Auburn has yet another state of Alabama Mr. Football award winner on its roster.
Running back Asa Martin, who enrolled early, is the latest Tiger signee to be named the state’s top player. He received the honor on Tuesday, January 30, at the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s (ASWA) annual Player of the Year awards luncheon in Montgomery, Alabama.
State of Alabama’s Mr. Football
The four-star prospect, who spent his junior season at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida before transferring back to Austin High School for his senior year, becomes the 36th recipient of the award and the fourth running back in the last five years to earn the distinction.
“It’s a great honor,” Martin said to the Opelika-Auburn News. “A lot of great players have won this award. It was one of the awards I was really looking forward to coming into my senior season.”
Ranked as the nation’s No. 9 running back by 247Sports, the Decatur native rushed for 2,228 yards on 198 carries with 33 touchdowns and caught 20 passes for 399 yards and two scores last season.
His outstanding play helped Austin go 12-1 and reach the Class 6A quarterfinals.
“He’s a driven kid. He knows what he wants,” Austin head coach Jeremy Perkins told the The State via The Associated Press. “He’s very mature when it comes to being a high school-age teenager. He’s got drive about him, self-motivation to push. [Martin] knew at an early, early stage that he wanted to play college football. He knew what it was going to take to get there. He set himself up to be an early grad so he could get to the next level and not waste that spring of his senior year.”
The 6-foot, 205-pound running back completed his high school career by playing in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game, where he rushed for 52 yards on 12 carries.
Martin’s now the 10th Alabama Mr. Football winner in Auburn’s history, breaking a tie with interstate rival Alabama for the best mark. He joins the likes of Carnell “Cadillac” Williams and Kerryon Johnson among others as winners of the award to play for the Tigers.
With Auburn losing Johnson and Kamryn Pettway to the NFL draft, Martin has an opportunity to contribute early. He’ll compete with sophomore Kam Martin and freshmen Devan Barrett, Malik Miller, and JaTarvious Whitlow in the spring for playing time.
“I just want to play a pivotal role on the team and try to get on the field and play as a freshman,” Martin stated to AU Now. “Those two guys that went to the NFL, those are great guys, had great careers at Auburn. I’m just hoping to step in and continue the path to the NFL with those guys.”
“The thing that stands out to me is that he’s very well-rounded,” Malzahn expressed to Auburn Undercover. “He’s very good running the football, he’s got great quickness, he’s strong, he protects. He was a very good protector in high school, which is rare. A lot of guys in high school have to learn to protect. He already figured that out. I think that’s big. And he catches the football out of the backfield like a wide receiver. So I think he’s going to give [offensive coordinator] Chip Lindsey a lot of flexibility.”
Martin has the potential to be the next great running back on The Plains. With Auburn falling short of the CFB Playoff last season, he will look to help the Tigers handle unfinished business this fall.
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