Football: Martin to Florida

I talked to Chris Martin again today and he confirmed what some media outlets had been reporting from his facebook page, that he indeed is transferring to Florida.

Martin said Florida was the only school he considered once he made the choice to leave Cal. He had already taken a visit there during high school and had considered going there after he decommitted to Notre Dame.

Martin said he will indeed be subjected to NCAA transfer rules and have to sit out this season. He also said that Jeff Tedford’s friendship with Florida coach Urban Meyer didn’t factor into his decision, only to say that Tedford “was supportive of it.”

Jonathan Okanes

Jonathan Okanes is in his fourth year covering Cal's football team. Previously, he covered Cal's men's basketball team for four years. He can also be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/OkanesonCal.

  • Calduke

    The more I read about Chris Martin the more I support his transfer. Being unhappy here would have been a very negative experience for all concerned

  • rollonubears

    chasing heat will always get you burned. should have gone to miami. florida’s run is over.

  • Calduke
  • Juancho

    I get tired of hearing how great a person Tedford is about everything. I think he is a great person. And he is definitely a stand up person. But sometimes I just get tired of reading how he’s supportive of every time the program gets screwed. Sometimes, and this is selfish of me, I wish he was a bit more of a red-ass and didn’t seem like a pushover. I know my criticism isn’t fair and that I’m nitpicking a guy who turned our program around. But that’s how I feel.

  • uh oh.

    Sometimes you gotta take the high road. It is possible, Juancho, that Tedford actually wanted to help the young man navigate one of life’s important choices. And so he was nice, said he supported it and let him out of his scholarship obligation.

    Or, in saying he supported the move and letting Martin out of his commitment, it’s possible that Tedford realized there was nothing to be gained in keeping Martin EXCEPT the high road. Tedford would have know that the NCAA rules would apply and that Martin would have to sit out. This was surely discussed and considered. And once Tedford realized Martin would go anyways, and not play this season, then he also knew he had no more bargaining chips. Once a kid says he’s going to leave despite losing a season, you can’t keep him. So, Tedford had no choice but get what he could out of it (nice guy label for future possible recruits).

    It IS interesting to me why Martin would give up a year to go to Florida at this point. Maybe he was intimidated by the class he joined. Maybe he has some BAD homies in town that were messing with him. Maybe he figured the year off would mean less wear and tear on his body before he got to the NFL. High school football players don’t project to the pros like basketball players, but if Martin is NFL material, he can leave after playing only 2 years at Florida (plus this next one on the bench makes the minimum 3). How many linebacker types make the jump after 3?

    My guess is he left to just be focused on football and not worry about whatever was going on here with people he knew. Old hanger-on’ers….(?)

  • LR

    Hideously ugly incident. Tedford needs to stay away from emotionally compromised kids — Marsh, Hasiak, Martin etc. It’s not worth the trouble.

    Cal has a bit of a complex. Obviously, we don’t have our pick of 5-star guys, but when one that’s obviously flawed makes eyes at us, we need to look the other way. Tedford’s gonna have to learn how to win consistently with high-character guys who are not top 100 recruits. If Riley can do it, so can JT.

  • uh oh.

    Do these “emotionally compromised kids”, as you call them, have a sign on their forehead to warn us?
    And if a kid transfers schools, does that mean he’s “emotionally compromised”?

    Have you ever been a top recruit and had your choice of where to go? Have you ever wondered what the best path was best for you in life? Or were you one of those guys I always admired who knew they wanted to be a doctor, went and knocked out the schooling as quickly as possible, and then actually became a doctor?

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Not knowing his personal issues, I think we have to honor his decision. Just speculating, but could it be related to his reasons for leaving to Colorado during high school? Remember, he did have an impact on bringing in other recruits. If they bear no ill will toward him, how can we?

  • Calduke

    J O

    Where’s your PAC-10 #9 prediction?

  • Juancho

    UhOh, I agree with you. I know I’m overreacting. I’m just upset about the loss of Martin because I expected him to be a game changer for us. I do disagree with you that him taking the high road helps with future recruits. It may not necessarily hurt, but I don’t feel it helps. I feel it paves the way for more kids to play games with Cal. I love Tedford. He turned our program around. I’m a lifelong bear. But I do feel dissapoitned in this and my selfish side feels like it would be happier if Tedford eventually voiced his dissapiontment with a kid disrespecting our school. Forget about Tedford and himself. This is our school. I know I’m overreacting. I admit it. But oh well.

