College recruiters mine gold at Arlington Martin

Posted Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
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Notable Division I recruits from Arlington Martin under Bob Wager:

2012

Eric Amoako, DB, Oregon

Stephen Amoako, DB, Oregon

Devonte Fields, DE, TCU

Steven Baggett, OL, Boise State

Mustafa Haboul, DT, UNT

Connor Trussell, OL, UNT

Jaden Oberkrom, K, TCU

2011

Devonta Burns, DB, Texas A&M

Danzel Williams, RB, OU

Russell Bellomy, QB, Mich.

Deryck Gildon, LB, TCU

2010

Donovan Johnson, DT, Iowa

2009

Chris Omigie, WR, Kansas

2008

Lane Taylor, OL, Okla. St.

2007

Clifton Odum Jr., DB, Baylor

J.T. Brooks, OL, SMU

Which area school has earned Signing Day bragging rights?

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In his six years there, coach Bob Wager has turned Arlington Martin into a football recruit factory.

So much so that if you were to put together a team composed of Division I players Wager has sent to the next level, you could fill an entire offensive and defensive unit, the kicker and punter slots and still have players left over for special teams.

At the start of the 2012 season, there will be former Martin offensive linemen who played for, or are enrolled at, Oklahoma State, Boise State, SMU, UNLV, Air Force and Buffalo.

There are running backs at Oklahoma and North Texas, a quarterback at Michigan, a receiver at Kansas and two linebackers at TCU.

There are defensive backs at Baylor, Texas A&M, Air Force and Oregon and defensive linemen at TCU, Texas State and Iowa.

Today, Wager will send seven players to play Division I football, with recruits headed to TCU, Oregon, North Texas and Boise State.

"It seemed like all of a sudden they were getting way more than their fair share of recruits," said Brian Perroni, a recruiting analyst for Rivals.com.

"I don't know where it came from but it is certainly impressive."

In all, Wager has sent 40 players to college teams. Not all were Division I but Wager couldn't be prouder.

"The Metroplex is recruited nationwide and what we want to do is be one of the first stops Tennessee, Florida, Michigan and all the others stop by first," Wager said.

"They know they can come here every year and see some good football players. To be in a position to help guys move on, that's an awesome thing. It's almost like winning a game for me."

Until his arrival at Martin, though, the southwest Arlington school wasn't necessarily looked at as a producer of high-profile players.

In the five years before Wager's arrival, four Warriors players went on to play in Division I.

"The core group who were leaders and captains our senior year when coach Wager first got here, it was almost like Varsity Blues in the sense that we grew up on the same elementary teams and the same junior high teams," said Clifton Odum Jr., who starred under Wager his senior season and went on to play defensive back at Baylor.

"That's all we talked about was going to the playoffs and playing college football and if it wasn't for coach Wager and them, that probably wouldn't have happened."

Wager and his staff's ability to develop players isn't limited to sending them to college.

Martin has made the playoffs every year under his watch and went at least three rounds deep the last three years, falling to eventual state champion Southlake Carroll in the state quarterfinals last season.

The Warriors defeated Euless Trinity in regionals, the first time they were able to do so in three straight tries.

Much of their success relied upon TCU recruit Devonte Fields, twin brothers and Oregon recruits Eric and Stephen Amoako, North Texas recruits Mustafa Haboul and Connor Trussell and the other players who will sign their letters of intent today.

Two years ago, Wager began using a website featuring each Martin recruit's position, height, weight, GPA and a link to his highlight film.

Wager and his staff send the site's link to every college program in the nation, providing the coaches with the password to the site, contact information for the players as well his contact information.

"It's made all the difference in the world," Wager said.

The trend of sending several players each year on to college should continue as Martin has a solid group of juniors and sophomores coming back.

Running back Kyle Hicks, who posted 1,850 total yards and 29 touchdowns last season, will receive strong looks from schools nationwide.

Matthew Reagan

817-390-7760

Twitter: @reaganmatthew

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