Rock redshirt defensive end Marcus Martin launched himself atop the Division II record books for both career sacks and tackles for loss last Saturday in their win over Lock Haven at home.
“You always start with one goal to start,” Martin said. “It’s the team’s records first. Then I started thinking about PSAC and that started being surreal and then national records is just incredible, you know I’d never thought I’d be here.”
Coming into this season, Martin needed 6.5 sacks and 12 tackles for losses to break both records and did so just three weeks into his senior season. Martin currently has 6.5 sacks on the season, along with 13 TFL, which brings his career totals to 47 sacks and 79.5 TFL, but he is not done just yet.
The redshirt senior now has his eyes set on the all-divisions record for career sacks, as he is another seven sacks away from breaking Mike Czerwien of Waynesburg’s 53.5 career sacks. Currently, Martin is tied for fifth all-time in sacks, as he trails four Division III players including Czerwien.
“You just gotta keep raising the bar higher,” Martin said after their win against Lock Haven. “But you know you don’t want to set it too high where you get discouraged, you want to set goals that are achievable.”
With those 47 career sacks, he is ahead of all other active NCAA players by 15 over his 40-game career. To add, his sack per game average over his career sits at 1.18 which is the highest of any active college player as no other athlete is above 1.0 in their careers. His tackle for loss per game average comes in at 1.96, which also leads all active players in the nation with no one even above 1.5.
Aside from playing defensive end, Martin also does his part on kick-off return and punt team. This doesn’t seem to slow him down at all in his ability to dominate each game for 60 minutes.
“I’m willing to sacrifice body and limb for the team,” Martin said. “I’ll do anything to get a win. It’s just another attribute I can give to my team and hopefully get a win every Saturday.”
Martin, a West Mifflin, PA native, attended West Mifflin High School and graduated in 2012. Martin also played track in HS, lettering two times along lettering three times for football. He was a three-time All-Big 9 conference selection while becoming Big 9 Defensive Player of the Year his senior year.
The safety management major came to The Rock in 2013 and was redshirted his first year. Then in 2014, Martin appeared and or started in all 12 games that season and was voted Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West Freshman of the Year, as he broke the SRU single-season sack record with 16. In 2015 he started all 14 games that season, including playoffs, was then followed up by starting all 11 games last year.
“Its the brotherhood mainly,” Martin said regarding why he came to SRU. “It wasn’t all about wins and losses it was about more than that. You get more joy out of things when you’re a family or a brotherhood.”
Martin and The Rock defense have their work cut out for them this weekend when the team travels to Gannon University to face one of Division II football’s top running backs in junior Marc Jones who has rushed for 707 yards this season through three games.
“Hit him hard the whole game, every time he touches the ball,” Martin said on how to stop Jones. “You know, we’re gonna try to hit him hard enough so he doesn’t want to get the ball anymore.”
The game this weekend will take place an hour north in Erie, Pa with kick-off starting at 12:00 p.m.