JaMarcus Russell declared for the NFL draft on Jan. 11. Within a matter of days he was in Arizona for a weeklong session with Tom Martinez.

Martinez, the Menlo Park resident and former College of San Mateo football coach, has received increased national attention as the result of the work he's done with three-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady.

Martinez has worked with Brady, who grew up in San Mateo just a few miles from the CSM campus, since he was 13. Brady, even now in his position at the pinnacle of the quarterback-playing universe, still comes back for regular tuneup sessions with Martinez.

Shortly after Russell chose Eric Metz as his agent, Metz contacted Martinez and asked him to come to Arizona to work with Russell at Athletic Performance, the training facility in Tempe on the Arizona State campus.

Martinez did so and came back home most impressed with the 6-foot-6, 260-pound Russell.

"He's unbelievable, truly amazing," Martinez said. "From the waist up he's bigger than most offensive linemen. He does things naturally that other guys would have to work a lifetime to do."

Russell, who completed 67.8 percent of his passes with 28 touchdowns this season for LSU, is projected to be one of the top players taken in the NFL draft. The Raiders, who pick No.1, are in need of a quarterback.

"Somebody's going to get a hell of a player," Martinez said. "I don't know if the Raiders will take him or not, buthe's an Al Davis kind of quarterback. He was throwing comebacks 40 yards on a line without stressing."

That kind of arm strength is somewhat to be expected in a quarterback of that size. But that's not all Russell showed.

"He moves well," Martinez said. "He's very fluid, very strong, very agile with great touch. He's not fat. Daunte Culpepper (an NFL quarterback with comparable size) got a little soft. If (Russell) had thick legs, he'd weigh 300 pounds. He's got to be three feet across the shoulders. I can't imagine what size jacket he wears."

Martinez also found Russell to be a receptive student.

"We got along very well, got a lot of work done," Martinez said. "He was very receptive, wants to continue getting together occasionally."

Russell and Brady Quinn are thought of as the best quarterbacks in the draft.

"Brady Quinn got to play for Charlie Weis," Martinez said. "Obviously that gives him a big advantage. He's had two years of pro preparation.

"On the other hand, JaMarcus played in the SEC against NFL-type defenses. "Brady Quinn, from a preparation standpoint, has an advantage. Physically JaMarcus has an advantage.

"I know who I'd take. A JaMarcus does not come along very often. There have been a lot of Brady Quinns."

Martinez works with quarterbacks on fundamentals and technique, from how they take the snap from center to how they take their drop to how they set up to how they scan the field and go through their progressions. Most importantly, he works with them on the mechanics of throwing a football.

"The other stuff's the polish on the car," Martinez said. "The engine is how they throw."

He also works on the mental side, on attitude.

"We worked a lot on his footwork," Martinez said. "I told him he's strong enough to get away with things that are mechanically unsound, but the people who stick around are mechanically sound.

"Tom Brady was ready when he got the opportunity, he was smooth and polished. I told JaMarcus, 'You'll get your chance. What happens when you do?'

Brady, even after winning three Super Bowls, still works with him every year trying to get better, Martinez said.

"He's a guy at the top of the mountain who is still trying to climb higher," the former CSM coach said. "I asked (JaMarcus), 'Are you going to do that, or are you just going to live on your arm? Are you going to be a visitor to the top of the mountain, or are you going to be a resident? Go there with your God-given talent and say that's enough? Or work at it, be there 12-13 years and make a lot of money?'"

Russell spent the session throwing to a talented group of receivers who are also working out at ASU in preparation for the NFL draft: South Carolina's Sidney Rice, Tennessee's Robert Meacham and Dwayne Bowe, Russell's former teammate at LSU. 

One day some baseball players also training at Athletic Performance came by and asked to catch some passes from Russell.

"He was tearing their hands up," Martinez said with a laugh.

Martinez was by no means the only specialist brought to the training complex.

"The whole thing was another world to see how specialized everything has become," Martinez said. "This is the behind-the-scenes thing that most people are not aware of. They had nutritionists there, weight-training guys, guys that work to improve your 40 time, improve your agility, improve your technique. It's a whole different phase of development."

A little different than the old days.

On the last day of their time together, Russell turned to Martinez.

"Say coach, what size sweat shirt you wear?"

"Extra large."

"What size shoe?"

"A 12. Why?"

"You can't be going around dressed like that. I'm going to set you up with some new gear."