Columbia High School quarterback Jimmy Martinez has committed to play football at Middlebury College.
Martinez, who finished his Cougar career as a first-team All-Super Essex Conference selection, says the Division III liberal arts school in Vermont was the best fit for him academically as well as athletically.
“Middlebury is a place where I can get a great education and play football at a high level,” Martinez said. “They take both very seriously. That’s what I wanted.”
Martinez, who considered mostly Ivy League and other top academic schools, first drew the attention of Middlebury coaches last summer at a Cornell University workout. He said they offered him the chance to compete for a starting spot immediately, most likely as a receiver, and to play for a consistent winner. Middlebury has a combined 20-4 record over the past three seasons.
At Columbia, Martinez played quarterback, wide receiver, defensive back and kick returner as a senior captain under first-year coach John Power.
While the Cougars finished 1-9, including some heartbreaking last-minute losses, Martinez had an outstanding individual season, piling up nearly 1,000 all-purpose yards, scoring 11 touchdowns and throwing two touchdown passes. In one game against Orange, Martinez pulled off the feat of rushing for a touchdown, throwing for a touchdown and catching a touchdown pass.
In addition to being a first-team All-Super Essex Conference pick from the Liberty Division, the 6′-2″, 175-pound Martinez was named by the New Jersey Football Coaches Association to its Super 100 team of the top high school seniors in the state.