Keshawn Martin inked a four year deal with the Houston Texans for 2.512 Million Dollars earlier this week, this completes the Horatio Alger-esque journey of Martin from John Glenn High School to NFL Wide Receiver. For those of you who don’t remember high school english, (if you’re an avid reader of SLS it’s apparent I don’t remember anything about English), Alger made famous the “rags-to-riches” story back in the late 1800s. I suppose a more modern version of the tale would be that stupid Adam Sandler movie where he becomes a billionaire and at the end of the movie he’s still Adam Sandler. This used to be a compliment until the Waterboy or so, but then, man, being Adam Sandler just got old.
After the 2007 season Martin’s Athletic Director created a game tape of Martin’s highlights and started sending it to various schools. Typically, kids with Martin’s talents have a dozen offers by this point in their recruitment. Kids of Martin’s talent have the money to attend high school football camps where they can be scouted by college coaches. This was not the case for Martin:
His unlikely journey begins in Inkster, MI, the second of two sons of very proud parents Charles and Tracy. During his formative years, Tracy suffered from chronic illness, Charles worked as a baggage handler and times were tough. As Swinehart says: “His parents have done a phenomenal job of raising him, he’s never been in any kind of trouble. He comes from a great family with not a lot of money but a lot of character.” Finding the glamour of the recruitment process astonishing, Martin commented he felt weird at being treated like a celebrity.
Martin came to Michigan State and spent his first two years just learning to play WR(he was a quarterback in high school). He became one of just a handful of kids to score a touchdown five different ways and became a steady, reliable and stunningly quick receiver by his senior year. In Houston, he should immediately compete for Punt Return and Kick Return duties. Martin should also compete for the third wide receiver position along with DeVier Posey and Lester Jean. Do those names sound familiar? They should. DeVier Posey missed most of his senior year due to suspension from accepting inappropriate gifts and Lester Jean was the entire FAU offense in 2010.
Martin offers a change of pace to those two coming in at 5’11’ and 189 compared to 6’2” and 210-ish for the other guys. I like Martin’s odds of being to slip in as the Texans go-to slot receiver in Houston.
“His speed and attitude, founded on his instinctive ability to drive downfield, is what makes Martin such an exciting prospect as a playmaker for the Texans.” says the Texans Bleacher Report. “Keshawn Martin, taken in the fourth round, might be the better option, another Big Ten prospect, this one from Michigan State. Martin is shorter than Posey but is really fast and might work well as a slot receiver for Houston. He is probably someone that will earn his job on special teams but has the skills to help Houston where they need it the most. “ writes Yahoo. “Texans make two more good picks with Martin, Crick in fourth round.” writes the Houston Chronicle.
Martin will more than likely open the 2012 season as the Texans starting kick and punt returner. He could see spot time in 3 WR sets with a combination of some good luck and a bit of continued DeVier Posey fail. As far as a long term future goes, if he excels at Punt Returner and Kick Returner he won’t likely be seeing a lot of playing time. Typically, the number of kick returners who play significant offensive snaps are pretty small.
Of course what about Martin’s journey has been typical so far?