MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Gophers landed a few locals in the spectacle of this year’s signing day, including Burnsville quarterback Kamal Martin.

But he’s recently started moving to the other side of the ball, with a youthful enthusiasm.

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“It was a dream come true,” he said. “You never think that day would come, until it actually comes, and to be in that situation is a blessing.”

What they get is an athlete — one so good, he was the team’s quarterback and much more.

“It’s really unique — especially at the 6A level — to have a quarterback that plays other positions,” Burnsville head coach Tyler Krebs said. “We felt like we had to have him on the field. We were a different team when he wasn’t on the field, so he started for us at free safety and rolled out of the box quite a bit to play linebacker.”

That’s what Gophers coach Tracy Claeys liked — an athlete who will start his career as an outside linebacker, subject to change.

“The day may come that he outgrows that position,” Claeys said. “If he does, we’ll be fortunate we picked up a really good defensive end, for how athletic he is.”

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Martin says he’s happy to play with the Gophers — no matter where it is on the field.

“Just the brotherhood bond — it gives you a thrill when you play. There’s nothing like it,” he said. “You cannot describe it with words.”

He’s hoping to grow into the team, and eventually take on a bigger role.

“He’s a natural leader, extremely hard worker,” Krebs said. “He’s one of those guys that you build a program around. And where we came from five years ago when I started — he and his class are the reason we’ve had the success that we did.”

For Martin, it’s a chance to play for his dream team, or at least one of his dream teams

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“Gophers and Clemson were my dream schools, growing up,” he said. “Just to have my parents here with me is a blessing by itself, too.”

Mike Max