Former Wisconsin Badgers and Philadelphia Eagles fullback Cecil Martin is in Indianapolis this weekend for more than just the B1G Championship football game.
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Practically unheralded out of high school, Martin bruised defenses between 1995 and 1999, blocking for Ron Dayne in three of the Heisman Trophy winner’s four years in Madison, culminating in the 1999 Rose Bowl victory for both.
A sixth-round pick in 1999, Martin played for the Eagles until 2002 before stints with the Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2003.
Cecil Martin chatted with Badger of Honor’s Jon Rzepecki before his exciting day with the Allstate Good Works Team and local volunteers before Saturday’s B1G Championship between Michigan State and Iowa.
Jon Rzepecki: Describe your journey to Madison.
Cecil Martin: When I walked off the football field for the last time in high school I had zero scholarship offers and through a series of circumstances, schools started looking at me, Wisconsin and offered me a scholarship.
I wanted to be a teacher and Wisconsin was the No. 1 education school in the country, and it was the place I wanted to be even if I wasn’t playing football. Close enough to home (Chicago, Ill.) but far enough away.
I chose Wisconsin for reasons outside of football but using football to get there with the mindset of working as hard as I can to get on the field with the commitment to graduate and give back to the community as much as I could.
I ended up being a four-year starter and co-MVP, blocking for Dayne, being a captain my senior year, winning the Rose Bowl and then winning some national community service awards.
JR: Martin earned a spot on the Allstate AFCA Good Works team in 1997 and 1998. Other Badgers to receive the honor include Brooks Bollinger in 2001 and Chris Maragos in 2009.
CM: That’s how the road (to community service) went. I talk about it when I speak to colleges on recruiting, and the mindset (student-athletes) need at that moment as a high school kid doing the things you need to position yourself and market yourself.
My (high school) head coach did a lot for me and all the guys. He was a huge influence on me in the same way that Barry Alvarez, Brad Childress and running backs coach Brian White were. And Andy Reid was when I got to the Philadelphia Eagles.