2013 Boise State football recruit faces tough choice

By Brian Murphy

Fruitland High two-sport standout Joey Martarano knows he might face a difficult, potentially life-changing, decision in the summer of 2013 — pursue a professional baseball career or play football at Boise State.

He just prefers not to think about it right now.

“It’s definitely easy to look forward, but I want to enjoy these years,” said Martarano, a junior at Fruitland where he plays football, baseball and basketball.

The 6-foot-3, 233-pounder played quarterback and linebacker for the Grizzlies, which lost in the 3A state title game in 2011. He has committed to Boise State for the Class of 2013. He’s also a slugging third baseman on the baseball team, batting .475 with 16 home runs for the Grizzlies, who captured the state title in 2011.

Martarano turned down an invitation to the Area Code Baseball Games, a showcase event where the players are picked by scouts, last summer to concentrate on football. But his dad, Victor, said his son would play in the all-star event this year in early August, owing it to himself to pursue the baseball option.

That doesn’t mean Martarano is leaning toward baseball. Victor said it would be difficult to send an 18-year-old to the pros. Baseball’s new labor agreement will make it harder for teams to give draftees the kind of signing bonuses that have lured them away from football in the past. Joey said that he is committed to football.

“I love them both, but right now I’m committed to football. I’ll make that decision when the time comes,” Martarano said. “I just love the hitting, everything (in football). It’s the most fun game you can play, I think.”

Martarano sees himself as a middle linebacker, but he said Boise State coaches have talked to him about being an outside linebacker/defensive end, like the role Shea McClellin played for the Broncos in 2011. He said he is working on his speed in preparation for college football. He said the staff changes at Boise State have not changed his mind.

"I'm sure they'll get great coaches coming in. It's a great program," he said.

Martarano is also playing basketball for the Grizzlies, which won the state title in 2011 as well. Though it’s clearly his third-best sport, Martarano is a starter and key contributor for Fruitland.

“He’s probably going to go in the first round of the baseball draft. He’s already (committed to) Boise State. So we are a hobby,” Fruitland basketball coach Mike Fitch said. “Joey plays as hard or harder than anybody. He makes it to stuff in the summer. He is committed to us. He is completely committed to us.

“It just so happens that baseball and football are up here,” Fitch said, raising his hand above his head. “And basketball is a step below. Joey’s favorite sport is whatever season it is. He’s a Fruitland guy. It could be cricket out here and he would be a starter and go as hard as he can.”

• "He’s a big kid. You run into him, it’s like hitting a brick wall," said Melba High basketball star Joey Nebeker, who has signed with Boise State.

• ESPN.com also chronicled Martarano’s tough decision.

• Area Code Games (this is from the Web site): "The process begins with an invitation to a MLB-run regional tryout and invitations are sent based upon recommendations made to those MLB scouts in charge of one of the eight teams. The process to make it on an Area Code Baseball roster is difficult, but it is a rewarding experience. There are approximately 3,000 invitations mailed out each year to attend a tryout, and a total of approximately 200 players are selected to play in the Games in August."

Colorado State QB to transfer

• Colorado State quarterback Pete Thomas, a two-year starter, will transfer after coach Steve Fairchild was fired.

• The Mountain West and Conference USA continue to work on a potential merger.

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Joey can do both, as others have

He can go with baseball without starting college. If it works out, great. If not, he can enroll in college starting his eligibility clock for football. The best part is, he then wouldn't have to sell any memorabilia to afford his bronco-head tattoo.

First round MLB draft?

First round MLB draft? Ummmm.... probably not.

I enjoy watching all levels

I enjoy watching all levels of Idaho sports and how many ignorant people are out there. I've watched this kid play up close and personal so it's not a knock on him in the slightest. Seems like a great kid with a ton of potential. What cracks me up is the arrogance of schools like Fruitland. Really? The U? It's 3A competition people. You are not producing first round athletes nor many D1 athletes. No one in Idaho is.


