Awards and honors continue to pile up for football’s Marcus Martin

Published by The Rocket, Author: Stephen Cukovich - Assistant Sports Editor, Date: December 7, 2017

Since The Rock’s football season came to a close about a month ago, redshirt senior defensive end Marcus Martin has been able to add many more honors and awards to his already stacked resume.
As he leaves The Rock, Martin sits atop the NCAA record books with his 56 career sacks, which is number one in all of college football, while ranking number one on the Division II list for tackles for loss with 92.5.
“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.”
The Green and White lost their final regular season game in a 42-34 loss to Kutztown University (8-3) to exclude them from the playoffs and finish with an 8-3 record.  Just four days later, Martin and nine other Rock players were named All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Western division team, while Martin earned PSAC West Defensive Player of the Year award for the third straight season.
“You don’t really ever see these types of moments, I mean this is history,” SRU football head coach Shawn Lutz said following Martin’s Division II record-setting performance against Lock Haven University. “And the kid is so modest, it doesn’t seem like it means a lot to him because he is such a team player.”
To follow, the next day Martin was then awarded his third straight Academic All-District honor by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).  Being just one of four defensive linemen from Super Region One to be named All-District, Martin now will advance to the ballot for the Academic All-American team, which he has won the past two years.
Possibly one of Martin’s biggest off-season accomplishments was the honor of being nominated and winning the Gene Upshaw Award for the Division II Lineman of the Year which was announced last week by the Manheim Touchdown Club.  Last season Martin was also nominated for the award, making him the only junior in the country to be named one of the eight finalists.
With the honor of the Gene Upshaw Award, Martin will receive a trophy and will be honored at the Manheim Club’s annual banquet in May and he will receive an invitation to the East/West Shrine Game to add to his invitation to the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.  Martin was able to win the award in record fashion as he received 73 percent of the first place ballots, setting a record for the most first place votes in the 14-year history of the award.
“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.”
In addition, Martin was just announced last week to be one of ten finalists for the Harlon Hill Trophy, which is presented to the Division II College Football Player of the Year with the winner being announced Dec. 15.  Following that announcement, Martin was then named Division II Super Region One Defensive Player of the Year for the third straight season.
Lastly, Martin has been spending this week in New York City as he is a finalist for the Campbell Trophy which is given to the college football player with the best combination of academics, community service and on-field performance.  The winner was announced Tuesday night at the National Football Foundation’s Awards Dinner and the honor went Virginia linebacker Micah Kiser with Martin the runner-up.
Though Martin didn’t win the honor, he was able to be graced by the company of football greats such as Peyton Manning and Brian Urlacher as they were inducted into the college football hall of fame.  Martin did walk away with $18,000 in postgraduate scholarship presented by Fidelity Investments as he was named a member of the 2017 National Football Foundation’s National Scholar Athlete Class.
Then last week’s honors were capped off when Martin was named one of five national finalists for the Ted Hendricks Award, which is presented annually to the best defensive end in college football.  Martin joins elite competition for the award with other finalists from Ohio State, Clemson and North Carolina State.  Martin again finished runner-up for the honor behind Bradley Chubb of North Carolina State with the announcement Wednesday morning.
With Martin’s college career over, but still winding down, Martin has his sites on the NFL, but he will never forget his time at Slippery Rock and why he came to The Rock in the first place.
“It’s 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.”