In good hands with All-Stater
Godley running back transfers to SAGU
Landry Martinez loads up Lions backfield
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Southwestern Assemblies of God University, whose spread option offense has become as difficult as packing barbed wire in a paper bag, added a running back that could boost an already potent attack.
Head Coach Jesse Godding signed Landry Martinez, an All-State halfback out of Godley High School, who transferred after a medical redshirt season at East Texas Baptist University.
Martinez racked up some impressive numbers in the purple and gold for the Godley Wildcats.
The 5-foot-10, 185-pounder gained 5,974 yards that included 106 touchdowns. He set single season and career records in the process. Godley (48 miles northwest of Waxahachie) posted a 10-1 mark during his senior season.
He caught seven passes out of the backfield that year, totaling 155 yards, four ending in TD’s. As a junior Martinez reeled in 28 receptions for 620 yards and 7 scores.
Martinez, who enrolled at SAGU in January, decided on ETBU over a number of colleges, primarily to stay close to home. Several players on the Lions football team helped steer him even nearer to his family.
“Landry will surprise people who did not have an opportunity to watch him in high school,” said Coach Godding. “He is a quiet, unassuming young man who has this tremendous athletic talent and competitive drive.”
(View his YouTube senior highlights at Landry Martinez Sr. Godley HS)
Along with his younger brother, Austin, who signed with the Lions as a defensive back, the duo is expected to compete for starting berths or meaningful roles as freshmen.
“Both of these young men are character individuals who are driven to excel in their academics and athletics. We are blessed to have been able to recruit both of them,” added Coach Godding.
Last August Martinez was hurt on the second day that ETBU players wore pads, which led to his being redshirted. Already cleared to resume playing, he participated in Southwestern’s spring practices and is ready to go.
In the weeks following his injury he experienced a near miraculous recovery, according to his father Roy.
Preparing for surgery “…we all believe there was some divine intervention,” he said. “Even the doctor said; “If you are not a believer, this ought to make you one!" No surgery was needed.
“We were invited to a (Lions) game,” stated Martinez’ dad. “We wound up coming to a few more on our own. Then Landry visited the campus. He really liked what SAGU offers its students. He was really impressed with the campus once he saw it.”
Martinez will enter this season as a redshirt freshman and will compete with senior Sean Haynes (Katy, Tx) and sophomore Cade Leuschner (Waco, Tx) for carries. He could also play in the slot; an inside receiver in the spread formation.
One of his strengths is field vision; an ability to sense the development of a play. Martinez is quick and combines agility and power, evidenced in runs to the outside or between the tackles.
He is a very effective open field runner and has deceptive speed.
Martinez honor roll
During his four years at Godley he won honors in four sports; football, basketball, baseball and track.
As a senior he was named the Class 2A Texas Player of the Year by the Associated Press, All-State by the Texas Sportswriters Association, the District 4 Most Valuable Player and the Johnson County Offensive Player of the Year.
He was also a member of the National Honor Society and served on both the Principal’s Leadership Committee as well as the PALS program.
His junior season was similar, garnering the TSWA’s All-State recognition, All-District First Team, All-County and District Player of the Year.
In his sophomore campaign he again earned All-District and All-County First Team and District Player of the Year.
Being named the District Offensive Newcomer of the Year as a freshman was a prelude of what was to come.
He qualified for the State track meet in the 4 x 100 meter and 4 x 200 meter relays and several other categories. In baseball he picked up All-District accolades as an outfielder in addition to being awarded All-District in basketball.
Determining how good Martinez is akin to Houston Oilers’ head coach, Bum Phillips being asked to compare Earl Campbell with the all-time great running backs; “In the class he’s in, it doesn’t take long to call the roll.”
Transitioning from prep to the collegiate ranks begins when SAGU players report to camp on August 13.
About SAGU football
Under Coach Godding the Lions’ ground game has risen from just 72.7 yards per game and 2.9 yards per carry in 2009 to 143.1 and 4.6 ypc in 2010.
Last fall the club ran for 159.8 and 4.0 as four ball-carriers had over 300 yards apiece. The rushing yards was second best in the Central States Football League, as was the team’s total offense (352.7) and scoring offense (30.0 points per game).
The Lions averaged 40 rush attempts per game and threw an average of 29 times per contest.
Junior quarterback Reid Golson (Grandview, Tx), who was fifth in the CSFL in running (491 yds, 4.0 ypc), returns after sharing playing time with Jason Rice (Katy, Tx) (414, 3.7).
Both backs return, giving SAGU a ‘backfield in motion.’ Haynes (350, 4.0) is a speedster who continues to add strength. Leuschner (LESH-nuhr) (307, 5.8) is a slasher with a low center of gravity.
The ground game is a likely strength as Southwestern also has four starting offensive linemen coming back.
SAGU starts their 10-game regular season on Labor Day weekend.
The Lions will play host to nationally ranked Bethany College (Kan) on Saturday, September 1. The Swedes went 8-3 last autumn, including a 29-21 home win over Southwestern.
After starting 3-1, SAGU entered the NAIA Coaches Poll for the first time. A pair of gut-wrenching setbacks, including one in overtime, led to a 4-6 final mark.