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Tavares Martin Jr. declares for the NFL Draft

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The former WSU receiver’s journey away from Pullman takes an unexpected turn.

NCAA Football: Nevada at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

A month after announcing his intention to transfer in the midst of an I-quit-no-you-can’t-quit-we-kicked-you-off-the-team spat with Mike Leach, former WSU wide receiver Tavares Martin Jr. announced today that he intends to enter the 2018 NFL Draft.

Martin ascended to Luke Falk’s top target in 2017, leading the Washington State Cougars in receiving with 831 yards on 70 catches, including nine touchdowns. He finishes his collegiate career with 1,683 yards and 17 touchdowns.

And yet, the chemistry between the two of them never really seemed to fully develop, which is not all that surprising, given Falk’s increasing proclivity toward short passes over the last couple of years. Something boiled over, leading Martin to walk out of a practice in advance of the Colorado game, landing him a suspension.

He apologized to the team and was reinstated the following week, and things seemed fine ... until he quit/was dismissed two weeks after the Apple Cup.

As for where he might end up drafted? Or whether he’d be drafted at all? It’s tough to say, as nobody was targeting him for draft eligibility after this season. His stats weren’t earth shattering, and he doesn’t possess the kind of physical traits that NFL teams value in outside receivers — Martin is just 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, and he doesn’t appear to have the top-end speed to play outside at that size. Perhaps he does. Or perhaps he shifts to an inside receiver role at the next level.

It also will be interesting to see whether he ends up participating in the Cougars’ pro day with Falk and the others. Things ended badly, but Martin was complimentary of WSU in his statement. Perhaps that’s a first step toward trying to repair the relationship — because, let’s be honest: Having a Mike Leach receiver get drafted is a win-win for everyone.