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Citing need to leave 'distractions', top Cal recruit decides to leave Berkeley

In February, Chris Martin was the defensive crown jewel of a Cal recruiting class that was a consensus top-twenty group according to all of the major recruiting websites.

Five months later, the linebacker is taking his leave of the Bears football program.

In a statement released by the school, Martin stressed that he had no issues with Jeff Tedford or the Cal football program.  Instead, leaving “many of the distractions” the Oakland native has in the Bay area was the impetus for his decision to transfer before ever playing a down for Cal.

“My decision to transfer definitely does not reflect on the football program or the academics at Cal. Rather, I feel like for me to focus and truly reach my potential I need to leave many of the distractions I have here at home in the Bay Area. I need to venture away from home and start my college career somewhere else where I don’t have those distractions.”

Tedford released his own statement of support for Martin’s decision.

“This is a decision that Chris and his family have made to do what they feel is in the best interest of Chris. We wish Chris the best as he pursues his college football career. It is always important for young men to make the correct decisions to be able to reach their full potential. I understand his concern with the continued outside distractions he’s facing, and I support Chris and his decision to transfer. I wish him and his family all the best.”

Martin, who had originally given a verbal commitment to Notre Dame before flipping to Cal, played his final year at a Colorado high school before coming home to Cal.  The 6-4, 240-pounder was given a five-star rating by Rivals.com, and was the recruiting services No. 2 defensive end in the country and the No. 18 player overall.

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9 Responses to “Citing need to leave 'distractions', top Cal recruit decides to leave Berkeley”
  1. NE49ers says: Jul 20, 2010 9:21 PM

    Good for him. You don’t need any old baggage popping up, especially in a city like Oakland. Better to leave and get a fresh start elsewhere. Considering Berkeley’s academic standards, I would imagine he could easily gain admission into Stanford or UCLA, two very good schools academically with rising football programs.

  2. burntorangehorn says: Jul 20, 2010 11:56 PM

    He’ll get that redshirt year and be on track pretty soon. It takes a lot of maturity to make a decision like this, but I’m glad for his sake that he made it.
    NE49ers–as a 49ers fan, I’m sure you realize that Stanford’s pretty close to Oakland as well. I think UCLA might work, or he could go to Notre Dame or after all.

  3. Donna says: Jul 21, 2010 10:26 AM

    This is a good move by what appears to be a mature young man who would rather test new waters for the chance of making it!
    I wish they all would think about things and make better decisions.

  4. NE49ers says: Jul 21, 2010 4:14 PM

    I understand that, but Palo Alto could provide a close tight-knit environment. Close enough where you can go home every now and then, far enough where you old friends can just pop up randomly. Moot point now since he’s going to Florida

  5. Bill says: Jul 21, 2010 7:38 PM

    when did you hear he is going to Florida?

  6. Five-star Cal transient leaving Florida, too | CollegeFootballTalk says: Jun 25, 2011 12:22 AM

    [...] was leaving Cal for Florida because “I feel like for me to focus and truly reach my potential I need to leave many of the distractions I have here at home in the Bay [...]

  7. Five-star Cal transient leaving Florida, too » CNN Newa - A Nation of News says: Jun 26, 2011 12:24 AM

    [...] “I feel like for me to focus and truly reach my potential I need to leave many of the distractions I have here at home in the Bay [...]

  8. Five-star Cal transient leaving Florida, too » FoxsNews - Where Everything's News says: Jun 26, 2011 4:21 AM

    [...] feel like for me to focus and truly reach my potential I need to leave many of the distractions I have here at home in the Bay [...]

  9. Five-star transient Chris Martin lands at Kansas | CollegeFootballTalk says: Dec 16, 2012 9:07 AM

    [...] the need to get away from Berkeley “distractions”, Chris Martin announced that he was leaving Cal and wound up at Florida¬†a day later. ¬†Less than a year later, the defensive end left Gainesville [...]

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