Martinez lives out his dream, pledges to ASU

Born and raised in the Valley of the Sun and growing up an ASU fan, Grant Martinez always aspired to be a Sun Devil. His hometown school offered him a scholarship a couple of weeks ago and despite other Pac-12 offers he received, the 2013 Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep tight end decided to end his recruitment tonight and commit the school he always regarded as his ultimate favorite.

"It feels great to be a Sun Devil," Martinez said. "It's great to get it over with and commit to Arizona State. When they offered me I knew that they would definitely be one of my top schools but I wanted to follow through with some other visits I had."

The 6-5 210-pound Grant Martinez visited Stanford last week and during that visit he ironically received an offer from the Cardinal's archrival, California. Later that week he visited Oregon State as well a school that extended an offer to the Scottsdale tight end back in the spring.

"I wanted to visit those schools and make sure I was 100 percent positive that ASU was the place for me," Martinez commented. "Oregon State obviously liked me a lot, and Stanford was going to wait until later on to possibly offer me. But after checking those places out, and I did enjoy my visit to both schools, I just feel at home with ASU and I love their coaching staff.

"Cal came late into the mix, but I was already focused on ASU. I couldn't see myself being anywhere else for the next four years. I wanted to be a Sun Devil"

Utah, Iowa State, Duke and Nevada are some of the other schools who had previously offered Martinez.

"Playing in front of family and friends was huge on my part," Martinez admitted. "I just couldn't pass on this opportunity to play at ASU. My dad actually went to ASU and I was born in Chandler. We used to go their games and that was the team I was rooting for every Saturday.

"My dad would point to (former All-American ASU tight end) Zach Miller and say that I could be like him one day. I still watch (Miller) today in the NFL. It's great to play for the same team he did and I hope to be successful like him one day."

Martinez, ranked by as the nation's no. 35 tight end in the 2013 class caught 36 passes for 411 yards and six touchdowns as a junior for Notre Dame Prep. Under the former Sun Devil staff ,Martinez knew that his chances of playing tight end for the maroon and gold were virtually non-existent.

Once the regime change in Tempe took place last December Martinez realized that he was possibly one step closer to playing for his dream school.

"I knew that ASU wasn't going to recruit tight ends with the scheme they were running last year," Martinez recalled. "I was absolutely happy when they had new coaches and a new staff I knew I now had a chance to play there. Once I got to meet the new coaches, like Coach Norvell and Coach Long, they were just great people.

"The coaches were always very open with me and always stayed in close communication. In the end I felt that I had a better relationship with them than I did with most coaches recruiting me. I really enjoyed getting to know them and I'm very excited to play for them."

Martinez noted that his versatility was one trait that was very appealing to the Sun Devil staff.

"They see me fitting perfectly as a three-back," Martinez explained, "which is basically a fullback, a tight end or just a basic receiver. They like my athleticism and speed and feel that I can play any of those positions and do some damage on the field.

"I know I need to get bigger and stronger but I also want to still keep my speed so I can have leverage in my matchups. But I definitely plan on being more physical at the college level."

The Notre Dame Prep standout always wished to commit in the summer so he can enjoy his senior season with the school. Martinez is naturally even happier that he didn't have to comprise his decision while obtaining that goal.

"Even with all the offers I got I wanted to end the process early and be focused on my new school," Martinez said. "I know I will probably receive other offers throughout the year but I'm going to be focused on ASU and probably not even care about those other offers.

"The relationship I have with the coaching staff, the way the talk about character and being religious, the style of play…it feels like having another family and now I also get to play close to home and close to my family. There are just a lot of reasons why ASU was number one over everyone else."

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