LJ goes from Eagle to Cougar
Canutillo football standout set to play for Brigham Young University
Posted on 02/01/2023
This is the image for the news article titled Canutillo football standout set to play for Brigham Young University The secret is out: Canutillo High School star running back LJ Martin announced on Wednesday that he will attend and play football at Brigham Young University next fall.

The announcement ended months of speculation of which school Martin — one of El Paso’s top-rated Division 1 college football recruits — would choose from among the more than a dozen offers he received over the last year.

“I’m taking my talents to BYU,” Martin said as he put on a blue BYU cap in front of a packed audience in the Canutillo High School auditorium.

Martin said he was impressed by the academic offerings at BYU as well as the outstanding football program, including the coaches and the Division 1 facilities in Provo, Utah.

BYU will get one of Canutillo’s best football players in its history.

Martin is an All-State, All-City recruit whose high-school stats show he rushed for more than 6,000 yards and scored 56 touchdowns. In his varsity career he had more than 600 carries with only one fumble.

The proud Eagle thanked the Canutillo and Anthony communities who supported him throughout his youth, and made it a point to personally thank his parents, family, friends, teachers and — of course — his coaches.

Included in his thank-yous was Canutillo Head Coach Scott Brooks, who called Martin one of the best players he’s ever coached.

“LJ is one of the most talented players I’ve seen, but everything he’s done he’s worked hard for,” he said. “He’s also an amazing kid. All these honors and he’s not let it go to his head.”

Hundreds of well wishers, including teachers and fellow students, were present to witness Martin’s signing ceremony on Wednesday.

Acting Principal Candice Marrufo said the entire Canutillo High School community is proud to celebrate along with LJ.

“He’s an amazing student and an incredible athlete who has done so much to put the name of our school on top,” she said. “We know he will continue to find success in the future. BYU is lucky to get him.”

BYU officials were elated to welcome Martin into the Cougar Family. The official BYU Football Instagram account posted a video of Martin in a Cougar uniform just minutes after his announcement.

Martin is the highest-rated high school running back to ever sign with BYU, according to Sports Illustrated.