Martin Signs To Play Football At Ferrum - The Stokes News - by Amanda Dodson
South Stokes Jacquan Martin had a busy Thursday when he signed a letter of intent to play football for Ferrum College in Virginia that morning and walked across the stage hours later to receive his diploma at graduation.
“It’s exciting and sad at the same time,” Martin said. ”I’ve had a lot of ups and downs here, but most of it’s been pretty good.”
Sauras football coach Jonathan Fraser said the running back made the varsity team his freshman year and has the best vision and feet of any athlete he’s coached.
“He’s an incredible physical player and a good kid,” Fraser said.
Coach Brian Mabe added Martin can make something out of nothing on the football field.
“He’s always done whatever I’ve asked of him,” Mabe said.
Martin has been a three sport athlete during his time at South Stokes and along with football, excelled in track and basketball.
Keith Gore, Martin’s track and football coach said the athlete is very coachable.
“Jacquan always had a desire to improve. He listens when you’re talking and has a maturity about him,” Gore said. “He’s a leader, younger kids look up to him.”
Martin has wanted to play collegiate ball since he was ten years old and began with the Walnut Cove Wildcats.
“When I was young I liked that you could hit in football,” Martin laughed. “But as I got older it made me more focused on school and what I wanted to do.”
Martin came to South Stokes and began practicing with the JV team, but it didn’t last long. He was quickly moved to varsity and in his first high school scrimmage broke away for a touchdown.
“It was one of the best days,” Martin said.
But there would be more. His momentum continued on throughout the next four years as he gained 6,005 total rushing yards, 84 touchdowns, and tied a state record in kickoff returns.
Martin also buckled down academically maintaining a 3.0 and earning a spot on the A, B Honor Roll. The athlete credits his parents for encouraging him to keep his grades up and reminding him there is life beyond football.
“Coach Gore has also been there for me since I was a freshman. He pushed me to be better in the classroom and taught me how to be a better person,” Martin said.
Martin’s parents, Jerry Martin and Dedee Simmons said they both are excited for their son’s future.
“Football has been good for him. I always worried he’d get hurt but I supported him because he loved it.” Simmons said. “He’s an outstanding player and always gives more than 100 percent.”
Martin’s father said he’s extremely proud of his son and how he’s worked at his craft to become a better player throughout the years.
“We’re happy to see him go to the next level and we think Ferrum is a good choice for him,” Martin’s father said.
Looking back, Martin said he appreciates the role his parents played in helping him get to this point.
“They sent me to camps and my mom didn’t miss a game. My dad critiqued me a lot, and it was a good thing. They both pushed me with my grades and told me how far a college degree would take me,” Martin said.
According to Martin, South Stokes holds a special place in his life and leaving won’t be easy. “But I know where I’m going is good,” he said, “but I’ll miss those Friday night lights.”