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Football is not the only thing driving Fishers' Khobie Martin

Faith, family, and football are at the center of Khobie Martin’s universe.

HS Football Articles_Martin feature

Faith, family, and football are at the center of Khobie Martin's universe.

"My faith plays a huge role in everything in my life," explained the Fishers High senior running back. "I pray before God before every game and I also talk to God throughout the day every day trying to understand the lessons he's teaching me.

"I have a strong family with strong parents, so I cannot say enough about how much my mom and dad have done for me and all my brothers. Making sure we feel supported and know God and how to be good people. We see them working hard, raising kids, and supporting the community, so you know that faith and family is the foundation.

The 6-foot, 195-pound Martin has also provided plenty of inspiration on the gridiron for the No. 10 Tigers this fall with 179 carries for 1,252 yards with 18 touchdowns and three catches for 29 yards.

Since getting his first introduction in the third grade, Martin has had a passion for the game.

"I have always loved playing football with friends and at school," recalled Martin. "Watching the game with my Uncle Chris and Uncle Bruce as a little kid, I just loved the excitement of the game when there is a great play. We used to watch the (Seattle) Seahawks and I loved watching (running back) Marshawn Lynch run the ball.

"I also used to go to my cousin Cameron's rec games in Michigan. He was a great quarterback like his dad, my Uncle Bruce, but my uncle always said I was going to be running back or linebacker because of my toughness and I guess he was right."

This was evident on October 27 in Fishers' Class 6A semifinal contest with Homestead as Martin carried the ball 20 times for 205 yards with five touchdowns in a 42-14 victory.

After getting a taste of varsity action as a sophomore with 27 rushes for 173 yards with three touchdowns, he really came into his own a year ago with 165 carries for 1,194 yards with 16 scores to earn all-state accolades.

"I would definitely say my strengths are my power, vision, and my balance," explained Martin. "I spend a lot of time during the off-season with my trainer, Coach Steven Shackleford. He is the best and has definitely been one of my biggest supporters. We focus on technique and skill training and I would definitely say this has elevated my game. I have always been a natural athlete, but with a great trainer, my skill has improved. I would say I am always working on increasing my speed. I am definitely a powerful and agile runner, but adding some more speed helps upgrade my game and will help me master my craft."

Martin definitely and literally wears his faith on his sleeve.

"My brothers and I have all have 'Psalm 128:2' tattooed on our arms," Martin said. " 'You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.' The verse is part of a psalm that speaks of the blessings of fearing the Lord and walking in His ways. The promise of the verse is that the labor of one's hands will not be in vain, and the fruit of one's labor will be enjoyed with comfort and satisfaction, and we all live by this."

Having been blessed throughout his life, Martin enjoys giving back by playing an active part in Fishers' football leadership team as well as the Heartland Church.

"Leadership is everything, but without leaders, it's hard to come together and work as a team," explained Martin, who has a 2.9 grade-point average. "The Fishers leadership team is made up of players who have been identified by the coaches and other players are leaders and mentors of the team. We motivate, encourage and listen to players and the coaches and work to help set the standards. The goal is to have a team full of player leaders because that's a team that can win a championship."

Since coming to Fishers four years ago, Curt Funk has watched Martin grow up and prosper on and off the field.

"I am really proud of Khobie and his accomplishments," Funk said. "Khobie has worked hard the past four years and improved his game as a running back. Khobie has great vision and power as a running back. Khobie helps build his teammates up and encourages them. Khobie has a big heart to help others and always has a big smile on his face. I am excited to watch Khobie play at the next level because I know he is going to accomplish big things."

Martin has been equally impressed with his boss.

"Coach Funk has created not just a great football culture but a safe space, a brotherhood, and is working hard to make us better men," Martin said. "He's always preaching about discipline, accountability, and toughness. That's something that Fishers as a whole has stood for the whole season. The team and I have felt so supported by him and we know that he has our back and best interest in mind. I'm definitely going to miss him."

That's because Martin will be moving on to compete for Indiana University next fall.

"Me and (Indiana head) Coach (Tom) Allen have an amazing relationship," Martin said.  "I look up to him as a role model, mentor and coach. His leadership skills and faith are both things I aspire to as a man. I talk to Coach Allen at least once a week and we talk about everything, life, school, and family. Knowing that he has a huge football program to manage but still cares enough about me to check in on how things are going on in my life means a lot to me.

"As a kid growing up in Indiana, you grow up loving IU sports. Coach Allen is building a solid program at IU and I see and believe in his vision and want to be part of what makes it great."

Before heading off to Bloomington, Indiana, though, Martin and his teammates have to take care of business on November 3 when No. 10 Fishers (7-3) travels to No. 6 and rival Hamilton Southeastern (8-2) for the Class 6A Sectional 3 championship.

"I am always working on improving my IQ," Martin said. "I had a running back's coach at a (NCAA) power-five school tell me that as a running back, the more you recognize defensive play, the more power you can add to your run because you know where the other team is going to line up. That has really stuck with me and I have been focusing on that more because I really believe that will really show and help me in college."

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