Mammoth offensive lineman Martez Ivey is among the most heralded members of the 2015 recruiting class. Although he is just beginning his junior season, the 6'6", 280-pound prospect from Apopka, Fla. is well underway in his attempt to delve through a lengthy list of college suitors.
Ivey, who is listed as the nation's No. 3 overall junior recruit in 247Sports composite rankings, currently holds offers from programs in every corner of the country. His list features Florida State, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Clemson, Ole Miss and Ohio State.
Despite an expansive amount of schools to consider, he recently told 247Sports reporter Ryan Bartow there are five squads that stand above the rest. Ivey named Nebraska, Florida, Miami, South Carolina and Alabama as his favorites.
Although his recruitment process remains a fluid situation, those five teams surely received a confidence boost from Ivey's announcement. He is sure to be one of the most monitored prospects leading up to national signing day in February 2015.
Now that we have a glimpse of how Ivey views the upper echelon of his football program pecking order, it's a good time to examine the current state of each favorite and figure out where they might stand in the race for his commitment.
The Nebraska Cornhuskers' coaching staff has to be considered the most tenuous of Ivey's top five. Bo Pelini is feeling the heat in Lincoln, where he has never lost fewer than four games in a season and is contending with backlash after the revelation of a 2011 rant.
Nebraska currently has the No. 41 recruiting class for 2014, per 247Sports. The team is still searching for a top-tier talent at tackle in this cycle and stands to lose several veteran contributors across the offensive front during the next two years.
There is one significant selling point that could draw Ivey to Lincoln. Zack Darlington, his high school quarterback, is among the Cornhuskers' top 2014 commits.
The Florida Gators are in a great position to keep Ivey in his home state. Florida may be the prohibitive favorite among this group, due in large part to Ivey's established allegiance.
Florida has already built a strong 2014 recruiting class and its 2015 commitment list features Miami Central Star Da'Vante Phillips, who ranks among the top junior wide receivers in the country.
Ivey also attended camp in Gainesville this July, according to 247Sports.
The Miami Hurricanes may finally be making a comeback. Coach Al Golden has Miami on the upswing on the football field, as evidenced by an early season win over Florida, and that success is seeping into the recruiting spectrum.
The team currently holds the fifth-best 2014 recruiting class in the country, according to 247Sports composite rankings. An excellent haul includes major attention to the offensive line, including three 4-star offensive tackle prospects.
247Sports reports Ivey was impressed and intrigued by the atmosphere at Miami during a recent visit. A commitment from him would prove Miami has regained it's once-renowned swagger in the eyes of elite recruits.
The South Carolina Gamecocks were one of the first squads to extend an offer to Ivey. He views that as a main factor in the school's placement among his favorites, per 247Sports.
Ivey would have the chance to suit up for Steve Spurrier, one of college football's revered offensive coaching minds, in Columbia. The Gamecocks have already invested nearly a year and a half into the recruitment of the offensive tackle, which surely resonates with him.
Oftentimes the recruiting game is about respect, and few teams have shown Ivey more love than South Carolina. Still, the Gamecocks remain a long shot in this pursuit.
Until someone can knock Nick Saban's squad off the throne, the Alabama Crimson Tide remain the kings of college football. Alabama has enjoyed immense success on the recruiting trail since Saban arrived, and consecutive national titles have increased the team's ability to reach into different regions to secure premier talent.
The Tide landed class of 2014 offensive tackle Cameron Robinson, the No. 1 overall player in 247Sports composite rankings, this month. For Ivey, the allure of lining up for Alabama and bookending the offensive front with a player of Robinson's caliber is hard to ignore.