I've watched him as well. What cracks me up is the arrogance of people like you.

How is my statement

How is my statement arrogant? Just an observation. Putting "The U" on your team hat is arrogant. Fruitland would be .500 at best in the 5A SIC. Pretty sure teams could figure out the ol' WingT

If you change your statement around to...

"Boise State would be .500 at best in the SEC"

I'd hafta agree that your previous statement was pretty arrogant. I guess elitism knows no boundaries.


Elitism? Arrogance? Or just facts. I figured someone would bring that up :) BSU would do better than that. Why? Because they can recruit... and other than dollars spent are playing on an even playing field when it comes to numbers of players, scholarships etc. When it comes to Idaho school classification it comes down to numbers.Post this text somewhere in the "2013 Boise State football recruit faces tough choice" thread:

"more on hitting the curveball" ... Since you obviously know baseball, I figured that would be a good one.Fruitland would beat the Boise's and Borah's of the world because Fruitland would probably outcoach them and they DO have good athletes. But well rounded, well coached teams like Capital, Mt. View, Eagle, Centennial, etc. would beat them easily most of the time. Could a kid like this Joe star at any of those schools? No question about it! Teams with 4 coaches and 40 players drawn from 250 students can't compete day in and day out with schools that have 60 players drawn from 1000. Apples to oranges.

§ Close enough

Welcome to the crew.

Group email goes out now.

Have you ever watched the kid Play?


Yes... but my comment is not

Yes... but my comment is not really pointed at him. I just find it funny how people think because a kid has a touchdown catch against Parma that he is the next Randy Moss. Honestly. There are 30 MLB teams. One of those teams is using their #1 pick on a kid who plays zero competition? Who devotes at most 1/3 of his time to a sport? He's being recruited as a defensive lineman. I'm just doing the math. Maybe if he was a pitcher who threw 95 but I didn't read that.

You math is correct

But the idea that "competition" level has a whole lot to do with the next level couldn't be more wrong. This kid is a 5-tool prospect in baseball, all you need to do is watch him practice. BSU didn't offer him because he could tackle a kid from Parma, they offered him because he moves like a QB, hits like a linebacker and is as big as a DE.

I remember once in JC ball we had a kid on the team that couldn't hit a basketball thrown underhand at 30 feet, But, he could throw a ball 300 feet on a rope and run like the wind....2nd round pick.

IMO, this kid, right now, is one of the best baseball prospects in the northwest. First round, who knows? I doubt you or I do.

Oh one other thing... sadly

Oh one other thing... sadly competition does have ALOT to do with it. There are great athletes at all levels. Doesn't matter where you are born or who you play for. Coaches and scouts DEFINITELY take into account WHO you are putting your numbers up against. If you transcend that you'll get a chance but if its compared apples to apples, they'll take the California kid every single time. That's fact.


I know many many .400 high school hitters at all levels that will never get drafted. The idea that a team these days will spend more money on a 2 tool kid than a 4-5 tool kid just because he has a California address... is kinda dumb.

AGREE!!!! Don't forget a

AGREE!!!! Don't forget a guy like Mike Piazza only got drafted as a favor... its a pretty inexact science. Seriously if you haven't seen Moneyball yet, check it out!

§ Harmon Killebrew

was from Payette (not news, I know). Not even a speck on the MLB map way back then (or even now).

The odds are not great, but they aren't zero, either.

I've never seen Martarano play and know only what I've read here about him. Question for those who have: Can he hit a curveball?

