SRU's Martin named national finalist for Campbell Trophy

picture of Marcus Martin

Nov. 2, 2017

IRVING, Texas - Slippery Rock University senior defensive end Marcus Martin has been named as a member of the 2017 National Football Foundation's National Scholar-Athlete Class and as one of the 13 national finalists from all levels of college football for the William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments. The Campbell Trophy is presented annually to one graduating football student-athlete that is recognized as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation, regardless of division. The 13 finalists were selected from a group of 181 semifinalists that were announced earlier this fall. Martin is the only Division II player among the finalists and is one of only two players outside of Division I.

The Campbell Trophy is presented annually to one graduating football student-athlete that is recognized as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation, regardless of division. The 13 finalists were selected from a group of 181 semifinalists that were announced earlier this fall. Martin is the only Division II player among the finalists and is one of only two players outside of Division I.

The other 2017 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class and Campbell Trophy finalists include:
-Sam Benger, Carnegie Mellon
-Braxton Berrios, Miami
-Mason Hampton, Boise State
-Justin Jackson, Northwestern 
-Micah Kiser, Virginia 
-Justin Lea, Jacksonville State 
-Brad Lundblade, Oklahoma State 
-Chandon Sullivan, Georgia State 
-Blaise Taylor, Arkansas State 
-Marlon Walls, Stephen F. Austin 
-Chris Weber, Nebraska 
-Jake Wieneke, South Dakota State

No honor in Martin's illustrious career can stand up to being named a finalist for the Campbell Trophy, which comes with a minimum $18,000 postgraduate scholarship and an invitation to New York City to be recognized at the 60th Annual NFF Awards Dinner Dec. 5. Martin will be a guest of the NFF on one of the highest profile nights on the football calendar as the College Football Hall of Fame's 2017 class will also be inducted that evening at the exclusive black-tie dinner. This year's inductees include Peyton Manning, Brian Urlacher, Marshall Faulk and Steve Spurrier, among others. The event will take place at the New York Hilton Midtown and will be streamed live on ESPN3 beginning at 8:30 p.m.

Martin, who becomes the only player from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference to ever be named a finalist for the Campbell Trophy, joins Manning and some of the highest profile names to ever play college football with his selection to the National Scholar-Athlete Class. Former players that have earned the honor include NFL stars Peyton and Eli Manning, Drew Brees and Steve Young; NCAA VP of Regulatory Affairs Oliver Luck; recently retired Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Master's Tournament Billy Payne; Robert Morris University. President Chris Howard; and astronauts Michael Hopkins and Leland Melvin, among many others.

The winner of the Campbell Trophy will receive a $25,000 postgraduate scholarship, a trip to the College Football Awards in Atlanta to be recognized in a live broadcast on ESPN and a trip to the College Football Playoff National Championship game in January to be recognized on the field at the game.

"Marcus has put together one of the most impressive resumes in college football, but this tops the list," said SRU head football coach Shawn Lutz. "To be included on that list with some of the best players to ever play the game and to be recognized for being not only a standout on the field, but for getting it done in the classroom, and as a leader in the community, speaks volumes about the type of person Marcus is. He is a once-in-a-lifetime type of player for a program like ours and we could not be more proud of him."

Martin has put together the best statistical career in NCAA history for a defensive lineman, cementing that title Oct. 28 when he broke the all-division record for total sacks. He broke SRU single-game records with 4.5 sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss in a win over Clarion that brought his career totals to 54.5 sacks and 90.5 tackles for loss. The 54.5 sacks are more than any player in the history of the NCAA at any level, while the 90.5 tackles for loss are 13.5 more than any other Division II player in history.

Martin has been honored with nearly every award he has been eligible for during his career, including more than 10 All-America recognitions. He was the Freshman of the Year in the PSAC and Super Region One in 2014 and has been the Defensive Player of the Year on both of those postseason teams in each of the last two years. Martin was one of the eight national finalists for the Gene Upshaw Lineman of the Year award last year and was the only junior in the group. He is also a three-time finalist for the Cliff Harris Award, which goes to the top small college defensive player in the nation. In addition to the accolades for his on-field play, Martin is also a two-time Academic All-American and will be a top candidate to earn the honor for a third time this fall, the most a student-athlete can earn in one sport.

"Marcus is the perfect example of what we hope our student-athletes will strive to be," said Paul Lueken, SRU athletic director. "He excels in the classroom, serves the community with great pride and is incredibly humble for the level of success he has had. We couldn't be prouder of everything that he has accomplished and we're very much looking forward to heading to New York in December to celebrate this incredible honor."

Martin, who still has at least two games left to play this season and could have more than that with SRU currently in a strong position to earn an NCAA playoff bid, will graduate in December with a degree in safety management and a minor in business administration. He owns a 3.56 cumulative GPA after taking more than 120 credit hours entering this fall.

For more information on the history of the Campbell Trophy, the other 13 finalists and Fidelity Investments, view the full release from the National Football Foundation, visit www.footballfoundation.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jon Holtz | 724.738.4925 | jonathan.holtz@sru.edu