May 9, 2006

Behind the Verbal

In part one of Behind the Verbal with Martin Coleman, the Tongan native took us through his first year in the country he now calls home.

The transition was smooth socially, but Coleman has faced unforeseen challenges athletically. Despite an understandable ignorance to the rules of American football just a year ago, Coleman earned numerous scholarship offers for his performance on the gridiron, including one from USC.

The Trojans' scholarship offer came sooner than expected, but so did Coleman's commitment. After Pete Carroll saw Coleman workout at Edison High School during the first week of the evaluation period, USC put on the full court press for the 6-foot-6, 285-pound offensive tackle.

"When we spoke to Lane Kiffin and Pete Carroll on the phone, it seemed like they were very interested in locking Martin's commitment up sooner rather than later," said Coleman's brother-in-law, Clark Christensen. "That's when we called Martin's dad in Tonga. He said he'd like to see Martin stay in Southern California, which is what we wanted as well."

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