RINGGOLD, Ga. -- Ringgold hit the ground running, just the way Martez Eastland likes it.
The football Tigers had a minicamp over the weekend, featuring a midnight practice Friday and three Saturday practices.
Eastland loves to run, which is why recruiters from as far away as Brigham Young University are calling to check on the 5-foot-11, 232-pounder. He enters his senior season as one of the Tigers' all-time leading rushers, 82 yards shy of the 3,000-yard plateau and averaging 7.5 yards per carry.
"I talked to a coach from BYU the other day and that would be a great place for him, but everything would have to fall into place," Ringgold coach Robert Akins said. "Their last three fullbacks have gone to the NFL."
Fullback is only one of the positions Eastland has played thus far. He also has spent time as a tailback and quarterback and has lined up as a slot receiver. That's just on offense. As a defender he has played outside linebacker, strong safety and cornerback.
"We could put him at any position on the field and he'll be the best at that position," Akins said. "I don't think I have ever said that before about a kid."
It's probable that Eastland will wind up as a fullback for some universityh, although with his strength, bulk and mentality he might even wind up playing defensive tackle or offensive guard.
"I just lower my shoulder and make plays. I like to make things happen," he said.
Eastland compared his style to former Southeastern Conference greats Bo Jackson (Auburn) and Herschel Walker (Georgia), but his running style might best compare to Earl Campbell, the ex-Houston Oilers star who never met a tackler he wouldn't like to run over.
"When I was young, Bo Jackson was my favorite player. That's why I wear No. 34. He was a player's player with good heart," Eastland said.
Auburn and Georgia are atop Eastland's list, which includes Clemson, South Carolina and Tennessee. He has offers from Alabama-Birmingham, Western Carolina and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
His father, Donnie Humphreys, played for Auburn, but he said that won't enter into his decision.
Eastland's choice might come down to which school wants him to play where. Akins said tailback isn't out of the realm of possibilities for his standout.
"There are some places where he could drop 10 to 15 pounds and be a tailback. We list him at 5-foot-11, 232," Akins said. "As a fullback, he would probably fit in well at a place like BYU or Georgia. He has great hands and he is strong and durable."
At one of the summer combines he attended, Eastland was matched up with a linebacker who has committed to Florida. Akins heard reports that Eastland completely overwhelmed the future Gator in blocking and pass-rushing drills.
Eastland made up for some wasted academic time this summer but still needs to boost his core grade point average or his ACT score to qualify for NCAA Division I play.
"He worked hard over the summer and he'll need to work hard this year. It's going to be close but he can make it," Akins said.