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Citing need to leave ‘distractions’, top Cal recruit decides to leave Berkeley

In February, Chris Martin was the defensive crown jewel of a Cal recruiting class that was a consensus top-twenty group according to all of the major recruiting websites.

Five months later, the linebacker is taking his leave of the Bears football program.

In a statement released by the school, Martin stressed that he had no issues with Jeff Tedford or the Cal football program. Instead, leaving “many of the distractions” the Oakland native has in the Bay area was the impetus for his decision to transfer before ever playing a down for Cal.

“My decision to transfer definitely does not reflect on the football program or the academics at Cal. Rather, I feel like for me to focus and truly reach my potential I need to leave many of the distractions I have here at home in the Bay Area. I need to venture away from home and start my college career somewhere else where I don’t have those distractions.”

Tedford released his own statement of support for Martin’s decision.

“This is a decision that Chris and his family have made to do what they feel is in the best interest of Chris. We wish Chris the best as he pursues his college football career. It is always important for young men to make the correct decisions to be able to reach their full potential. I understand his concern with the continued outside distractions he’s facing, and I support Chris and his decision to transfer. I wish him and his family all the best.”

Martin, who had originally given a verbal commitment to Notre Dame before flipping to Cal, played his final year at a Colorado high school before coming home to Cal. The 6-4, 240-pounder was given a five-star rating by, and was the recruiting services No. 2 defensive end in the country and the No. 18 player overall.