Each week, we'll take an in-depth look at our All-State preseason football team and let you know how a few of those athletes are faring as the season progresses.
UP — Blake Martinez, Canyon del Oro (Oro Valley), LB
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound senior was recently named the state's No. 1 linebacker by The Arizona Republic. Martinez, a Stanford recruit, had 129 tackles and nine sacks last season. But what makes Martinez so impressive is his ability to make plays on both sides of the ball; he was an All-Region selection both on defense as well as offense, where he plays tight end. He scored 10 touchdowns on offense last season.
DOWN — Jarvis Lewis, Chaparral (Scottsdale), DL
Lewis' senior season could be in jeopardy before it ever took off. The senior, who had 13 sacks last season at Raymond S. Kellis before transferring to the state's top team, is being investigated by the AIA about whether or not he was recruited to play at Chaparral. It's a tough call for head coach Charlie Ragle. Do you play the star senior and risk forfeiting games he's played in if he's found ineligible? Or do you sit him and risk punishing a kid who is found to be cleared of wrongdoing? Either way, the Arizona State pledge's season is in doubt before it even started.
UP — Jalen Brown, Mountain Pointe (Phoenix), DB
We put a sophomore on our All-State football list. How can his stock already be up? Well, in a scrimmage against Phoenix North last week, Brown showed his freshman season wasn't a fluke by helping the defense hold North scoreless. He also showed flashes of skill on the offensive side of the ball, as he caught a touchdown pass as well. Look, it was a scrimmage. It's hard to take too much away from it. The point is Brown is a kid we'll be paying close attention to this fall.