2022 Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star Team: Belle Vernon’s Quinton Martin
Wednesday, July 6, 2022 | 5:24 PM
Editor’s note: The Tribune-Review and the TribLive High School Sports Network are profiling each member of the 25-player Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star team. The players will be recognized July 15 during HSSN Media Day at Kennywood Park.
An athlete of Quinton Martin’s ilk could line up just about anywhere on a football field and probably find success.
Belle Vernon’s charged-up junior playmaker is primed for a big season but will his role change now that former star playmaker Devin Whitlock is off to walk-on at Pitt?
Martin, one of the country’s top prospects in the Class of 2024, looks to be the leading man for the Leopards, who will drop to Class 3A after finishing as the WPIAL 4A runner-up. More seasoned and aware of the year-long grind that prep football entails, Martin is ready to work and lead.
He again has honed his hand and foot skills playing 7-on-7 this summer and has been a regular in the weight room.
“I think my role will change a lot this year without Devin out there with me,” Martin said. “Honestly, I don’t care what classification we are in. At the end of the day, we’re all playing football.”
By and large, Martin will remain a running back and wide receiver. He will have the ball in his hands. But could he see more time as a wildcat quarterback on offense and bump inside to linebacker from his usual safety spot on defense?
Could he be a pass-rusher? Maybe so. Might he sling passes downfield? Don’t discount it.
Whitlock was a run-first quarterback who had Martin as a playmaking sidecar. Don’t be surprised if some packages have Martin sliding here or moving there, even if it’s only for a play or two.
Martin rushed for 902 yards and 12 touchdowns in eight games last season. Don’t forget, he also was the Tribune-Review Westmoreland Boys Basketball Athlete of the Year as he averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds.
“His role has been evolving in terms of getting him acclimated to pretty much play any position on the field,” Belle Vernon coach Matt Humbert said. “We’re trying to get him situated to two or three positions on each side of the ball.
“The more the better for us as a team and for him and his future.”
While the goal of returning to Heinz Field to try for another WPIAL title is in his immediate future, Martin’s long-term future involves narrowing a monster list of Power 5 scholarship offers. He has nationwide reach. Name a school and he probably has an offer from it.
From safety to receiver to straight-up athlete, Martin is being recruited for various roles as colleges try to secure his ceiling-less athleticism.
Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Texas and Michigan are possible suitors. Martin has made multiple visits to Penn State, Pitt and West Virginia, and also has unofficial stops to Ohio State, Michigan, Virginia Tech and Florida State.
“He has all the tools, measurables and skills,” Humbert said. “Mix that with a great personality, great work ethic, and his high capacity to be coached, that is what makes him who he is.”
Rivals.com gives Martin a four-star rating and lists him as the nation’s No. 14 overall prospect from the Class of 2024 and No. 1 overall in Pennsylvania.
Another recruiting outlet, 247sports.com, has him No. 11 nationally and No. 1 in the state.
While Martin has yet to commit to a college, he has committed to play in the 2024 ESPN Under Armour All-American Game in Orlando, Fla.
Martin has a large support system that will help pull him across the finish line when decision time arrives. Humbert said Martin’s demeanor has not changed and that he remains grounded despite the attention.
“Keeping him grounded has not been an issue,” Humbert said. “He’s a grinder, and we all we have tunnel vision on right now. Just getting ready for this season.”
Running back/defensive back
Committed to: Uncommitted
Division I offers: Florida State, Michigan State, Texas A&M, Louisville, Ohio State, Boston College, Cincinnati, Michigan, Kentucky, Texas, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Maryland, Syracuse, Rutgers, Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia, Virginia Tech.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
Tags: Belle Vernon
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