For Pontiac (Mich.) Northern star Martell Webb, his strong individual showing on the football field this past year was bittersweet. That’s because despite 31 receptions for 1026 yards and 12 touchdowns, his squad finished the 2006 campaign with a 2-6 record. Now that basketball season has rolled around, the talented youngster hopes that he can ease some of his gridiron disappointment by contributing to success on the hardwood. Thus far, the Huskies are off to a good start.
“We beat Romulus the other night to go to 2-0," Webb said. "I had 20 points and 10 boards. We're trying to win the state year. We've got four juniors back."
Basketball isn’t just a sport Webb participates in until the next football season rolls around. Hoops were his first love, and he is serious about pursuing careers in both sports when he arrives in Ann Arbor next season. Both coaching staffs have made it clear him that they are okay with his decision to give it a try.
"(The football coaches) said it would be good…they said it would be cool," said Webb. "I talked to Coach Amaker on Saturday. He said he has to get out and see a little bit more of me. He hasn't seen me, but some of the assistant coaches have and they like what they saw. He wants to get out his self and see me play. I'm the tallest on my team that's why I play inside a lot. Actually, I play it all for my team. I'll play wing guard in college."
The task of playing two sports at the college level is an arduous one, especially when you take into account the rigorous academic demands. Webb's attempt will be even more difficult because in his primary sport…football…he will have to learn more than your average freshman. While on his official visit last weekend, Webb learned he would also be tackling two positions next fall.
"We talked about where I would play and they said I could play a little bit of receiver and a little bit of tight end," he recalled. "They want me to learn both positions. I just have to get the plays down pat so I can get playing time as a freshman. That's the big thing…learning these plays. They can't hand me a playbook until I sign, so he was talking to me and going through plays on the board and I was taking notes. We were discussing going through motions and different kinds of formations. It was a lot, man. I've got to jump on it so I can learn it."
Much of Webb's success will depend upon how prepared he is heading into fall camp. That means he will have to go the extra mile to get himself ready… something which he has every intention of doing.
“As soon as I graduate in June I have to be up there everyday working
out with the team and learning the plays,” said Webb. “That's the
main thing…learning the plays and getting my body ready. I'm 6-5 220 right
now, but I want to get faster. I ran track two years ago, but I'm going to get
on the track team this year. I'll run the 100 and 200.”