One of the main cogs on the offensive line this year ... An honorable mention All-ACC selection as an offensive tackle ... An All-ACC pick by Rivals.com at the tackle spot ... Started all 13 games at left tackle last year ... Is firmly entrenched as the starting left tackle heading into the fall season ... One of the biggest surprises on the line last year ... Ranks as one of the best athletes on the offensive line ... Has started 33 straight games, the longest active streak on the team entering the season ...
A Talk With... What do you want to accomplish in your senior year? We want an Atlantic Coast Conference Championship and to play for the national championship.
What can you say about the camaraderie of the offensive lineman? We are all in the same boat. We don't get the press or make the flashy moves, so we have bonded by having each other's backs and tried to have our own fun. We are like a big family - like brothers - everyone gets along with everyone.
Why do you think the offensive line is such a brotherly unit? We have to have good communication and we have to trust each other. It just comes with the position. If one guy plays well and four play bad, the team will suffer, we all have to play well to succeed as a team and unit.
Do you take greater pride in a 100-yard rusher or a 100-yard passer behind you? Definitely a rusher. It means you are dominating the defense and the defensive line up and down the field. When Mike Imoh broke the school record for rushing in a game we felt very proud about it.
Is it more demoralizing to a defensive line to hold them to no sacks in a game or run over them for a long drive? If you are running the ball down their throat, you are forcing them to give up yardage, whereas passing is going over their heads to take yards. If you are running the ball well, you are going off the snap and blowing them off the line of scrimmage and it can set the tone for an entire game.
What do you guys talk about in your sit-downs after practice? After practice, we like to sit around on the field as a group and talk about practice, maybe relish in a good block, talk about a tough drill or get a couple of laughs at a fellow lineman's expense. It's like we are sitting around someone's house and just relaxing and talking about the day or week. It helps to bring the younger players into the fold of our group.
How have you tried to work with the younger players? When I was a younger player, they made you feel like you had someone to talk to and that you were part of the group and the bigger picture. We try to do that with our younger players by talking to them and showing them how you do things, so they will perpetuate it when I am gone and they are the older guys.
Did you learn a lot from being around a player like Bryan Randall last season? He was a good example for a lot of people and just the way he carried himself or the way he never gave in or lost his cool. He made us play up to his level and just went out there and got the job done.
What is the toughest thing about protecting a mobile style quarterback? I feel like it's an advantage to have a mobile quarterback to an offensive line. If there is a lot of pressure, they feel it better than a standard drop back passer might. But also I think defenses against Bryan and Marcus [Vick] have restricted their pass rush a little to help contain them and cut off their rushing lanes.
What are some life lessons you will take from playing football at Virginia Tech? In high school I think I didn't always listen to what people were telling me. Football here has made me to learn to work on the little things; being on time, showing up for class on time, doing the little things.
What are some of your favorite games or moments at Tech? We talk about moments more than anything else, but our stories are always about funny things more than anything else. One story was how James Miller, who graduated last year, would pull outside on a cutback off tackle, but he had a hitch in his step, and Imoh would always have to almost push him along. It was funny because Mike would always come back to the huddle and laugh at him every time we ran the play.
2004: Played 665 snaps on offense, grading out a 86 percent with 18 knockdowns in the regular season ... Was in for all 63 offensive snaps in the opener against USC ... Had a knockdown block against the Trojans ... Played only 26 snaps in the big win over FAMU ... Played all 65 snaps at Georgia Tech, grading out at 95 percent with two knockdowns ... Graded out at 90 percent with a knockdown on 69 snaps at UNC ... Earned ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors after grading out at 90 percent with a knockdown on 58 snaps in Tech's big win over Maryland ... Played 56 snaps against Virginia, grading out at 84 percent with a knockdown ... Suffered a high ankle sprain and was slowed for the game against Miami ... Started, but could only play 14 snaps, grading out at 80 percent with a knockdown ... Recorded a 32-inch vertical jump and a 370-pound push jerk in spring testing ...
2003: Played in and started all 13 games ... Played 699 offensive snaps, grading out at 85.3 percent with 24 knockdown blocks in the regular season ... Opened the season by grading out at 87 percent with a knockdown on 70 snaps against UCF ... Played 62 snaps against Texas A&M, grading out at 88 percent with two knockdowns ... Graded out at a team-high 94 percent with a knockdown block at Rutgers ... Played 55 snaps at West Virginia, grading out at 89 percent with three knockdowns ... Graded out at 90 percent on 66 snaps with two knockdowns against Boston College ... Posted a personal-best 410-pound bench press during spring max testing ...
2002: Started the last seven games of the season ... Ended up playing 409 regular-season offensive snaps ... Graded out at 83.1 percent for the season with nine knockdown blocks ... Played 34 snaps on offense in the opener against Arkansas State ... Played briefly in wins over Marshall and at Western Michigan ... Earned his first career start against Temple ... Played 58 snaps and had a knockdown block against the Owls ... Played 69 snaps on offense against West Virginia, recording a knockdown block ... Had his best game as a starter against Virginia, playing 62 snaps and grading out at 91 percent with three knockdown blocks ... His 360-pound power clean set a record for Tech offensive tackles ... His 32 1/2-inch vertical jump was the third-best for the O-line ... Began spring practice working at left tackle, but ended up moving back to the right side ...
Prep School: Was a standout offensive lineman for Coach John Shuman at Fork Union in 2001 ... Also saw action along the defensive line in six games for FUMA and posted a pair of quarterback sacks ...
High School: Was a two-way lineman for Coach Bob Herb at Chantilly High ... Recorded nine sacks and a pair of fumble recoveries on defense as a senior ... Earned first-team All-Concorde District honors on offense and defense in 2000 ... Gained first-team all-region recognition on defense and was an honorable mention Group AAA all-state pick ... Also lettered as a first baseman on the baseball team and earned first-team all-district honors as a senior ...
Personal: James Mercer Martin III ... Born 10/19/82 in Fairfax, VA ... Son of Susan Martin and Jim Martin ... Majoring in apparel, housing, resource management.
- INTEGRITY - SERVICE - HONOR - EXCELLENCE - STRONG TOGETHER