Davontavean Martin is a native of Houma, La. When he enrolls at WSU in the summer, he'll become the second Louisianian on the Cougars' roster after Hunter Dale. Martin says he's driven by a need to care for his younger siblings.
Davontavean Martin remembers being intrigued by Washington State’s offense when he watched the Cougars play Minnesota in the Holiday Bowl on television from his home in Houma, La. on Dec. 27.
To Martin, it didn’t matter that the Cougars came up short against the Golden Gophers.
“They looked like an interesting team,” he said in a phone interview with the Seattle Times Monday afternoon.
The day after the Cougars’ bowl game, WSU offered Martin a scholarship. The 6-foot-4, 180-pound receiver from Ellender Memorial (Houma, La.) High took an official visit to WSU this past weekend, and he committed to the Cougars Sunday night.
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“I was going to think about it, but I can’t let the opportunity pass like that,” Martin said. “I felt good about it when I went there. I just liked it. Once I saw the locker room and met the team, I felt good about it.”
He’ll come to WSU as an outside receiver and he hopes to major in sports management.
Martin, 19, is driven by a determination to make something of himself so he can support his three younger siblings. His mother, April Martin, died suddenly of a heart attack last April, and his father, Brian Ross, was incarcerated earlier last year. Martin and his three siblings now live with his aunt.
Martin says his goal is to earn his college degree and get a good job so he can provide for his siblings, aged 18, 12 and 10.
Martin picked WSU over scholarship offers from Tulane, East Carolina, Virginia, Southern Mississippi and Toledo.
WSU managed to attract his attention late in the recruiting cycle in part because the Cougars’ new inside receivers coach, Derek Sage, recruited Martin when he was at Toledo.
Martin, who goes by “Tae,” is rated a two-star prospect by Rivals.com. He played basketball and football in high school, lining up at cornerback, receiver, quarterback and running back. He finished his senior season with 751 receiving yards and eight touchdowns, while throwing for 376 yards and four touchdowns at the quarterback position. He also had 493 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns.
On the basketball court, Martin is a good enough shooting that he had a basketball scholarship offer from Division I New Orleans, which competes in the Southland Conference.
But Martin chose to focus on football instead because he says he “fell in love” with the sport.