The preseason high school football All-Southern Arizona team continues today with No. 9 on our list of 22 players.
Check out a video clip on KVOA (Channel 4) tonight at 6 and 10.
The team was chosen by the Arizona Daily Star and the staff at KVOA and will be revealed daily through Aug. 22.
Blake Martinez • MLB/TE • 6-2, 230 • Canyon del Oro, Jr.
• Who he is: If you ask CDO coach Dusty Peace, Martinez is the second best player in Tucson behind star running back Ka'Deem Carey. And now, the two get to share a sideline. After a playoff stint with Santa Rita in 2009, Martinez transferred to CDO in December and spent last semester settling in. He played his freshman year at Mountain View, then transferred to Santa Rita and had to sit out most of the season due to AIA transfer rules. Then, after a state title game appearance and loss, Eagles coach Jeff Scurran departed and Martinez was off to his third school in two years. But now, the junior claims he's at CDO to stay. Who wouldn't want to join the defending state champions? While CDO lost its starting defensive backs, Martinez is a huge addition. He specializes in demoralizing opposing offenses. He shuts down run plays before they begin and reads quarterbacks like the morning paper. In other words, Martinez makes a state-title winning defense even better. And that's scary.
• Proof he's good: If you want proof Martinez is good, just go to a game and keep your eyes on him. You'll be amazed how many plays end in his hands. If you can't make it out to a game, trust USC. Martinez went to a camp there and started receiving letters soon after. The UA is interested, too, as is Boise State. Being only a junior, it's too early for colleges to speak with Martinez, but he should be a top-tier Division I recruit when the time comes. Also, Martinez will take on a new role this year as a tight end, something he says he's never tried before. Peace believes he's perfectly capable of making some catches, and if his hands are good enough, Martinez could actually be a lethal receiver. It's easy to imagine him catching a slant pass over the middle and rumbling through defenders for extra yards.
• He said it: "Ka'Deem pushes me to be better every day. I always look at him to get better and he looks at me to get better. … I think my skill on defense is just knowing where to go at certain times and then reading what I need to do before it happens. It's just instinct, basically."
Michael J. Craven
• What: Day 9 - Blake Martinez
• TV: 6 and 10 p.m., Ch 4