LOL The eternal question of

LOL The eternal question of the curveball. Why most kids come home early. Quick story... Im sitting in the Mariner's dugout one day talking to Dave (Hendu) Henderson and he's telling me how much he loves retirement. I was a young kid at the time and I told him "I've only got about 30 years before I can retire." He looks me straight in the eye and says..."Kid, you shoulda learned to hit the curveball." Amen. I think we are kinda past the days of the brawny slugger discovered by the fedora-wearing scout who's driving by a cornfield in his Buick and sees a Mickey Mantle pulling a plow. That's what made baseball great and "golden" but empirical data carries more weight these days. Of course that is why a kid like Joe could get drafted that high... more likely now than back then when people drafted by archaic standards. Now if only the NFL would quit drafting QB's that way!!! Really Blaine Gabbart? JaMarcus Russell? I'd take Kellen Moore and win (ala Drew Brees)!

Sounds like you spent a few years

beating the bushes.......

I'd say you were a good 15 years behind me....

Sure is different these days

Any of the 5 tools I once

Any of the 5 tools I once had are long gone my friend!

My 3

are hanging in the garage...

I have no garage but I have two sheds.


People are broad-minded. They'll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater and even a newspaperman, but if a man doesn't drive, there's something wrong with him.



yes, great flick


I agree with much of what

I agree with much of what you're saying. Again not a knock on the kid, he's a really good athlete. Have you seen Moneyball? A lot of funny scenes about the "5 tool" player. I can name many "5 tool" athletes from Idaho who got drafted fairly high (not 1st round) who were home in 2 years (all of them). The first round is usually reserved for phenoms and pitchers. Hard to prove, hard to know. There are always exceptions to the rule. I simply find Fruitland arrogant beyond what they deserve to be. If they weren't the Buffalo Bills of the 3A that would be one thing. In baseball, their coach is good at telling kids how to wear their socks and how to read charts taped to their wrist but has never won a thing above 3A . Couldn't even hack TVCC which isn't exactly the big time, did blow a 5A state championship with a loaded team back at Minico where he got routinely outcoached. By the way, one of the so called 5 tools is Major League speed. If he had that he might be being recruited in football at a skill position. :) That being said I hope he stars for 4 years at Boise State. Would be great to see.

Your name says it all, KNOWSLITTLE

LOL yep... don't know much,

LOL yep... don't know much, just like the song says. Ironic isn't it. BTW "who's" on first. WHAT??? Second base!

Area Code Games


Great debate going on here. I'm not weighing in one way or the other on his draft status because I simply don't know. But I posted some additional information on the Area Code Baseball Games in the blog and I was told earlier today (before I posted the blog) that getting invited to the event is a pretty big deal.

Money quote on the Area Code Games: "There are approximately 3,000 invitations mailed out each year to attend a tryout, and a total of approximately 200 players are selected to play in the Games in August."

-- murph

Didn't that kid

from BK a few years ago play in these games?

Josh Osich... made a good

Josh Osich... made a good name for himself at Oregon State. Don't get me started on BK. LOL

§ knows

Don't know if you may be interested. There's a group of BSU (and sports in general) fans who get together from time-to-time to talk about the college football scene and whatever else comes up. And yes, B43S42U is one of the crew. We are planning on meeting on 2/1 (Signing Day) around noon near the BSU campus to yammer and commiserate.

If you are inclined, email me at tempholding@q.com and be sure to use your screen name. This is a temp email address that will allow me to get back with you while verifying that no trolls get through.

You guys don't wear black

You guys don't wear black robes and chant do you? :) Or if I come you're not going to beat me up right??? lol

§ No robes, no chants

Everyone is respected and looked upon with favor. It's a good group with lots of fun give-and-take. You might be surprised at the number of professionals involved. There are two women pros who have vowed to maintain a semblance of order.

It's varied with some on the younger side, families with small children. Then some older salts like B43S42U (better known as tfunk) and me.

ugly - razor respects Beavers and treats them with favor

I understand from one of his prior posts that he thinks they should go back to Corvalis and sit in a pile of their own 'fecal matter':


Ω DBeav
Submitted by razor on Wed, 01/04/2012 - 8:09pm.
You're old and not the least bit interesting.
Go back to Corvallis and sit in your own shít.
Read more here: http://voices.idahostatesman.com/2011/12/21/bmurphy/mountain_west_commish_sugar_bowl_never_called_him_bcs_aq_status_#comment-404738#storylink=cpy


Can Beavers attend his meetup and be respected and looked upon with favor, or are they personas non grata?

ugly - do you think he was serious or just 'joking'?

