Trib HSSN Preseason WPIAL Football All-Star team: Quinton Martin, Belle Vernon
Sunday, July 11, 2021 | 3:56 PM
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 22 during HSSN Media Day at Kennywood Park.
Quinton Martin has scholarship offers from Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia, Rutgers, Virginia Tech and Maryland.
That is a list you might see from a coveted prospect entering his senior year.
But here’s the thing: Martin is just a sophomore. The kid from Belle Vernon is 15.
“It’s crazy,” Martin said. “I plan on making a decision by my senior year. I want to go through the recruiting process and experience it all.”
With three high school seasons and possibly his best football ahead, Martin is going to be one of the most sought-after recruits in the Class of 2024. But what is his best position?
If there ever was an up-and-comer that embodied the vague, yet complimentary “athlete” label the most, it’s Martin.
“You look at some kids and you say, OK, he’s a receiver or he’s a QB,” Belle Vernon coach Matt Humbert said. “Then you look at ‘Q’ and it’s like, where do you put him? That can be a problem for a coach. Your job is to not screw it up.”
Martin, a lock for the TribLive HSSN Preseason Top 25, is set to play slot receiver, running back and safety for the Leopards, who reached the WPIAL Class 4A semifinals last season before falling to Aliquippa.
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Martin, who said he is not done growing physically, was thrust into the backfield last year when Dane Anden was injured. It marked the beginning of what could be a stellar career. Martin went on to earn MaxPreps Freshman All-American honors.
“We want to get ‘Q’ out in space,” Humbert said. “I have really been impressed with his intelligence at such a young age. I never had a kid pick up base checks so fast.”
The long-striding Martin ran for 425 yards and six touchdowns and also caught two TD passes. He had an interception on defense.
He will be a key weapon again alongside another electric playmaker, senior Devin Whitlock, an all-purpose performer who will play quarterback, see time in the slot, return punts, and continue to cover ground at defensive back.
Martin and Whitlock in the same receiving corps or secondary is a scary proposition for opponents.
“It’s crazy being in the presence of a freak,” Whitlock said of Martin.
The pair has shown what they can do on the basketball court, with Whitlock zipping alley-oop passes to the go-up-and-get-it Martin. They want to double down on football with a no-doubter reel of highlights — and wins.
“We want to go out and prove to everyone that we’re the best,” Martin said. “We work every day because we’re determined to win WPIAL and state championships. We’re motivated by the setback (semifinal loss).”
Martin has been to the Pitt campus and met with coaches. He plans to visit Penn State to do the same.
For whatever it is worth, he said his dream growing up was to play safety for Penn State. But that dream could gain detail as more offers come in and Martin continues to mature.
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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