Name: Michael Martin
College: University of Illinois
Height, weight, class, position: 6-4, 225 pounds, junior, long snapper
High School: Centennial HS Champaign, Ill.
About Michael Martin: A native of Champaign who stayed in his hometown to play college football, Martin is in his full season as the Illini long snapper after handling the duties for all 13 games in 2014. Martin is the Illinois Chapter Vice President and alongside Chapter President Joe Spencer help put together a successful 2015 Lift For Life where the Illini nearly doubled their fundraising efforts. This is the second year the Illini Chapter is holding a Touchdown Pledge Drive for the home game against Middle Tennessee State. Martin is also a legacy at Illinois as both his parents, Gregory and Karen, swam at Illinois. A mechanical engineering major, Martin was an Academic All-Big Ten honoree in 2014.
As a player, what is your favorite part of the game day experience at your home stadium?
MARTIN: My favorite part about the game day experience is running out of the tunnel before the game. I always run out, find my parents in the stands, and acknowledge them by pointing at them.
What drove you to get involved with Uplifting Athletes, and what, if anything, has this experience done for you?
MARTIN: I got involved with Uplifting Athletes because our chapter was started by Zak Pederson, the long snapper when I was a freshman. I appreciated the motivation of the organization and wanted to get involved for the good it did. The experience has made me more aware of the ability to use the platform of college football for the good of others.
What is your most memorable experience as a college football player?
MARTIN: My most memorable experience as a college football player was upsetting Minnesota for Homecoming in 2014. Wearing the Gray Ghost uniforms for the first time and having the team come together for a hard fought win is something I will remember forever.
What is your chosen major, and what if anything have you used from that major as a contribution to your Uplifting Athletes Chapter?
MARTIN: I currently am a senior majoring in Mechanical Engineering. To be honest, what I learn in Mechanical Engineering and what I contribute in Uplifting Athletes are significantly different.
Besides one of your teammates, name a college football player you enjoy watching?
MARTIN: I don’t watch anyone in particular, but I always pay close attention to the operation of the punts and field goals of other teams.
Who is your favorite NFL player and why?
MARTIN: My favorite NFL player was Patrick Mannelly, former long snapper of the Chicago Bears. He was the most tenured Bear in the franchise’s history, but barely anybody knew who he was or what he did because of how well he did it.
What is your favorite road stadium to play in and why?
MARTIN: Washington’s Husky Stadium was a real treat to play in. The facilities and atmosphere were great.
In your words, what are some of the things you are looking for in life after football?
MARTIN: After football, I want to have a job that contributes to the well being of others, whether directly or indirectly. Ultimately, I just want to be happy.