Just curious.

Go 2012 Broncos.

BAA Member #63799

PS - ugly - do you think the women pros he refers to, are Beavers?

VNDL....Football blogs are more informative when

a diverse set of opinions are allowed....thats the problem with political discussions, its either focused dem or repub, and not focused on problem solving....

What good is a blog if the dude from Corvalis gets censored? The Broncos are a national team now, thus you will get viewers around the nation that normally would have not paid attention to the Broncos in the past....

Was he serious or joking? Well, with censorship software one must conclude serious....but dont know....

People from around the Nation are paying attention to the Broncos because they are winners....people like to surround themselves around winners....

ugly - Do you think

the Beaver actually went back to Corvalis and sat in a pile of his own 'fecal matter' like razor told him to do, just because it was razor telling him to do it, like razor's post to him said for him to do?

Do you think most of the people who read razor's posting, think razor is a poor representative of the BSU Bronco Football Team - or - do you think most of the people who read razor's posting, think razor is a True Leader and would make a Great Spokesman for Bronco Nation?

I am curious what you think, as you are one of the most astute posters to these boards.

Go 2012 Broncos.

BAA Member #63799

Does competition really mean anything?

This argument is made to SEC fans all the time. Who cares what level of competition a player has? If they excel, they deserve a look. It's attitudes like that which keep players from schools like Mississippi Valley State from ever succeeding. It's a good thing this mentality wasn't as blatant when Jerry Rice went there. He would've never been in the NFL.

True greatness finds its way

True greatness finds its way to the top. I guarantee Jerry Rice ended up at Mississippi Valley State because of "where he came from." Why wasn't he recruited to Michigan or Texas? It's a tale as old as time. Whether or not its right, competition played against has always been used as a barometer if a kid can compete at that level. Why do you think BSU very rarely recruits an Idaho kid. And when they do its a kid like McClellan from MARSING! Interesting sidenote that might be worth looking into. In my experience I've noticed that almost every single kid that was "local" and made it at BSU or in pro baseball (ie McClellan or a kid like Brock Forsey or I believe Jon Gaston to use a top baseball prospect) all moved here from California or somewhere like that as a kid. Maybe there's something in the water??? Back to the "who cares what level of competition" statement... if I went out right now and played football with a bunch of four year olds and scored 20 TD's would I be good enough to get a look from LSU? It matters. It's not always how many games you've won but who you beat.

Interesting question ya tossed out there Sanford

I would have to say yes and no.

One one hand, if a player has true talent, it's going to shine through regardless of what level the of competition might be, but on the other hand, when that talented player is grouped with other talented players, his or her skills and attributes will determine whether or not competition really means anything. For instance, look at all the outstanding high school prospects who land scholarships. While it's evident that they're all talented players, a higher level of competition will determine which players are starters and which players land on the depth chart. Is it tougher for a football player to earn a spot on a FCS roster, or a FBS roster? What about an NFL roster as opposed to a CFL roster?

Interesting question, however, I'd have to say that yes, competition does matter

1st round

The idea that an Idaho kid couldn't be a first rounder is unfounded. I went to Vallivue High School in the 80's when it was 3A and Idaho was much more of a backwater than it is now and I remember Mike Lehman getting drafted in the 2nd round. If he hadn't tore his rotator cuff in AAA I heard he would have gone far. The fact is that it doesn't matter where a kid is at anymore. Mike Miller was a 5-star college basketball recruit out of South Dakota and that was in the 90's.

