EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Canutillo running back LJ Martin has been bombarded with offers from Division I FBS colleges for the last year, but he’s finally made his decision.
A 4-star prospect rated as a top-200 player in the Class of 2023, Martin verbally committed to Texas Tech on Friday afternoon. He’s the second El Paso player in the Class of 2023 to commit to the Red Raiders this week, joining Parkland wide receiver DJ Crest, who did so on Monday.
“Just going out there multiple times and being around Coach (Joey) McGuire, I just really enjoyed myself and I felt like that could be a place where I would like going for my future 4-5 years,” Martin told KTSM on Friday afternoon.
Martin is a do-everything player, rated by Rivals as the 7th-best all-purpose running back in the entire nation. He not only excels as a runner; he can also catch passes and run routes extremely well and has played defense for the Eagles as well.
Martin received 14 FBS offers before electing to commit to Texas Tech. A dynamic, speedy back with a lot of size (6’2, 205 pounds), Martin has run over, through and around teams throughout his high school career.
As a junior in 2021, Martin put up video game stats. In 13 games, he rushed for 2,737 yards and 29 touchdowns; caught 15 passes for 376 yards and six touchdowns; completed two passes for 31 yards and a touchdown; returned kickoffs and punts, including one kickoff for a touchdown; made five tackles and one interception on defense; and on top of all that, Martin served as the Eagles’ punter.
He did all that while leading the Eagles back to the Regional Semifinals of the UIL Class 5A Division II playoffs, shouldering the load like few players have.
New Texas Tech coach Joey McGuire has made it a priority to recruit in-state talent and Martin no doubt fits the bill. He could turn into a star in his time in Lubbock and his do-everything skillset is what caught Texas Tech’s eye.
“Being able to catch the ball out of the backfield, it fits their style of play because they wouldn’t have to change their personnel. It makes them more versatile. They just want me to come out and be a playmaker anywhere I play like I do here,” Martin said.
Martin is one of eight El Paso football players with at least one D-I FBS offer currently. Malcolm Anderson (Andress), Jayden Wilson (Austin), Shay Smith (Franklin), Julian Melucci (Eastlake), DJ Crest and Tyrone McDuffie III (Parkland) and Speedy Munoz (Riverside) all also have Division I interest.