Written By T.J. Inman (@TJHoosierHuddle)
The Hoosier Huddle countdown rolls on as we reach day #76! The 70s are typically numbers for offensive linemen so we are right in the thick of strength of IU’s roster. #76 brings us to Wes Martin, a redshirt freshman offensive guard from West Milton, Ohio.
-Weight: 310 pounds
-Hometown: West Milton, Ohio
-Year/Position: RS Freshman/OL
Wes Martin came to Indiana after attending Milton-Union High School and excelled as a dual-sport athlete. Martin was a first team all-state, all-region and all-conference as a senior and he was the league’s top offensive lineman during the 2012 season.
In addition to football, Martin excelled in shotput on the track team. According to his former track coach, Martin was an intimidating presence, “We call him “Big Wes”, and I think that whole ‘big’ thing had a lot to do with him winning the regional,” Michael Meredith said. “The guy that finished second was giving him these looks the whole time, looking at him like he was shocked by how big he was.” Wes Martin wasn’t just strong on the field or while throwing things further than his peers, he was an honor student and Habitat for Humanity volunteer.
After a very successful high school career, Martin came to IU and redshirted during the 2014 season and earned scout team player of the week honors on two occasions (Maryland and Michigan). His strength has been noticed by his teammates and coaches and he managed to set a new school record by lifting 225 pounds 41 times!
“Wes Martin did 225 (pounds in repetition) 24 or 26 times a year ago,” head coach Kevin Wilson said. “He went to 41. Now, 26 was high on the team. So, it’s one thing if you come in lifting two and go to 10, because you’ve never lifted. If you’re weak, you’ll see gains. But when you’re strong and make a significant jump – that was impressive.”
Wes Martin projects as a guard or center moving forward (I’d expect guard). I don’t expect him to see any significant snaps in 2015 but he projects as a valuable member of the interior line in 2016 and beyond.
Our countdown will continue to tomorrow with #75!