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Offered as an eighth-grader, BB&N linebacker Tyler Martin commits to Michigan as a junior

Buckingham, Browne & Nichols linebacker/tight end Tyler Martin first received a scholarship offer from Michigan as an eighth grader.
Buckingham, Browne & Nichols linebacker/tight end Tyler Martin first received a scholarship offer from Michigan as an eighth grader.

The University of Michigan was the first collegiate program to offer a scholarship to Buckingham Browne & Nichols linebacker Tyler Martin, in May of his eighth-grade year. The Wolverines coaching staff maintained that interest over the past two and a half years, which helped convince Martin that Ann Arbor would be the right place for him to play.

On Friday, Martin announced his verbal commitment to Michigan, becoming the latest Bay State prospect to commit to play for head coach Jim Harbaugh and defensive coordinator Don Brown, a Massachusetts native who was previously was the head coach at Northeastern and UMass, as well as the D coordinator at Boston College. Martin will be able to formally sign a national letter of intent in December of his senior year.

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“Over the past few years, I would give coach Brown a call, and he’d always pick up," said Martin, a 6-foot-2, 238-pound junior from Acton who is listed as a four-star recruit.

“Coach Brown was the leading factor for me [in committing to Michigan]. He’s someone I always leaned on if I needed some advice. Knowing [the Wolverines coaches] were the first ones to really believe in me and the fact that they continued that relationship over these years was really important.”

As the area recruiter for Michigan in Massachusetts, Brown recently secured commitments from former BB&N star lineman Zak Zinter, as well as Milton Academy linebacker Kalel Mullings, the state’s 2019 Gatorade Player of the Year. Former Everett stalwart Mike Sainristil is a sophomore receiver/returner for the Wolverines.

Like Mullings, Martin was offered by Michigan early enough to realize his potential, and work towards the goal of becoming an impact player in the Big Ten.

“As an eighth grader, [Martin] was a very good football player,” said BB&N coach Mike Willey, “And he’s continued to get bigger, faster, and stronger. He’s developed into more of a college-ready athlete. We’re lucky we still have him this year and next.”

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BB&N opens practice next Monday under strict regulations to avoid spreading germs during ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Per Willey, each individual ISL school can hold football practices at its discretion, and representatives from each school will meet in the coming weeks to discuss if a football season (potentially flag football) is possible this fall.

Martin, who has also excelled as a baseball and basketball player, said he’s optimistic that there will be some sort of football season this fall, or in the spring.

While he might not get to play football without restrictions for some time, Martin is excited to eventually don the famous blue and gold Wolverine helmet.

“I’m really happy my dream is coming true and I’ll get a chance to wear that Wolverine helmet,” said Martin. “I think everyone around me thinks it’s the right fit for me, academically and athletically.”

On his potential role at the next level, Martin simply said, “You can pretty much put me down for anything, and I’ll find a way to do it.”