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Baylor player Noah Martin (32) runs into Pope John Paul II player Peyton Knight (50) during the Red Raiders' playoff football game against Pope John Paul II High School at Baylor School on Friday, Nov. 2, 2018, in Chattanooga, Tenn.
some text Baylor player Noah Martin (32) slips past McCallie defenders during their prep rivalry football game at McCallie School on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

It took just one visit with the Samford University coaching staff for Noah Martin to realize he had found his future home. The Baylor School rising senior recently committed to the Bulldogs staff while visiting the Birmingham campus.

"I hadn't really put much thought into their program until I got there and saw the campus and met with their staff," Martin said. "I had a great conversation with their coaches and loved the campus. I knew those were the type of guys I wanted to play for, and I love the fact that it's close enough that my family can come watch me play without much problem.

"Once we got back home, I talked it over with my family and decided to go ahead and let the Samford coaches know I was committing. It was a pretty big relief to know that I've got that decision behind me and now I can just concentrate on my senior season at Baylor. I'm excited about what we can do this season, and then I'll look forward to my college career."

The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Martin, who was also being recruited by Wofford, Richmond, Harvard and Yale, has played all three linebacker positions for Baylor, as well as both tight end and running back on offense. He led the Red Raiders with nearly 100 tackles last season and projects to play inside linebacker at Samford.

"Noah is the kind of kid that you love to coach because he's all in," Baylor coach Phil Massey said. "He's a team-oriented guy who plays hard on every snap and just has a great motor. He's done an outstanding job wherever we've asked him to play.

"I'm glad to see him have this opportunity. If he was just a little bit taller he'd probably have a lot of FBS attention, but I would expect him to work his way into some early playing time once he gets to Samford. I think one of the things he realized was that by the time he's a sophomore they'll have a need at linebacker and he'll be in line to help them."

Contact Stephen Hargis at shargis@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6293. Follow him on Twitter @StephenHargis.

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