Asa Martin joined the Auburn recruiting class Thursday when he chose the Tigers over Alabama, Clemson and Florida.
Martin is the No. 10 running back in the nation, according to the 247Sports composite. But there are several other noteworthy items to know about Auburn’s newest running back commit.
Check out the 5 things to know about Martin.
1. He provided a highlight basketball play against another major Auburn football target in last year’s state tournament.
That’s right. Asa Martin is a stud on the hardwood, too.
In last year’s 6A basketball state semifinals, Austin High School faced off against Bryant High School. Martin starred for Austin. Auburn wide receiver target Seth Williams was a standout for Bryant.
Williams, known for above-the-rim prowess, went up for a dunk. Martin met him as he jumped and pinned his shot against the backboard. Williams and Bryant ended up pulling out the semifinals win on their way to a state championship, but Martin’s block wasn’t forgotten.
Let’s put this into some context.
Williams is 6-foot-4 and earned state medals in the high jump and long jump. Martin stands 5-foot-11. In other words, Martin showed some pretty serious athleticism against another offensive prospect who could end up choosing Auburn.
2. But football and basketball aren’t the only sports Martin plays.
He shines on the gridiron and the hardwood. But guess what? Martin can be found on the soccer pitch, as well.
It’s not his forte, but the Austin High School coach requested Martin for a few of the team’s soccer games this season, simply for his sheer strength and speed. He played as a defender for the Black Bears.
This is yet another case in point: Coaches want Martin’s athleticism on their team in some form or fashion.
3. He spent a season at IMG Academy.
For Martin’s junior year, he went down to Bradenton, Fla., to be a part of the powerhouse football program — a high honor.
Martin was a standout for IMG Academy before returning home to finish up his career at Austin. During his time in Florida, Martin rushed for 372 yards and 4 touchdowns on 49 carries. He snagged 17 catches for 325 yards.
Those numbers, against some of the nation’s top competition, show the versatility Auburn expects him to bring to its new-look offense. His ability to catch passes out of the backfield seems to be a perfect match for how offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey utilizes running backs in the passing game.
4. A phone app helped Auburn land Martin.
OK, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. At the end of the day, relationships, depth chart and scheme fit pushed him to Auburn.
But Tigers’ fans can thank the 8-ball pool app a little bit, at least.
Martin spent a lot of time over the last few months playing the phone game with Chip Lindsey. Apparently, Lindsey is pretty good at it, too. Multiple recruits have told me Lindsey is one of the only people they struggle to beat in the game.
It seems like somewhat of a joke, but Martin has told me his ability to play the game with Lindsey was an easy way for the two of them to draw a connection with one another in the early goings of their relationship.
So 8-ball pool might not have been the reason Martin chose Auburn, but it certainly didn’t hurt.
5. Martin and Jordyn Peters have a funny story from last high school football season.
Martin and Auburn freshman safety Jordyn Peters were hanging out during the A-Day game. It was a couple months before Peters enrolled and shortly after Martin became the top running back target for the Tigers.
The two of them know each other well from playing high school football in north Alabama, so I asked them at the time if they had any stories of playing against each other.
Martin quickly responded: “Yeah, I made Jordyn fall down the last time we played.”
Peters rolled his eyes, but didn’t deny it, so I gave him the opportunity to tell the story. He says he slipped as Martin made a cut back across the field. Martin isn’t so sure.
Either way, Peters joked he was OK admitting getting turned around if Martin eventually committed to Auburn. Now it’s just a good laugh between future teammates.
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