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Decision looms for 4-star Clemson target

Decatur (Ala.) Austin four-star running back Asa Martin is set to announce his college decision on Thursday during a school ceremony at 11 a.m. EST. He will choose between his formal top four of Alabama, Auburn, Clemson and Florida.

According to Austin High School head coach Jeremy Perkins, Martin is still carefully considering his options and taking his decision down to the wire. If Martin has come to a decision internally, he hasn’t made it known to those around him.

“He’s not let on to anybody,” Perkins told The Clemson Insider recently. “Whatever he’s deciding, he’s keeping it close to the vest. When he announces it, he wants it to be a surprise. … So, as far as his mindset right now, I don’t know that he’s exactly made a decision. I think he’s still weighing his options. He may have an idea, but I don’t think anybody else knows if he does.”

Martin (6-0, 193) initially announced a top three of Alabama, Auburn and Florida in June. He then received an offer from Clemson on July 17 during a visit to the school before adding the Tigers as a finalist.

Perkins said both Martin and his mother left their visit to Clemson impressed by what the Tigers have to offer.

“He liked it,” Perkins said. “He said he had a good time and he was very impressed with the coaches and the facilities.”

In-state Alabama and Auburn are viewed as the frontrunners to land Martin on Thursday, and both programs are optimistic about where they stand with him. However, it appears that even the contending schools won’t learn of his choice until he reveals it in two days.

When it’s all said and done, the school that gains Martin’s commitment will have met the criteria for his decision.

“He’s looking for a good fit,” Perkins said. “I think he’s looking for an early opportunity to contribute. I think he’s looking for a chance to win. I think all four schools provide all the opportunities you can imagine. He doesn’t have a bad choice.”

Perkins said Martin’s school of choice will not only get an outstanding and versatile athlete, but also a high-character person.

“They’re going to get a tremendous athlete and a competitor,” he said. “He’s very competitive in everything he does. He wants to be the best, so he’s going to work to be the best. He’s extremely versatile in the things that he can do. He can line up at a lot of different positions and be equally good at any of them. He’s got great hands, he’s got great vision as a runner, he runs as a slasher and runs for power. He can even line up on the defensive side of the ball and do some things over there.

“As far as a young man, he’s a humble young man. He wants to be the best, but he’s humble and knows he has to work for it. He’s a young man of high character and high intelligence.”

Rivals, Scout and 247Sports rank Martin as a top-10 running back nationally and top-250 overall prospect in the 2018 class.

Before transferring to Austin, Martin rushed for 372 yards and four touchdowns as a junior at IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) last season. He also recorded 17 receptions for 235 yards.

 

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