SIGNING DAY Q&A: Education a major factor for Martin
By TAYLOR MITCHELL - TMITCHELL@VICAD.COM
Feb. 6, 2013 at 11:04 p.m.
Updated Feb. 5, 2013 at 8:06 p.m.
EL CAMPO - Trey Martin knows there is going to be life after football, whenever that may be.
So, the senior chose to play his college football at a school that will provide him with a great education, Rice University.
On Wednesday, Martin joined hundreds of other high school seniors who signed a national letter of intent to play college football.
Martin, who will play center for the Owls next season, talked about his decision to sign with Rice and what he expects next fall:
Q: What does today mean for you, personally?
A: It means everything to me. I have my college paid for and get to play college football. As a little kid growing up, you want to play in the NFL, but you have to take that first step and that's playing college football. It's awesome.
Q: What made you choose Rice?
A: The coach made me feel comfortable. When I went up there, they were nice to me and very friendly. They didn't just talk about football. They talked a whole lot more about education. They explained how big education is at Rice and what it means to you and your life. Like, life after football if you don't make the NFL, you'll have a degree to fall back on.
Q: What do you want to get your degree in?
A: I have it nailed down to two choices, sports management or just regular management and I want to minor in business. I want to major in sports management because I love sports. I'd love to stay in that field, but we'll see. If it's something you love, you want to be involved in it.
Q: From now to when you strap on your pads for your first Rice practice, what do you want to have gotten better at?
A: Well, I've never played center before, so I have to work on my snaps a whole lot. Like getting in a stance and getting comfortable. Also, keep working on my first step and getting better at pass blocking. There's a coach at Rice, who played center, and I talked to him on Monday and he told me some drills to work on my snaps, like never snap the ball and be still. Always snap the ball and take your first step.
Q: Do you know if you will be redshirted next fall or will you be on the field?
A: Every lineman they have has redshirted. So, there is a good chance I will be redshirted. But as a lineman, you need that extra year to get stronger and be on the same level communication-wise as everybody else. In college, you communicate a lot more at the line than you did in high school.
Q: What is something you learned at El Campo that will help you at Rice?
A: Be respectful and humble. Coach (Bob) Gillis has really drilled us with that. He's taught us a lot about life and football, of course. He told us you have to work hard and have respect and in the fourth quarter you have to play hard, no matter how tired you are. You just have to fight through it.
Q: You and the rest of the Ricebirds made it to the Class 3A, Division I state championship this past December, but lost 70-35. Is that something you can use as motivation next season?
A: Of course. You've felt that feeling of losing at the biggest stage, in high school, and you don't want to feel that feeling again. So, you work harder and motivate your teammates to work even harder. It can help motivate everyone around you, not just yourself.