Jan. 26—Martell Mora and Eastern New Mexico University just felt right.
Making decision on what college to attend is never easy, especially when it comes to playing football for that school. Mora said he was fortunate that one of the first schools that showed interest in the Santa Fe High senior running back/safety ended up being the perfect fit for him.
Mora announced Monday on Twitter he would head to Portales to play football for ENMU, which was one of the first programs to offer him an athletic scholarship. Mora will play safety for the Greyhounds, who went 4-7 in 2021, including a 1-6 mark in the Lone Star Conference.
Mora said ENMU head coach Tye Hiatt and his staff stayed in constant contact with him after watching him during a 7-on-7 camp in the summer, and his weekend trip to the campus — the only recruiting trip Mora took — sealed the deal.
"What helped me make my decision was they were constantly asking me how I was doing, not just on the football field but with everything else," Mora said. "It made me feel wanted."
In return, ENMU gets a versatile athlete who ran for 1,230 yards, caught 22 passes for 463 yards and scored
24 touchdowns. On defense, Mora had 39 tackles and led the Demons with two interceptions on the season.
Santa Fe High head coach Andrew Martinez said ENMU is getting more than just a dynamic athlete.
"They're getting a hard worker," Martinez said. "And the kid loves to compete and he loves football. That was something I told coaches who would call or come by the school. He's also a great teammate who gets along with everybody."
Mora said he had scholarship offers from nine Division II programs, plus preferred walk-on offers from New Mexico State and the University of New Mexico. He added several Division III schools offered him financial packages that would mostly cover the cost to attend, since those programs cannot offer athletic scholarships.
Many of the offers came within the past month, which Martinez said is a common pattern because coaches start focusing on recruiting once the season ends. However, Mora said the amount of offers and interest he received from programs was flattering but became overwhelming after a while.
"Once I started getting these offers, it was great," Mora said. "But there was a lot of paperwork I had to fill out and sign after a while."
While Mora had the highest recruiting profile within the program, Martinez said five other seniors have received scholarship offers and two other players are receiving interest from prospective schools. He said it shows the program's stature is rising, especially after recording its first winning season in 23 years.
Mora said another goal of his was to help showcase the program to the rest of the state that there is talent at the school.
"That's what I've been working toward — to put the city on the map and to open up opportunities for everyone," Mora said. "I feel like I reached my goal and it feels good."