Taking hand-offs behind a powerful offensive line in an up-tempo, run-heavy system for one of the state’s top teams against the opposition commonly found in Idaho 1AD1 eight-man football: That’s the kind of thing that sets a running back up for success.
Such was the situation for Prairie’s Cole Martin, who made the most of that opportunity, averaging nearly 11 yards per carry, totaling 1,600 yards and turning a sixth of his carries into rushing touchdowns.
This led Sports Illustrated to profile him as one among the top 1,000 football players in the country. The book SI put out on him flags his speed, acceleration, size, stride, stiff-arm and jump-cuts.
It also says “his upper body looks stiff at times.”
Asked about that, Martin told the Free Press: “They’re probably right. They’re more expert about it than I am, I’m sure.”
Pirates coach Ryan Hasselstrom told the Free Press he thought the SI scouting report was accurate, for the most part. “We always tell him to run with his pad level down more, and they were praising him because he runs so straight up-and-down and has good vision of the field,” he said. “So, we differ a little bit on that one.”
“They hit it pretty good,” Hasselstrom added, “because one of the main things we worked with him last year on his vision, because he he'd always just try to outrun guys. And you watch his film and he does a lot better job of setting up his blocks. And, you know, making better reads. So they got that right.”
Hasselstrom agreed with SI’s assessment that Martin may be a better fit on the defensive side at the next level. The scouting report pencils him as a linebacker. SI said this about his defensive play: “[He] brings the wood with him on defense. [He] plays sideline to sideline and sometimes covers both out routes on flood concepts. … [He] might even fit as a strong safety in some schemes.”
The SI bio can be read in full online at https://www.si.com/college/recruiting/football/cole-martin-highlights-evaluation.