Thursday, April 26, 2012 | 2:05 a.m.
College basketball coaches from Drake, Idaho State and Montana State were recruiting Palo Verde High senior Jordyn Martin over the past months, telling the 6-foot-7, 210-pound forward how much potential they believed he had.
However, they never offered him a spot on their rosters.
Then, about two weeks ago, a school the Martin family was more than familiar with surprisingly reached out with a scholarship offer.
New Northern Arizona University coach Jack Murphy contacted Martin shortly after being hired with similar words of praise and, more important, a scholarship.
Martin’s father, Torry Martin, played football for NAU in the 1980s, and his mother, Tammy, also attended the school. But until Murphy was hired, NAU coaches never recruited Jordyn Martin.
Jordyn Martin, who averaged 11 points and nine rebounds a game this winter in helping Palo Verde reach the Sunset Regional title game, signed a national letter of intent Tuesday. Not only was NAU the lone program to offer him a scholarship, but the Flagstaff, Ariz., school is like a second home with family members living in the area.
“It’s going to be really cool continuing a (family) tradition,” he said. “It’s exciting to be part of (Murphy’s) first signing class. I’m going to be part of a group trying to bring winning back to NAU.”
NAU won just five games last year in finishing last in the Big Sky Conference — a fact the Martin family had to consider.
“No one was willing to pull the trigger on the full-ride (scholarship),” Torry Martin said. “But Murphy had heard of Jordyn and saw some tape. Although my wife and I went there, we were still horrified when Northern Arizona called because, quite honestly, you want your child to go somewhere successful. But the new coach is great. He’s a winner and has a vision. We are excited (Jordyn) can continue the Lumberjack tradition.”
Waiting to receive the a scholarship offer required a lot of patience. Jordyn Martin was scheduled to play in a showcase for unsigned players before NAU coaches became involved in his recruitment.
“I understood the whole process and why I wasn’t getting offers,” he said. “Those coaches were doing their job. It did put a chip on my shoulder to work harder.”
His parents couldn’t be happier for their son to be part of the new era of NAU basketball.
“Everyone is excited in Flagstaff. (Murphy) has created a buzz in that town,” Torry Martin said.