Change of pace Martin makes mark at running back after time at

Jermil Martin came to Ohio State as a defensive end. Seven carries, 75 yards and one touchdown later, the redshirt freshman has completed his transition from the Glenville High School defensive line to the Buckeye backfield. It took injuries to two OSU backs and a huge fourth quarter lead for Martin to finally get his chance to shine.“I’ve been waiting for this moment for so long,” Martin said. “I finally got it.”With 11-and-a-half minutes remaining in the Buckeyes’ 38-7 victory against Minnesota, Martin took a carry to the left side. After rumbling 39 yards, he had his first collegiate touchdown. Though his score meant virtually nothing for the outcome of the game, it was a moment Martin will never forget.“It felt good to score a touchdown,” Martin said. “It was a dream come true.”While many people were surprised to see Martin in the end zone Saturday, Martin said he knew he was ready for success.“Before I even got a chance to carry the ball, I try to visualize what I’m going to do,” Martin said. “I actually had a visualization that I was going to score, so that’s what I did.”Martin came into the game with only one carry for negative two yards on the season. But it was his hard work, he said, that earned him another opportunity to prove himself. “I’ve gotten a lot better,” Martin said. “I get better every day. I’ve been getting more reps in practice and hopefully it’s paying off.”Coach Jim Tressel has always preached the importance of having a deep stable of running backs on the roster. With Dan “Boom” Herron inactive Saturday because of an ankle injury, and Brandon Saine leaving the game with a head injury, Tressel had the chance to see just how deep his team was.Freshman Jordan Hall received the bulk of the carries following the injury to Saine, before being relieved late in the game by Martin. “You never have enough tailbacks because tailbacks take a pounding unlike any other position,” Tressel said. “We obviously weren’t excited about playing the second half without Brandon. Jordan stepped up and Jermil did a heck of a job.”Martin said when he saw that Saine was hurt, his immediate thoughts were with his injured backfield mate.“As soon as Brandon went down, I was like, ‘Dang, I hope he’s going to be okay so he can get back in the game,’” Martin said. “I feel like if I bump my teammates up, they’re going to do better.”But Martin had little time to worry about the injury, as he was quickly thrown into the fray. Fortunately for Martin, once given a chance, he did not disappoint.“It’s a very special day,” Martin said. “I can’t wait to get home with my family and celebrate.”

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