SRU’s Martin wins Upshaw award with record vote

Marcus Martin wins Upshaw Award

Marcus Martin was named the 2017 Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year award winner with a record vote.

Nov. 29, 2017

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University defensive lineman Marcus Martin has been named the 2017 Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year award winner with a record vote, it was announced by the Manheim Touchdown Club.

Martin received a first place vote on 73 percent of all ballots submitted, setting a record for first place votes in the 14-year history of the award. He finished 125 points ahead of runner-up Jake Daugherty from Ferris State University to become the second SRU player to win the award, joining 2010 winner Brandon Fusco, who is currently the starting right guard for the NFL's San Francisco 49ers.

As the recipient of the Gene Upshaw Award, Martin will be presented with a trophy and honored at the Manheim Touchdown Club's annual banquet in May. He also receives an automatic invitation to the East/West Shrine Game, marking his second significant senior all-start bowl game invite.

The Upshaw Lineman of the Year award, which is presented by the Manheim Touchdown Club, is nominated for and voted on by the sports information directors at football playing institutions at the Division II level. Its purpose is to recognize the top lineman, offensive or defensive, in Division II football each year. Nine former winners or finalists for the award, which has been presented since 2004, are currently on NFL rosters.

Martin closed the best statistical career by a defensive lineman in NCAA history this season by breaking the all-time NCAA all-division sack record and the NCAA Division II career records for both sacks and tackles for loss. He led the nation in sacks (15.5) and tackles for loss (26.5) in his senior season to set those career records at 56.0 sacks and 92.5 tackles for loss. The next best totals ever recorded by any Division II player ever were 46.5 sacks and 77.0 tackles for loss.

He was named the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Western Division Defensive Player of the Year for the third straight season, becoming the first player in PSAC history to earn four consecutive major awards after also winning Rookie of the Year honors as a freshman. Martin also became just the eighth player in PSAC history to earn four straight first team All-Conference honors.

The Upshaw award is the latest in a growing list of postseason accolades for Martin. He is the only Division II finalist and one of just 13 total finalists in the nation for the prestigious William V. Campbell Trophy, known as the "Academic Heisman," which will be presented at a black-tie awards dinner in New York City Dec. 5. He is also a candidate for the Harlon Hill Trophy as the best overall player in Division II football, a candidate for a third straight Defensive Player of the Year honor in Super Region One and a candidate for a third straight Academic All-America honor.

2017 GENE UPSHAW VOTING RESULTS
-341 points, Marcus Martin, Slippery Rock
-216 points, Jake Daugherty, Ferris State
-215 points, Lavonte Hights, Shepherd
-214 points, Evan Perrizo, Minnesota State
-211 points, Alex Cappa, Humboldt State
-188 points, Chris Gomez, Central Missouri
-169 points, Harley Vaughan, West Georgia
-167 points, Victor Tampba, Jr., Bowie State

MEDIA CONACT: John Holtz | 724.738.4925 | jonathan.holtz@sru.edu