Michigan Transfer Oliver Martin Checks Out Iowa

June 7, 2019

Written by Rob Howe

Iowa wasted little time jumping in the mix for Michigan transfer receiver Oliver Martin. The Hawkeyes contacted him as soon as his named entered the portal Wednesday and invited the former Iowa City West star in for a visit.

Martin took them up on the invitation, spending most of Thursday on campus, according to a source close to the situation, who said the meetings went very well.

“He was all smiles,” the source said.

That happiness was something not seen by the source in some time. Seeking it is what led to Martin (6-1, 200) away from Michigan after spending two seasons in Ann Arbor.

Other top schools reached out to Martin after he entered the portal. He has not set up other visits, however, and he likely won’t look beyond his hometown team.

Martin, who caught 11 passes for 125 yards and touchdown last season after a redshirt year, was positioned for more playing time for the Wolverines in ’19, perhaps even starting. But overall, he just wasn’t happy there. And it wasn’t because he was homesick or afraid of competition from other receivers, according to the source.

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He liked the hometown Hawkeyes coming out of West High but chose coach Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines. The former four-star recruit and All-American Game participant also held offers from Ohio State, Auburn, Notre Dame and other top programs across the country.

Michigan changed its offensive coordinator after last season, which could aid Martin if Iowa applies for a waiver for him to play right away at his next school. If the NCAA doesn’t grant it, he would sit out next fall and have two years of eligibility remaining.

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During his final two seasons at West, Martin caught 156 passes for 2,443 yards and 30 touchdowns. His 239 receptions were a state record, and he set 4A marks for career yards (3,449) and TDs (33).

Like the Wolverines, Iowa has experienced staff changes since Martin was coming out of high school. Brian Ferentz has replaced Greg Davis as the program’s offensive coordinator and Kelton Copeland took over for Bobby Kennedy as the receivers coach.

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Nick Easley, who led the Hawkeyes in receptions the last two seasons, graduated. All-American tight ends T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant also left for the NFL.

Martin could fit into the slot receiver spot at Iowa but boasts the versatility to play outside as well.

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