Iowa WR coach Kelton Copeland discusses Oliver Martin's season, outlook with Hawkeyes
Iowa City native and Michigan transfer Oliver Martin has not had a huge impact this season, but that has not necessarily dampened Kelton Copeland’s excitement for the young player.
A member of the 2017 recruiting class and the top player from the state of Iowa, Martin originally committed to the Wolverines. He spent two seasons in Ann Arbor, finishing with 11 catches for 125 yards in 2018.
Martin would eventually transfer to the Hawkeyes and was awarded immediate eligibility for 2019. Some expected big things for Martin out of the gate, but that has not materialized. He has just five catches for 28 yards and a touchdown this season with his last reception coming a month ago against Middle Tennessee State.
That performance alone is not necessarily a cause for concern. After all, the Hawkeyes have a deep group at WR headlined by Brandon Smith and Ihmir Smith-Marsette.
When discussing Martin’s usage during a Tuesday press conference, Copeland pointed out that it can be tough for any player adjusting to Iowa. He still believes Martin has done a good job in his short time with the Hawkeyes and pointed out that some expectations placed on Martin may have been “unfair.”
Sean Bock with the Hawkeye Insider shared Copeland’s comments:
“Oliver has done a really good job,” Copeland said. “In the interviews during the offseason and leading up to the season, everybody wants Oliver to play right now and it’s kind of unfair. Number one, it takes a lot for any young man, whether that’s coming out of high school or coming from another four-year institution, it takes a lot to learn what’s being asked of you on a day-to-day basis. We hold these guys accountable and to a very high standard. I’m sure other programs do, too, but it’s different here. When you come in, that in of itself is going to be a long process.”
“To his credit, he’s done a very good job of being accountable,” said Copeland of Martin. “I have no issues with Oliver off the field. I enjoy him in meetings and he’s fun to coach. Moving forward, it’s can we push forward. Like we talked about in the opening statement about improving, he’s one of those guys I’m looking for improvement. Obviously, there’s opportunity. With Brandon being out, we need some guys to step up, and fill the avoid. He’s definitely one of those guys that has an opportunity.”
Hopefully, Martin settles in and continues developing over the final month of the season.