  • Larry

    I’m not going to rally for the kid. I don’t care for half-ass people. When I joined the Army, I could have gotten out early, but I made a commitment and signed on the dotted line, fulfilling my contract. I was young too. No excuses.
    I don’t hate the guy, but I’m not going to sit here and cheer lead for him. He quit on CAL,period. If he knew of distractions here he should have just signed with Florida from the beginning. Good-bye Martin. Now lets focus on the kids who want to be at CAL.

  • Larry


    Don’t apologize. You have a right to feel however you want. You are seeing things through a FANS eyes. And from a fans perspective this sucks.

  • southseasbear

    While I do not know what precipitated Martin’s move (and we may never know) let’s just assume (for the sake of the argument) that his homies were interfering with his responsibilities and were threatening to unravel the team. If such were the case, wouldn’t you agree that Tedford did the right thing?

  • thisiscal

    There’s more than meets the eye to this story for sure. My guess is Martin got into some unpublicized trouble and rather than risking exposure to something more severe, has opted to transfer. Why else would he give up significant playing time as a freshman to transfer to another school and have to sit out a year? Perhaps his vulnerability to peer pressure was the real cause behind his decision to play his high school senior year out of state.

  • uh oh.

    Juancho and Larry:
    I agree with you. This sucks for Cal. He would have been a great player, it appears! I’m just as pissed as you for what it means on the field. And, yes, I’d like to hear Tedford voice his disappointment, and I imagine he will, in muted tones, at some point.

    But like Tedford, I’m not going to bedevil the kid. I’ll give him his right to exercise free will, the same as I’d hope others would give me would I choose to exercise my own free will.
    That said, will I root for him to have success at Florida? No. That would just hurt all the more, so F him – that is, Forget him, which I’m sure we’ll all do in short order.

  • CaBearsPac12Champs

    Its a loss, but rankings for defensive players aren’t a perfect predictor of success at the college level anyways. Mike Mohammed wasn’t on anyone’s radar 3 years ago. Maybe its all personal reasons as reported, but we’re also not on the field. Florida let Nyan Boateng transfer to us, but that didn’t really have too much of an upside.

  • Killer

    If you are fan of Cal (the university, not just the football team) you have to appreciate Tedford. He has made the team competitive while maintaining the university’s reputation. As this recruiting class and the last one bear out, the character of Tedford’s progam will atract the kind of student athletes we want representing the university, and we will be competitve on the playing field as well. Those of you who want a “football” factory may be frustrated, but we do not need to go down that path. Cal is one of the world’s great public universities and Tedford has built a program of players with character who have repesented this university well. G.

  • LR

    Uh Oh,

    I think there’s enough information to put a label on the kid. Lots of comings and goings and a public rift with his HS coach. Sorry, but no HS kid has enough life experience or credibility to have a public rift with a coach. Not one.

    And to answer your question, yes, I’m one of those guys. Didn’t really take much effort, either. I guess there’s something wrong with me.

  • Larry

    Who is Chris Martin? Don’t you mean Ricky Martin? Livin’ La Vida Loca! She Bang, she bang! Hell, lets sign William Hung.

  • Larry

    BTW,There is no “Integrity” in DI football. If you want to compete with integrity, move down to DI-AA or DII and don’t offer scholarships. Play Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc. Sorry, but that’s the reality of the college football business.

  • Juancho

    Ricky Martin is an American treasure. I don’t know why it’s acceptable to bash anyone who wants Cal to be a football power. Being a great academic institution, and sporting institution isn’t mutually exclusive. Nobody ever bashes people who want us to have the top engineering in the country. Or the top english program. Or the top math. Or the top micro cell biology. We’re Cal, we should want to be powers in everything. I know it’s harder for us b/c of academic standards, but it’s not reason enough to try to advertise the idea that we can never be a football power.

  • Larry

    Michigan seems to embrace world class academics and world class athletics. It can be done. They are not mutually exclusive except in the minds of some CAL alumni and some CAL fans. It does seem to be a state of mind that has been prevalent since the 1960’s. 1900-1959 CAL had both excellent academics and athletics, what happened? What changed? Hippies?

  • Pug

    What changed? Hippies?

    No, the type of kid who plays football changed. Notice any difference between football teams of the 1950’s and 2010?

    Football factories, like Florida, now recruit with no intention of even having putting up a facade that the kid is a student. In the South, at Texas, Texas A&M, LSU, Alabama and all the rest, few of their recruits ever graduate. They recruit kids to play football knowing they don’t have a chance to compete in the classroom.