BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — LSU football recruiting specialist, Jordan Arcement met brothers Zavean “Zay” and Davontavean “Tay” Martin in 2015. Tay was in high school at Ellender Memorial, where Arcement was a receivers coach, and Zay was nine-years-old.

“I love those guys. You know, I do. I didn’t have any brothers. I always wish that I did,” said Arcement. 

“It was a seven-on-seven game. Tay scored seven touchdowns with some pretty ridiculous catches. In my head I was like, ‘I think he could play in the NFL.’ I asked him, ‘Do you believe you can?’ He said, ‘Yes’ and I said, “Ok well, let’s start this journey,” Arcement added.

Tay went on to play college football at Washington State, then transferred and graduated from Oklahoma State. The 6-foot-3-inch wide receiver is now in California playing for the San Francisco 49ers. 

“When I walk into a locker room in San Francisco for the Niners locker room, I see guys like George Kittle and Trey Lance. I’m around those guys now and it’s kind of surreal. Like at first I was a little starstruck, but then I was like, I’m here for a reason,” said wide receiver Tay Martin. 

One of the reasons is Tay’s younger brother, Zavean Martin. He is also a wide receiver. He attends school at University Laboratory School and wants to play in the league one day, just like his big brother. 

“I remember looking down and asking him (Zay), you know, like, ‘Are you next up, huh?’ He was shaking his head, smiling like, ‘Yeah, I’m next up,’ and just wanting to kind of follow his (Tay) shoes,” said Arcement. 

“I just want to lead by example and show him that the tough away is definitely the way to go,” said Martin.

The saying goes, tough times don’t last, tough people do. The Martin brothers exemplify exactly that. While their father was incarcerated, their mom passed away from a heart condition in 2018. Tay was who found her. 

Davontavean Martin (left) and his mother April Martin (right).

“It was devastating. I had my two little sisters and my little brother Zay with me at the time. Just waking up to them screaming was one of those things that I had that I never can forget. I will never be able to forget that memory, but also, it’s the reason why me and my siblings are relentless,” said Martin. 

“I lost my father growing up. Kids or people in general who have a similar situation that I did. I get it you know, there’s a place in my heart for them. I felt it was something that really brought us together,” said Arcement.

When Hurricane Ida tore through Houma and damaged where Zay was living in August 2021, Zay moved in with Arcement in October. The two made it official in January of 2022 that Arcement would become Zay’s legal guardian.

“We did what we had to do and got the paperwork done. We’ve been here since and I think day-by-day we’re trending,” said Arcement. 

“I want to share my story because I want to leave my legacy on this Earth. Before I leave, I want to be someone who the little kids can look up on YouTube like I used to do. I want them to know my story and I know they’re not alone,” said Martin.