Mike Leach has plenty of toys to play with in his Air Raid offense. With so many different players getting a chance to make an impact, it's hard to know who will step up from one game to the next. Last weekend in their bounce back win over Colorado, a freshman wideout - with enormous potential - stepped into the spotlight.
With one play, Tay Martin announced his arrival at Washington State.
“Luke threw a great ball,” Martin said. “I just saw the field and I just took off. It was like a movie.”
Martin got his opportunity on a night where the Cougs were without top receiver Tavares Martin Jr. And with his team needing a spark the rangy freshman hauled in a 50 yard touchdown - the first of his career.
“Feels great man,” Martin said. “I want to do it again.”
He later received a glowing review from his head coach.
“He’s a guy, if he keeps improving is maybe six months from being the best receiver on the team,” Leach said.
WSU faced their share of competition for the Louisiana native. He had over 20 offers as well as opportunities outside of football.
A talented guard, Martin could have played Division I hoops - and originally committed to Tulane for football and basketball.
“H had these little videos of him doing slam dunks,” Leach said. “He'd get his elbow above the rim and bring that sucker down.
“We started getting those suckers once a week.”
The Cougs have known what Martin is capable of for a little while now. With his breakout game behind him, Leach is confident he'll continue to take advantage of the opportunities he gets in Pullman.
“We got a lot of guys that want to play football like football,” Leach said. “Tay martin really needs football. If you go back to where he’s from and what he’s been through. Tay martin really needs football and he attacks it every day like that's the case.”
As leach referenced, life has dealt Tay some difficult blows. His mother April passed away due to cardiac arrest in April of 2016. She was only 34 years old. Two years ago his father Brian began a five-year prison sentence following a hit and run accident - according to his hometown newspaper, Houma Today.
Martin said his WSU career is big for him. It's something both parents wanted for their son.
Martin and the Cougs visit Arizona Saturday night.