The road to the NFL has many amazing stories and last week The Rock was able to add another chapter to the book of Marcus Martin with the former Rock defensive end signing a practice squad contract with the Los Angeles Rams last Wednesday, after starting the offseason with the Seattle Seahawks as an un-drafted free agent.
When signing with the Seahawks, Martin was pushing for a spot on the roster as a fullback, a position he had never played before until last year’s East/West Shrine Game where he caught a touchdown.
Martin’s former coach and current SRU Football head coach Shawn Lutz believes Martin is happy to be back on the defensive side of the ball, where he has made a name for himself as the college football sack king.
“[Martin’s] the best when he’s playing defensive end,” Lutz said. “His hand-eye, going forward. He’s good, he’s undersized no question about it, but he’s so freaking good with that low center of gravity. All the other positions, its just not him.”
Martin was cut by the Rams on the last day of cuts before the team announced their 53-man roster. However, three weeks later, the Rams recalled Martin and signed him officially to their practice squad. As a member of the practice squad, Martin is set to make at minimum $7,600 per week according to the current NFL collective bargaining agreement.
Coach Lutz explained how Martin can make more money if the Rams make the playoffs and he would get the same playoff bonuses the players on the 53-man roster would get. Making that 53-man roster is obviously the next goal for Martin, and Lutz thinks that his chances to get there are still within range.
“I think he can because one thing that they’re going to be impressed with Marcus is he’s going to be disciplined. He’s going to do everything they ask him to do and it’s just that hard to find guys that take that much pride in special teams,” Lutz said regarding Martin making a 53-man roster in the future. “Special teams at the NFL level can cost you games and, with him actually making that practice squad team, I can see him latching onto the team.”
Martin hasn’t forgotten his roots during his time in the NFL, as he was on the sideline for The Rock’s season opener against Kentucky State University. According to Coach Lutz, Martin wasn’t done with his visit that weekend and stayed the night to sit in on the defensive line film session the following day.
During Martin’s three preseason games with the Rams, he played on most special teams units, while recording two tackles, along with a solo sack against the Oakland Raiders. With his 56 career collegiate sacks and 92.5 tackles for loss, Martin’s name will constantly be in tossed around in NFL coaches meetings, and he hopefully will be called upon to prove that he can continue to be a scary force for quarterbacks, even at the highest level in the NFL.