Lane Kiffin has yet to secure a quarterback prospect in the recruiting class of 2022, but the Rebel targets are known.
Ole Miss showcased a record-setting performance in front of one of them, Justyn Martin, over the weekend. The Inglewood (Calif.) senior passer has been committed to Cal since January but made the trip to Oxford and spent time with all involved, from Kiffin to offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby to Heisman front-runner Matt Corral himself.
"Talking to Coach Kiffin and Coach Lebby most of the trip, it really was high level..." Martin told SI All-American Sunday. "The entire facility, the entire town really, was about elite football.
"The people there were very welcoming, and they love football. That's the culture of the town--football. If you're interested in playing high level football, that's pretty much the spot to be."
The Rebels offense is, arguably, the best in the country through three weeks of college football and the trigger-man, like the head coach, have southern California roots just like Martin.
It came up while in Oxford.
"It was a great experience talking to Matt, especially with his background coming from California," Martin said. "He had to adapt to it, but he is happy with his decision, and thinks that Ole Miss is a great place for quarterbacks. I love it.
"He came from Poly, that's like a 30 minute drive from where I'm from. Just seeing how he adapted to playing in the South, living there, playing in the SEC, it makes me feel better about the whole decision. Coach Kiffi--with his California background, too--it's showing that California players, and people, can really thrive in that environment."
The game Martin was able to see up close, a demolition of Tulane as Corral totaled seven touchdowns on his own, provided a sample of how the class of 2022 talent could potentially be utilized should he sign with the program in December.
"I liked how they ran Matt a lot," he said. "He's not a big guy or the fastest guy, and they put him in positions to show he's capable of running. I like how they used his feet and they like to score from far, which they did like three times. It was a complete offense that I just really liked."
Martin sat in on game preparation meetings, film sessions and walk-thru sessions, in addition to tours of campus and taking in the game itself Saturday evening. Exiting the trip and now back home in California, he admits to some jet-lag but also that the SEC opportunity will remain under consideration despite the Golden Bear pledge.
"Right now, I'm still committed to Cal," he said. "I plan on going to a game very soon. It fits me, I feel like I can compete early in the QB room with the OC (Bill Musgrave). Really what I want to see, when I go up there, is execution and a high-level football culture.
"I've experienced Ole Miss and one of the most explosive offenses in the country, so I want to see how things compare and what the competition level is. I want to go somewhere where they're trying to win something, that's the biggest thing for me."
Another program Martin will be able to compare Cal and Ole Miss to will be the closest to home: UCLA. An official visit is set for the weekend of October 23, when high-ranked Oregon is in town.
"UCLA was probably my dream school coming up," he said. "Coach Gundy (Ryan Gunderson) has been talking to me for the longest. They really just see me coming in and being a great fit for the program. Gundy talks about my game, and my ability to do things, especially with my frame and my size.
"I'm just soaking everything in, especially from Chip (Kelly), who is a greatly-experienced coach. He's developed high level quarterbacks before so I'm just thanking him for the opportunity."
USC has contacted Martin as has Michigan, which had been recruiting him since prior to the Cal verbal commitment. The communication with Jim Harbaugh's staff has been very frequent, the senior added.
Looking to end the process during the Early Signing Period before graduation from IHS in December, Martin has a lot on his plate.
"I'm taking in all this recruiting experience to get to understand these programs," he said. "Due to COVID, that was kind of erased. This is my recruiting experience, these last couple of months, and I'm thankful for the schools showing interest in me playing for them. I'm just taking everything in right now...
The recruiting focus will be on evaluating the developmental potential and education that comes with the program he enrolls at. But the primary focus, Martin says, is on his high school program.
Inglewood is 3-0 early in the 2021 season led by the 6'4" passer, who has commanded the offense to an average of better than 36 points per game to this point.