The Bruins' chances at securing a quarterback for their upcoming recruiting class just saw a spike.
Class of 2022 quarterback Justyn Martin decommitted from California on Tuesday, a decision that had some buildup after a runway of anticipation ad clues. UCLA football made Martin an offer on June 14 and reportedly remained in contact with the signal-caller through the summer, plus he had an official visit to Ole Miss on Sept. 17.
Martin announced his decision to reopen his commitment on Twitter, thanking Cal coach Justin Wilcox and others for respecting his decision.
Arizona State, Kansas, Nebraska, Oregon and USC were among the schools that offered the Inglewood High School (CA) product before he committed to Cal, but UCLA, Ole Miss and Michigan joined the fray after he had pledged to the Golden Bears.
Having already wrapped up his trip to Oxford, Mississippi, Martin has now penciled in a date to visit the Bruins.
The 6-foot-4 Martin will take his official to UCLA on Oct. 23, the day the team plays Oregon at the Rose Bowl. Outside of the conference standings, postseason and Chip Kelly legacy implications the game has, it now also stands as a key recruiting date for the future of the Bruins quarterback room.
Of the 11 commits UCLA has for its 2022 recruiting class, not one is a quarterback. The other four signal-callers Kelly and quarterbacks coach Ryan Gunderson have offered are all currently committed elsewhere.
The coaching staff has seemingly made an impression on Martin, however, as he told SI All-American's John Garcia Jr. over the weekend.
"UCLA was probably my dream school coming up," he said. "Coach Gundy has been talking to me for the longest. They really just see me coming in and being a great fit for the program. Gundy talks about my game, and my ability to do things, especially with my frame and my size. ... I'm just soaking everything in, especially from Chip (Kelly), who is a greatly-experienced coach. He's developed high level quarterbacks before so I'm just thanking him for the opportunity."
Martin is a four-star prospect according to 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN. 247Sports has Martin ranked as the No. 16 quarterback in the country, while Rivals and ESPN both have him at No. 13.
SI All-American has Martin ranked the highest among his peers, slotting him in at No. 12 in their preseason watch list for quarterbacks. Here is what Garcia and Bryan Driskell had to say about Martin back in early July:
Martin is one of the more intriguing prospects in the country, and this ranking is more about outstanding raw talent and potential than it is about proven production to date. Martin is a one year starter, and that one year was incredibly short due to COVID-19. What Martin has, however, is tremendous raw tools that could allow him to far outplay this ranking.
If you’re someone who values prototypical quarterback size then you’ll love Martin. He’s listed at 6-4 and 201 pounds and he’s still on the thin side. He’ll continue to fill out and pack on even more mass to his frame. As he matures and gets stronger you’ll also see his arm get even stronger, which is something considering how well he already throws the football.
The ball explodes out of Martin’s hand and he can make every throw on the field. He easily attacks the more difficult parts of the field and he is a confident passer. Martin has long arms, which creates a longer throwing zone for him, and at times that creates inconsistency with his release point. With more coaching and refinement he’ll get more compact with his motion, which should help his accuracy. Martin also has to improve his decision making and timing, but the tools are special.
Martin was not one of the eight quarterbacks who made the preseason SI99 in August.
His first year as a starter was the COVID-shortened 2020 season. The high point of his campaign was his eight touchdown performance in a win over John Muir High School at the Rose Bowl on April 10.
Martin told 247Sports' Greg Biggins he aims to make his commitment soon after his UCLA visit in either late October or early November. Michigan, Ole Miss and USC are expected to be in the running as well.