Furthermore, ESPN is writing stories about Matarano so it is a safe bet that he is legit and pro scouts know it. And finally, I haven't seen too many puff pieces out of the Statesman lately. They spend all day researching sports and seem to know their stuff.

I would imagine that where he gets picked will depend heavily on whether he is willing to sign with a MLB team, not on where he played high school ball.

Just to be clear these

Just to be clear these comments are NOT about Joe Matarano. It's much more theoretical. Could a kid from Iceland be a #1 pick? Of course! It just isn't likely. And we've been sharing the truths as to why. A few years ago we might've all said a BSU player will never be drafted in the first round or even be invited to the combine. Or how many people drove to Texas the first time we played TCU in the "whatever" bowl because we thought it might be a once in a lifetime chance? Exceptions to every rule. Odds are still stacked against, especially for a non pitcher. All I'm saying. And that any school no matter the size calling themselves the U is ridiculous! And since I've lived here the Statesman has constantly overstated lots of things like "star wide receiver" and "legendary coach" and blah blah blah. "Legendary coaches" don't go 0-fer when they don't have a stacked deck. But I digress. I like Murphy, the other guys are nerds :) Just kidding. And the Rachel Roberts girl is cute :) Can't say so much for Cripe. Now I'm rambling.

how many scholarship offers does he have?

I have no idea about this Matarano kid, but I'm wondering, if this kid is as good as he's hyped to be and is a possible first round pick, how many baseball scholarships has he received? I ask that because if he's on the MLB scout's radar, then one would be inclined to think that he'd have a ton of scholarship offers. Does anyone know? If I miised it in the article I apologize


Because he's committed to BSU, he won't see a lot of football offers until his senior year. He'll probably see all the PAC2 schools make a run at him late. Baseball wise is a little tougher to find out publicly, he could have a dozen offers right now and there is no way for us to know. But if he did actually turn down an invite to the Area Code Games, I can guarantee you he will be able to write his ticket to any school for baseball.

As far as the draft, that's a crap shoot really. The changes being made (caps on draft money) will make "buying" two-sport guys a little more of a science. My bet is that someone will take him in the middle rounds just to hold his rights and hope he doesn't like college as much as he thinks he will.

The U?

Read the article twice, didn't see it. Where did that come from?

The U thing is something

The U thing is something I've seen firsthand, and made me laugh. College baseball is an odd duck. The top tiers lose a ton of the best kids to the MLB draft. Then another large chunk go to JCs so they can get drafted after a year or to improve their D1 potential. Then you have kids like the Wong kid from Boise/Timberline that refused the draft to go to A&M. Best high school hitter I ever saw. Cincy even flew him in to take BP to try and sway him. Went to play D1 and never got the same chance he would have out of high school. Mistake? You'd have to ask him. Left a lot of money on the table. The draft is different than most people think to. It's really only about 10 rounds although it can go 60 some rounds. Teams are drafting the best prospects (in their opinion, however its formed) with their top picks. They will then take a kid like the Fruitland kid in the mid 20's-40's if he's leaning toward football and its called a draft and follow. Knowing he won't sign but could get him later. The other kids drafted are to fill in spots on the farm teams so the top 10 kids can get innings. Occasionally there's the story about the 30th round kid making it big but that's not what its intended for. Most people think because you get drafted in the 45th round out of Southern Idaho that they really want you to make it to the show. Not the case most of the time. Unless you amaze you will be cut... and you will not get the same opportunities as the top picks, no matter if you outperform him. He got the bonus, you didn't.

No Draft and Follow

There is no draft and follow under the new MLB draft rules. Team must sign the kid by July 15 or lose the pick like Pittsburg lost Mark Appel, their #8 pick in the 2012 draft.

The bonus pool also limits amounts teams pay in bonuses. Going over can mean losing next yrs first round pick.

2012 signing bonuses were much less than in previous years. A mid second round pick signed for an average of $800,000, far from the millions some casual fans might expect.