MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Writethru
Auburn signee Asa Martin is already following in the footsteps of predecessor Kerryon Johnson in one regard.
Like Johnson, Martin was named Alabama’s Mr. Football. The 5-foot-11, 200-pound running back, who graduated in December and has already enrolled at Auburn, was honored Tuesday by the Alabama Sports Writers Association at a luncheon put on by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association.
“Coming into my senior year, my two goals were winning a state championship and winning this award,” Martin said. “Glad I got one of the two accomplished.”
Johnson, the Southeastern Conference offensive player of the year and 2014 Mr. Football, and fellow Auburn tailback Kamryn Pettway both declared for the NFL draft after last season. That leaves Martin with a chance to compete with several returnees led by Kam Martin for carries and perhaps the starting job.
“That does give me a little edge knowing that I can really play now,” said Asa Martin, who was rated the nation’s No. 9 running back prospect by 247Sports.
Martin received 170 points and 10 first-place votes from the ASWA’s prep committee. Pinson Valley quarterback Bo Nix was second with 144 points and Thompson quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was third with 143. Tagovailoa is the brother of Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and Nix’s father, Patrick, is a former Auburn passer.
Martin helped lead the Black Bears to a 12-1 season and into the state quarterfinals. He ran for more than 1,300 yards as a sophomore before playing one season at IMG Academy in Florida.
“He’s a driven kid. He knows what he wants,” Austin coach Jeremy Perkins said. “He’s very mature when it comes to being a high school-age teenager. He’s got drive about him, self-motivation to push. He 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.
“He’s there working with (the Tigers) now. That’s going to give him an opportunity — and that competitive spirt and that drive about him — to go and compete early on.”