Former all-state running back and Temple commit Johnny Martin has opted out of the remainder of his senior season at Timber Creek.
First-year Timber Creek football coach Brian Wright said he received a text from Martin on Wednesday night, a few hours after Martin and the Chargers wrapped up practice for Friday’s 15-12 win over Delsea.
“He just texted me Wednesday night and said he was opting out to prepare for college,” said Wright. “That was pretty much the extent of it. I had no inkling he was even thinking about it. It is what it is. I wished him good luck.”
Martin posted three 1,000-yard seasons – including a 2,000-yard season as a sophomore when he was second-team all-state – at Highland the previous three years, though he missed the final four games of his junior campaign after being suspended for an off-the-field incident.
Martin transferred to Timber Creek for his final season. He played in the Chargers’ 21-0 opening-night loss to No. 7 Williamstown, gaining 45 yards on 14 carries and catching two passes for 16 yards.
Prior to the game, Wright talked about how engaged his new running back was in practice, even taking scout-team reps when he wasn’t needed on offense.
“He was awesome,” said Wright, who added the running game will be by committee without Martin. “I liked his mentality, but if his interest is elsewhere then we’ll focus on the kids we have that want to play.”
Timber Creek resumes its season Friday against Martin’s former team, Highland.
Martin didn’t respond to a text and call asking for comment.
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Bill Evans covers the West Jersey Football League. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org