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Penn State Football Recruiting

‘A Unique, Great Individual’: Penn State Signee Quinton Martin’s Versatility, Humility Excite Coaching Staff

Penn State signee Quinton Martin has 13 letters combined in his first and last name, and it feels like he can play about 13 different positions. 

In his senior season at Belle Vernon High School in the Pittsburgh Area, the high-end four-star combined for nearly 2,000 yards of total offense (1,202 rushing, 753 receiving) and scored 26 touchdowns (15 rushing, 11 receiving). 

If that weren’t enough, Martin’s also capable of running a punt back for a touchdown at any time. He’s also so good at defensive back, that his high school defensive coordinator, Brett Berish, feels that’s where he should play at the next level.

Martin’s goal in college is to play running back for PSU RB coach Ja’Juan Seider. Head coach James Franklin said in his post-signing day presser that he feels Martin can also play receiver for Penn State. When asked about Martin’s abilities at that position, Penn State’s WR coach/offensive recruiting coordinator, Marques Hagans, asked jokingly, “Are you trying to get me in trouble with coach Seider?” before diving into Martin’s versatility

“You want to recruit as many guys like that as you can,” Hagans said at a post-signing day media availability in Beaver Stadium, “because there’s no limit to the things that they can do on the field. The value that he brings running the ball, the value that he brings catching the ball, which will also add to his value on special teams.” 

Martin doesn’t have to have the ball in his hands to make an impact. 

Terry Smith, Penn State’s cornerbacks coach, associate head coach and defensive recruiting coordinator, recruited Martin for four years, with both guys being from Pennsylvania. 

Smith feels Martin can play both ways in the Big Ten.

“But we’re recruiting him to play running back and maybe use him a little bit out on the perimeter because he’s such a good receiver as well,” Smith said. “But, for now, he’s an offensive guy that we’re going to try to get the ball in his hands and, you know, hopefully, he can score some touchdowns for us.”

The words “such a good receiver” may be tempting for Hagans. 

“But just so I stay on Coach Seider’s Christmas list,” Hagans said with a smile, “I’m going to tell you he’s a running back and he’s going to stay a running back.”

Penn State is set to have among the best running back rooms in the country in 2024. Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen are returning for year 3. 

 Franklin said Martin isn’t intimidated by this. 

“He wants to come in and compete and see how things play out,” Franklin said. “And we are going to put him in a position to do so.”

Penn State is ready to help Martin reach his full potential, and Franklin feels Martin will help Penn State not just with his skills, but with his attitude. 

“You know, Quinton and his family and his support system have been awesome,” Franklin said. “He was able to lead his team to a state championship game this year. Committed to us. Never wavered. Stopped flirting with other schools and other teams. Totally shut it down. Really has done extremely well academically. Has just been awesome.” 

“I just think, you know, I don’t care what business you’re in, what industry you’re in,” Franklin said. “When you’re in a leadership position, the more stuff that you can have that are high production and low maintenance; the more players that are high production and low maintenance, especially in 2023, with all of the craziness going on in college athletics, and specifically college football, you know, that’s something that we really value. I think he’s another example of that.” 

Franklin used the word “awesome” six times in his answer about Martin

The first word Smith used to describe Martin personality-wise was “amazing.”

“He’s super smart,” Smith said. “He’s intelligent. He’s giving. He’s caring. He’s one of those kids that gives back to the community. He’s unique in that sense. You know, he just is, for a kid with such accolades, he’s humble, he’s giving. He does whatever his coach asks him to do at Belle Vernon, and that’s what he’s going to give here at Penn State. There have been games (where) he didn’t touch the ball 10 times, but he’s the best player in the state, but he didn’t say a word. But he trusted their process and their process one them two state titles. So he’s just a unique, great individual.”

Hagans described Martin as an “extremely, extremely well-rounded young man.”

“He’s easy to conversate with,” Hagans said. “He doesn’t feel like he has to dominate the conversation, but he loves to ask questions. So, a lot of times when you talk to young men, especially young football players, it’s almost like you always talk at them. Like, they’re all, “Yes, coach, yes, coach, yes coach,” But, then, you find some young men who like to ask questions like “Why did you say that?” or “What do you think about that?” So getting to know him and getting to know his personality, he’s a very well-rounded young man, and you can see why he succeeds so well on the football field because everything he does is important to him.

Hagans also spoke highly of Martin’s attention to detail.

“He listens,” Hagans said. “Like, a lot of kids hear you, but he listens. And, so, you go through 20 minutes down the conversation and you come back to something you started with, he remembers it, and he’s able to bring it back up. I know our quarterbacks are going to be happy because that means he’s going to be able to retain blitz protection and pick up those guys coming off the edge and the A-gap. So, we’re excited we have him and I think he’s going to make our team a lot better.”

2023 marked the third straight recruiting class in which Penn State landed the top-rated player from Pennsylvania. Singleton (West Shillington) was No. 1 in 2022, and OL J’ven Williams (Wyomissing) was No. 1 the next year.

For Franklin, it will be big for those local guys to help in Penn State’s future recruiting efforts.

“All these players, Singleton and Quinton that have done it,” Franklin said. “They have a responsibility to help us sign the No. 1 player in the state next year, as well. We take a lot of pride in that.”

 

 

 

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