4* QB Justyn Martin (Inglewood, 2022) announces commitment to Cal Football
Bill Musgrave and the Bears get a cornerstone for the class
Justyn Martin, a 6’4, 210 lbs quarterback from Inglewood, California, has announced his commitment to the California Golden Bears. Martin’s verbal commitment is the second the Bears have received in the 2022 recruiting class after Damonic Williams, a 4-star defensive tackle, became the first.
Martin is the Bears’ highest-rated quarterback recruit since Jared Goff. 247Sports’ Composite Rating gives Martin 4 stars and lists him at 223rd nationally in his class. Analysts on 247Sports, Rivals, and ESPN have made Martin a consensus 4-star.
In the spring of 2020, Martin transferred to Inglewood and garnered favorable reviews on the camp circuit. He also received offers from Oregon, USC, UCLA, Arizona State, Oregon State, and Michigan State. Up until 2020, Martin was relatively unknown as a recruit. He was third-string at Junipero Serra behind Doug Brumfield and Maalik Murphy.
Avinash Kunnath (if you don’t know, the President of Write for California) called Martin “easily one of the most athletic prospects I’ve ever seen at the position.”
Regarding Martin’s skills, Kunnath added on that Martin has “Crazy natural arm strength (throws 40 yards go routes with ease), [is an] awesome scrambler, [and is a] great improviser out of the pocket.”
I don’t think that Martin is capable of walking into the starting role as a true freshman. In his highlights, you can clearly see that, on many of his throws, his receivers have to make acrobatic jumps or run back to the ball because he doesn’t place the ball nearly as accurate as it could be. When he runs around, it looks awkward and messy, as if he could trip over his own feet, like he’s not used to his height yet.
But, in his Hudl highlight reel, there are two plays starting at 1:26 that then explain why so many schools gushed over him. In the first one, I notice how Martin is able to escape the sack with a double dose of athleticism: speed and strength. To cap it off, he then immediately has the mindset to look downfield and perfectly hit his checkdown on the outside shoulder to set up a big gain. Then on the next play (@1:35), Martin displays both the ability to change direction and accelerate from a starting position at a high level. And to show off his arm, he throws the ball crossbody at a ridiculous pace to find his receiver for the touchdown.
Inglewood is known for their high-flying passing attack - in the last high school season (2019), they ranked #19th in passing yards for the entire nation. So Martin certainly has a chance to show off his abilities this upcoming season at Inglewood (scheduled to start any week now, maybe?).
In a previous interview, Martin said that his goal before the spring 2021 season is to throw the ball 75-80 yards.
In summary, Martin has displayed elite in-game skill while having the physical attributes needed to perform at a high level. But, his lack of playing time means that, in short, he’s never had the rhythm to display consistency and to develop leadership skills as a starter.
Any amateur Cal scout should be scouring Inglewood film this year, in my opinion, in order to see whether Martin shows any sign of development. If his game continues to grow, once he steps on campus, he’ll probably need a year or two before taking the reins. And, barring anything else, he can become a 1st-round NFL pick.
Finally, Martin has also said he values education in conjunction with football and has expressed an interest in biomedical science.
Welcome to Berkeley, Justyn! GO BEARS!