Outside of the Martarano inner circle there are hundreds perhaps thousands of Boise State football fans anxiously waiting for a decision from the familys only son.
Will Fruitland High senior Joe Martarano honor his verbal commitment to play football at Boise State, or will the outcome of the June 2013 Major League Baseball Draft be too much to resist?
The 6-foot-4, 230 pounder tries not to let the pressing question from the masses alter his path. He has decided, at least for now, to not allow a coveted opportunity to become a burden as he tries to enjoy his senior year.
I like them both, so either one I choose will be fun. Im not going to get too stressed out about it. Im just going to have fun, Martarano said.
He may not be committed to an answer, but hes extremely committed to the two sports he loves.
He decided to forgo his senior season of basketball giving up the opportunity to help his teammates attempt to win a third consecutive state title to focus on improving his skill and strength in football and baseball.
Martarano works out after school every day, spending time doing both speed and weight training. He still plans to sign his letter of intent with the Broncos in February.
Boise State is a for sure thing. We know its there. The baseball thing, we dont know whats going to happen, said Martaranos mom, Shauna. ... I just want his senior year to be fun. For him to enjoy what hes doing, because it goes so fast.
Last week, Martarano was named the Gatorade Idaho Football Player of the Year after helping Fruitland advance to its seventh consecutive 3A state championship game. As the starting quarterback, Martarano completed 62-of-97 passes for 1,175 yards this season, while producing 463 rushing yards and 22 total touchdowns.
At linebacker where Martarano would likely play at Boise State he had 50 solo tackles, 84 assisted tackles, four interceptions, two sacks and one fumble recovery.
Nearly all of those stats were collected in the first two quarters of Fruitlands games because the Grizzlies were so dominant during the regular season.
Fruitland lost in the state title game to Shelley, but a majority of the states 3A coaches voted Martarano as the classifications All-Idaho Player of the Year.
I think he is the best athlete that has ever come out of this high school, and I dont think very many people would argue with me on that one, Fruitland football coach Bruce Schlaich said. You look at what hes done in multiple sports, basketball included, hes just been a force.
Said Parma coach Luke Platz, Joe is one of the best football players I have ever coached against.
In baseball, Martarano is considered a potential first-round draft pick. ESPN ranks him as the No. 2 corner infielder and the No. 26 overall prospect in the high school class of 2013.
If he were drafted in the first round, his signing bonus could be in the neighborhood of $2.6 million, according to Baseball America.
At home, Martarano is not identified for his athletic accomplishments or potential, but instead as a caring brother and son.
He is a very kindhearted person. He may be big and scary, but he is a big teddy bear, said older sister Jarica, 20. Hes always putting others in front of himself. Very humble, a great role model for little kids. Hes just a very sweet person.
Its a stark contrast to his image on the field, where Martarano delivered what Fruitland refers to as 33 hammers, or big hits, this season.
Since he gave his commitment to Boise State the summer before his junior year, the hype surrounding Martarano has only continued to grow.
Fortunately, his ego hasnt followed suit.
Hes such a nice kid, Schlaich said. With everything thats going on, a kid could really get caught up in that and be very egotistical, but Joe is very, very grounded.
Those who know him best say Martarano will not be swayed by the lure of money and fame. When he finally makes his decision Boise State football or professional baseball? he will make it for the right reasons, they say.
He has dreams hes had since he was little, Shauna said. And whos to say they wont come true?
Until then, Joe is just going to continue being Joe.
He loves playing, Shauna said. No matter what sport it is, when hes playing, he loves it.
Rachel Roberts: 377-6422,Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX