September 9, 2009

Madison Central standout watches MSU, UM

While Ole Miss is dealing with a strain of the flu spreading throughout the team, one of the Rebels' key recruiting targets was spooked by the virus over the weekend.

Madison Central defensive lineman Carlton Martin, a four-star prospect, underwent a full diet of football last weekend, but during the busy schedule, Martin became fearful he was infected with the extremely contagious virus.

"I had a lot going on, and I felt a little funny," Martin said. "It has improved the last couple days, so I don't think it was the flu, but it was definitely a little worrisome. We've had a little of it going around, but nothing major yet."

The Jaguars are 3-0 and ranked No. 1 in the state after a dominating 24-6 win over Provine Friday. Following the victory, Martin traveled to Starkville with his father and sister, among others, to watch Jackson State and Mississippi State. Then, Sunday, Martin and two high-profile teammates -- three-star defensive lineman Bryon Bennett and 2011 wide receiver Tobias Singleton -- visited Memphis, where the Tigers fell to No. 8 Ole Miss, 45-14.

The two in-state Division I programs showed well in front of Martin.

"(Mississippi) State started slow, but they came around and did what I thought they would," Martin said. "It was weird watching (MSU wide receiver) Chad Bumphis have a good game like that. I played against him my sophomore and junior years, so that was neat.

"I thought Ole Miss looked really good, and it was impressive watching the defensive line get pressure like they did. Because of that being my position, that's something I pay attention to. I had a good time, and they really turned it on."

Rivals rates Martin as the No. 23 defensive tackle nationally and No. 9 overall player in Mississippi for the 2010 class. Coaches could begin calling prospects again starting September 1, and Martin noted that he heard from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Baylor, Michigan State and Texas Tech on the initial day.

Martin isn't sure of his plans for the near future regarding visits, especially with Ole Miss nor Mississippi State having home games this weekend.

"I'm focusing on my own football this week," Martin said. "We play Canton Friday and have a bye week the next week, so I'll try to make a trip then."

After Canton and the bye week, the Jaguars travel to Clinton for a game that will be tevevised state-wide on Raycom affiliates. The Jaguars and Arrows are the first of a five-game series set for television this year, courtesy of title sponsor Cellular South. All of the rivalries were featured in the book Y'All Vs. Us by Mississippi author Mike Frascogna Jr. and his sons, Mike III and Martin.

"It's mixed on how people are talking about it," Martin said. "Of course you are excited, but we have work to do before that, and you can't let the television thing get in the way of the assignment. We have goals whether television is involved or not. But yeah, of course, it'll be fun."

Other rivalry matchups include South Panola vs. Olive Branch Oct. 2 at Batesville; Oak Grove vs. Meridian Oct. 9 at Oak Grove; West Jones vs. Wayne County Oct. 23 at Waynesboro; and Gulfport vs. Biloxi Nov. 6 at Biloxi.

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