Freshman running back is one to watch

Martell Pettaway hasn't played a down of high school football yet, but already the 2016 prospect from Saint Clair Shores (Mich.) South Lake has started to make a name for himself. Not bad for a kid who was playing PAL (little league) in Detroit this fall.
"I played for the Eastside Falcons," the freshman explained. "We went to the city semifinals, so it was a pretty good year. The whole season I had about 25 touchdowns, and I ran for about 2,000, so that was pretty good."
Pettaway, who participates in the Maximum Exposure program that has sent several players to Michigan - including Terry Richardson and Dennis Norfleet in 2012, and Shane Morris and Jourdan Lewis in 2013, among others - burst onto the scene Feb. 18 at the Best of the Midwest Combine in Indianapolis.
Although the Max Ex bus never made it to Indianapolis that morning, Pettaway was one of a few members of the program who still made it down to Indy. He missed the testing portion of the combine, but impressed in individual and team drills.
"I didn't get here in time to do the combine, so I wish I would have gotten here on time so I could do the 40," he said. "But other than that, I think I did pretty well. My footwork and my speed were pretty good, and in the blocking drills, my strength. I think I did the best on that one. I think overall, I give myself a B+ because the combine wasn't included."
Pettaway's first varsity season as a sophomore this upcoming fall will be a chance for him to show colleges and scouts what he can do. He hasn't heard from any schools yet, but once they see what he's capable of, it's only a matter of time before they come calling.
"I have a lot of versatility," he explained. "I could play running back, split out to the slot, I can do everything basically on the field. I would say my best things are my speed and my agility."
"It's about going D-1. If a good school shows interest, I'm going to go visit, especially once I look into their program. I'd like to take as many visits as I can right now. Being a freshman, it's still early, but I want to see as much as possible."
He will have some help when it comes to the recruiting process. South Lake 2014 linebacker/tight end Jalen Dingle has an offer from Toledo, and UCLA is among those who have already offered 2015 offensive lineman Kyonta Stallworth. Having those two on his team will also help have a successful year on the gridiron.
It definitely is early in the process for 2016 prospects. This fall, when he showcases his skills on the varsity stage, expect the first signs of college attention to pick up for this high-potential prospect.