Athlete of the Week: Tay Martin

Sophomore receiver makes impact plays on field, gets honors after standout performance against Beavers



Then-freshman wide receiver Tay Martin celebrates a reception against Stanford on Nov. 4, 2017 at Martin Stadium. Martin caught eight passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns against Oregon State on Saturday.

JOHN SPELLMAN, Evergreen reporter

In order to successfully run the Air Raid offense, it is crucial that the quarterback makes some great throws. However, it is just as important that they have excellent receivers.

Saturday night against Oregon State University sophomore wide receiver Tay Martin had a magnificent game to earn our Evergreen Athlete of the Week honors. He came into this season as one of the best receivers for WSU after an impressive season last year.

His 2018 campaign got off to a fairly quiet start, but he showed his skills at Reser Stadium by tearing up the Oregon State defense with eight catches for 119 yards and two touchdowns.

His first touchdown came at a crucial time after Oregon State had just tied the game up at 14 after being down 14-0 to start. Martin then put the Cougars back ahead, making an acrobatic catch by jumping over the Beaver defender and covering him to catch the ball for a 38-yard touchdown.

He then put WSU up by 19 in the fourth quarter when he made another impressive play, catching a perfect pass from graduate transfer quarterback Gardner Minshew II. After the catch, he broke a tackle before scampering into the end zone.

The pride of Houma, Louisiana, Martin has gone through a lot on his road to being a star receiver at WSU.

The toughest moment of Martin’s life came during his junior year of high school when his mother passed away due to a brain aneurysm. Despite this tragedy, Martin uses his athletic career to honor the life of his mother.

“My life is a movie,” Martin said. “Just growing up, going through so many things. You can’t just let adversity hold you down, you got to keep pushing because you never know what’s going to happen.”

After his skillful touchdowns against Oregon State, it should not be a surprise that Martin had a very successful high school basketball career, finishing as the Class 4A Louisiana State High School Player of the Year.

He first committed to furthering his education and playing basketball at the University of New Orleans. However, he then decided to change his commitment to play football at Tulane University.

Even though Martin had already committed, Derek Sage, former WSU receivers coach and current tight end coach at University of California, Los Angeles, was really impressed by the film of the two-sport athlete.

Excited about the idea of playing in Head Coach Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense, Martin committed to WSU a few weeks before signing day.

Martin aims to keep up his impressive start to his collegiate football career and it looks like the sky is the limit.