DC United Homegrown Collin Martin heads back to school while he juggles minutes for Ben Olsen

Collin Martin and Jack McInerney in PHIvDC

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USA TODAY Sports

WASHINGTON – In the three months since 18-year-old midfielder Collin Martin signed with D.C. United, he’s adjusted quite nicely to the demands of being a professional athlete.

So nicely, in fact, that he’s decided to add a bit more to his already-busy schedule.

Martin recently started taking classes at George Washington University, continuing to pursue the college degree he was working toward while playing at Wake Forest last year. Martin, whose older brother Trevor played for GW, travels to the D.C. campus for classes Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and is in the process of completing his core requirements in science and history ahead of pursuing a possible major in English or journalism.

“It’s been good for me,” Martin said. "I always need something to keep my mind active, too. It’s nice having something else to do other than just hanging out with friends."

Monday and Wednesday are his busiest days as he leaves RFK Stadium following training, hops on the Metro and attends classes from 3:30-5 pm and again from 6:15-8:15 pm. On Tuesday, he’s got an hour-and-a-half chunk of classes starting at 3:30 pm. Thursday and Friday are free.

“Once I hit Thursday, I’m really feeling good about myself,” Martin said with a smile. “The first week or two, I’ve been tired balancing it all because sometimes I don’t get home until 9. It’s all about the importance of taking care of my body, getting the right meals.”

Martin lives with his parents in Chevy Chase on the Maryland side of the Maryland-DC border close to where he played (and his younger brother Tyler currently plays) high school soccer at Bethesda-Chevy Chase.

Martin has gotten into four matches for Ben Olsen’s club and logged two starts. While Martin is unlikely to start in United’s game against New England on Saturday (7:30 pm ET, MLS Live) – another test as D.C. continue to prepare for the US Open Cup final on Oct. 1 – he could see playing time after that during the ongoing process of player evaluation.

“There’s not a lot of fear in that kid,” Olsen said of Martin earlier this year. “It’s up to us to develop him now.”

As the days turn into weeks, Martin said he feels more and more comfortable at training and traveling with the team, learning the ins and outs of the pro lifestyle.

“By now, I’ve got a lot of really good chances to grow with this team and I’m very fortunate for that,” Martin said.

So what’s the most important thing he’s learned (on the soccer field, that is) so far?

“There are no days off,” Martin said. “[It’s about] concentrating on every touch. The more I can concentrate on training every time, then it becomes a habit more in the games. Constantly being sharp, being prepared and knowing what each drill entails is the most important thing for me.

“By now I’ve got a lot of really good chances to grow with this team and I’m very fortunate for that.”