Among the premier talents from the 2024 class is QB Christopher Martin, who was recently named to the Youth1's first ever Next Up Watchlist. The Next Up Watchlist is a list designed to highlight the rising stars from the 7th grade around the country.
"Since my very first All-American game in 2015 getting on Youth1’s list has been something I’ve looked to as major recognition. It highlights almost all the hottest athletes first. I update my Youth1 profile often, so when I made the Youth1 NextUp Watchlist I was super excited and honored," Martin told Youth1.com.
"It shows that I’m going in the right direction and being noticed for the hard work. It’s motivation and I couldn’t wait to grind and workout to continue to make the selection committee proud, when I found out," he added.
Martin is among the most talented athletes in his class and being named to the Next Up Watchlist is recognition of his hard work and his talent on the field.
He's a football player through and through. He truly enjoys and embraces the physical and mental challenges the game provides.
"I have a goal to be better today than I was yesterday. Football allows me the chance to mentally and physically challenge myself and score how I am doing with that goal. It allows me to be a better teammate, friend, leader, student and athlete," Martin said of his favorite part of playing football.
"I truly believe there is no greater sport. The brotherhood doesn’t just include your teammates, but also your opponent. We’ve all been through many of the same experiences," he added.
Standing at 5'7" 125 lbs., Martin is a supreme passer for such a young QB. He can make all the throws with ease. He'll drop in dimes on deep balls and also show off his accuracy on intermediate routes. His ability to throw on the move and fit the football into tight windows is a skill developed well beyond his years.
Most importantly, he's a true leader on the field for his team. Martin truly loves and thrives at playing the Quarterback position.
"I’m a Quarterback. I’ve always been the Quarterback. I was taught by my coaches that a QB is a specialist that has to have ball skills, toughness, durability, great awareness and decision making. I love that. It means being able to run any offense, for any coach, at any time and making that coach’s vision translate into success on the field. I like having that responsibility, I really enjoy throwing the ball," Martin said.
"I enjoy knowing that I can help each and every one of the ball carriers live their dreams in the end zone. My job is to help them be great and I am super appreciative when my receivers make big plays or watching the running back run someone over. I try to deliver the perfect ball, no matter the type of play," he added.
The Fitzgerald, GA native is successful both on and off the football field. He's a star in the classroom, as he's a mainstay on the honor roll, and has taken home countless awards for his football talent.
Some of his accolades include:
NPFA SouthEast player of the Year
NPFA QB of the Year
NSR Platinum Star Award Finalist
League Offensive MVP
Selected to represent the SouthEast in the AUG All Star Elite Classic
Martin remains focused on his growth and becoming the best athlete he can be. His daily goal is to be better than he was yesterday.
"I look at my progression based off my daily goal. Looking at it that way; I feel like I’ve gotten better today than I was yesterday. This year, I noticed that I was consistently complimented by the other team’s coaches. More than once I was told by the opposing team’s coach that I was the best 12-year-old QB they had ever seen. I was even often invited to play games and tournaments with their teams throughout the season. That meant the world to me. It meant that I was moving in the right direction," Martin said.
"Youth football has been great, and I can’t wait to progress in my High School system. Everything I try in games and practice, I think to myself, is this the way my HS or College coach would want me to do it. Am I doing it correctly, perfectly, smoothly, fast enough. It’s hard for me to say out loud how I feel I am progressing. I have supreme confidence in myself, but I know and am constantly thinking I have to get so much better in every way. I know I’m beginning to do things right because my teammates have confidence in me and support my decision making," he added.
Martin believes his strengths on the field are his playmaking, accuracy, and throwing the ball while under pressure.
"Being able to be a dual-threat and pick apart a defense with my arm and legs. I’ve been complimented on my game speed and escape ability. However, I really want to be even better at those things," Martin said.
As he prepares himself for the next level of competition, Martin has some areas of his game he's working to improve upon.
"Footwork, speed, and accuracy on the run. That’s my off season focus. But I want to improve everything. I am working on getting comfortable with being uncomfortable," Martin said.
"Overall just being a better student of the game. I want my High School and College coaches to trust that they can rely on me to be a great example for my teammates on and off the field; in and out the classroom. Being a better leader, I’m working on being someone who inspires confidence and love from his teammates. I want them to know I will fight for them, win for them and for them to always want to do the same for myself and the rest of the team," he added.
2024 QB Christopher Martin is an elite youth QB with a ton of talent. His ability to make throws all over the field and lead his team makes him one of his classes best talents. Making Youth1's Next Up Watchlist is a testament to his ability on the football field.
It'll be a joy to watch him grow from here.
For more on Christopher Martin, check out his Youth1 Player Profile -> here.
Check out the entire Next Up Watchlist -> here.
View Martin's highlights below.
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