February 2, 2011

Martin stays put

Los Angeles (Calif.) offensive guard Marcus Martin had his eleventh hour doubts.

But Martin decided to stick to the commitment he made nearly eight months ago.

Martin's Wednesday night announcement for USC rounded out the Trojans' class.

"I enjoyed the ceremony, but it was a stressful process," Martin said. "It came down to USC and the University of Arizona. I felt like staying home was the best decision for me, my family and my career. I feel I can be the best player I can be here."

The evening was bittersweet for Martin, who also saw his friend De'Anthony Thomas commit to Oregon. The former teammates will now have to settle for being conference foes.

Martin held no ill will toward Thomas following the ceremony.

"I feel like De'Anthony made the right choice. I'm going to follow him because that's my brother, my best friend for life. But he made his decision and I made my decision and now we're headed in two separate directions in our lives."

The talk between the two friends rarely delved into the subject of recruiting.

"When I was on De'Anthony, we tried to distance ourselves from football," Martin said. "The recruiting process is so stressful that it's ridiculous. We just got away, If we talked about football, it's going to get to you. I said, 'You can go to Oregon or USC, and I'll still be there. But if you line up against me, you better know I'm coming for you.'"

Though his announcement didn't elicit the same level of scrutiny as Thomas' did, Martin also went through a hectic final few days. But he couldn't break away from his home.

"It came down to a last-ditch push from everybody," Martin said. "Arizona left me about 16 voice messages on my phone. It was a great opportunity, but I just couldn't do it.

"But at USC, I just felt comfortable. It's my home and my city, and I'm going to rep it."

Martin will be depended upon to be an immediate contributor in the interior offensive line.

"The coaches said they'd like for me to come in and start next year at right guard," Martin said. "I'm going to come in and compete and get ready. I have to get a lot stronger and a lot more agile. I just have to be dominant."

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