Signee Update: Kareem Martin

Signee Update: Kareem Martin

North Carolina signee Kareem Martin now has three Northern Carolina Conference Player-of-the-Year Awards – two in football and one in basketball.

"It's a great honor because it's showing how diverse I am and that I am able to go from football directly to basketball and still be productive on the floor," Martin said.

With Martin, a 6-foot-6, 240-pounder, leading the way, Roanoke Rapids reached the third round of the NCHSAA 2A state playoffs.

Martin's athletic accomplishments don't end on the gridiron and hardwood. He's also a member of Roanoke Rapids' track and field team where this spring he broke school records in both events he participates in – high jump and 110 hurdles.

A couple of weeks ago, Martin high jumped 6 feet, 5 inches, breaking the school record of 6 feet, 4 inches that he shared with three other Roanoke Rapids alumni. In that same meet, Martin nearly cleared 6 feet, 7 inches.

During a meet earlier this season, Martin set the record for the 110 hurdles with a 15.16-second time. The old record was 15.3 seconds.

Next Saturday, Martin will compete in both events in the regional track meet.

Within his hectic athletic schedule, Martin has found time to follow the workout regimen Jeff Connors, UNC's strength and conditioning coach, assigned him.

"I'm taking weightlifting as a class," Martin said. "So I do [the workout] during school. I incorporate the lifts Carolina has for me with the lifts we do at school."

Because he's so active, Martin hasn't added any weight through UNC's workout program. He'd like to be as close to 250 pounds as possible before arriving on campus on June 14.

Martin still communicates regularly with John Blake, UNC's defensive line coach, and Ken Browning, Martin's primary recruiter. Both have said there's a good chance Martin doesn't red-shirt this season.

"With my talks with the coaches [whether I play this season or not] is all going to depend on how I do this summer and during camps," Martin said. "[John Blake] does like to rotate his guys and he likes to keep guys fresh, so that's a positive for me. And next year, they'll be losing a lot of guys so he would really like some experience for next year."

Martin hasn't discussed jersey numbers with the UNC coaches. Additionally, he hasn't put much thought into it, since his high school number, 90, is taken by junior Quinton Coples.

"Since I won't be able to get my high school number, any number would be a new start," Martin said.

Martin isn't sure who he'll be rooming with, but he has discussed the topic with fellow North Carolinian Darius Lipford.

Martin, who is just as successful academically as he is athletically, is fully qualified.

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