good things this year."

Earlier in the month, Martin narrowed his list of college choices down to Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, and Virginia Tech.

Martin doesn't expect to take official trips to all five schools. He says he will definitely officially visit Georgia Tech and Clemson.

"I just want to make sure I get back to Georgia Tech and Clemson," Martin said.

For his Georgia Tech official visit, Martin is looking at the weekend the Yellow Jackets host UNC (Sept. 26).

Martin said he does plan to make return trips to Duke and UNC.

"Carolina, they're pretty good in my mind, because it's a great school, it's on the rise, they have everything I'm looking for academically, and it's close to home," Martin said of the Tar Heels.

He is also looking to unofficially visit Virginia Tech for the Nebraska game on Sept. 19.

Martin, who says he does not have a leader, plans to make a verbal commitment sometime between the middle of the season and immediately afterwards.

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