North Texas has its quarterback for its 2018 recruiting class.
Kason Martin, who emerged as a college prospect during his first season as a starter as a junior at Manvel last fall, committed to UNT late last week. He announced his decision Sunday night.
Martin recently attended UNT offensive coordinator Graham Harrell's summer camp for quarterbacks and wide receivers. The 6-3, pro-style quarterback cited his relationship with Harrell and the rest of UNT's coaching staff as a key reason he committed.
"I grew up watching coach Harrell play at Texas Tech," Martin said Sunday shortly after announcing his commitment. "Everyone remembers the play he made against Texas. I have been a Texas Tech fan for a long time. To watch him and now to play for him is really cool."
Martin chose UNT over an offer from Texas A&M-Commerce, a Division II school. Cornell, Harvard, Yale and Rice also showed interest.
Martin said Texas Tech was his dream school. He grew up watching the Red Raiders and vividly recalls the game-winning touchdown pass Harrell threw to Michael Crabtree with a second left the gave Texas Tech a win against Texas in 2008.
The Red Raiders picked up a commitment from Grapevine quarterback Alan Bowman earlier this week.
Martin quickly committed to UNT after Texas Tech added Bowman.
The decision was an easy one for Martin once Texas Tech decided to go in a different direction. He has found a comfort zone at UNT after attending a series of camps over the summer.
"The staff seemed so connected," Martin said. "I really wanted to be a part of the family."
Martin wants to study audio and video in college. UNT has a noted media arts program, which also factored into Martin's decision.
Committing to UNT was the latest milestone in a life-changing year for Martin. He played behind D'Eriq King as a sophomore before stepping into the starting quarterback role last season while playing for his father, Manvel coach Kirk Martin. King started four games for Houston last season.
Martin stepped up to the challenge of replacing King while throwing for nearly 3,500 yards and 46 touchdowns in 2016. The Houston Chronicle named Martin it's All-Greater Houston Newcomer of the Year.
Martin also was a first-team All-District 22-5A selection.
Kirk Martin believes his son is just starting to tap into his potential.
"Coach Harrell said he studied film of Kason," Kirk Martin said. "He asked me, 'What we are missing? Why hasn't he gotten more offers?' He told me that he saw a lot of himself in Kason. He has touch and stands in there and throws the ball."
Kirk Martin also credited his son for having a firm grasp of the air raid offense. Manvel runs largely the same system as UNT.
Martin will join a UNT program that is quickly rebuilding under coach Seth Littrell. The Mean Green finished 5-8 after falling to Army in the Heart of Dallas Bowl last season, a dramatic improvement over a 1-11 campaign the previous year.
The Mean Green have Mason Fine returning for his sophomore season after he started nine games as a true freshman. The Mean Green lost Alabama transfer Alec Morris to graduation and have one other young scholarship quarterback on the roster, Cade Pearson.
Pearson enrolled at the semester break, went through spring practice and will be a freshman this fall.
Martin is hoping to help UNT build on its quick start under Littrell.
"North Texas isn't on the national map," Martin said. "But I want to help it get there."
BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 and via Twitter at @brettvito.