Martinez Loves Cincinnati

A player that may not get a lot of talk but must be ready to fulfill Brian Kelly's "Next Man In" approach is Randy Martinez. Bearcat Insider spoke with Randy about the changes he's made and life as a Bearcat.

When Randy Martinez came out of Teaneck High School in New Jersey many thought he'd be a defensive lineman. But the redshirt sophomore heard the calling of his head coach and had no problem moving to the offensive line.

"Coach always talks about "Next Man In" so during the week I take my mental reps as a starter and the reps I'm going to get so when someone goes down I'll be ready to play and do what is expected out of me."

A couple of weeks ago against South Florida the New Jersey native saw his number called when Jason Kelce went down. How was it to play at South Florida with a lot on the line?

"The atmosphere was great at South Florida and I got to block George Selvie on the first play, which really got my blood pumping. So it was a great opportunity but one I was prepared for."

During the recruiting process Randy started off talking with Mark Dantonio and his staff but soon learned about big-time college football as Dantonio left for Michigan State and Brian Kelly came calling him.

"Coming from New Jersey it was a great move for me to come to Cincinnati. Coach Kelly really sold me on the program after he became head coach."

One think Randy has learned is not to question any move Coach Kelly looks to make. As a former defensive lineman Randy has learned first hand about Coach Kelly's mad scientist ways.

"I love to play defense, but when Coach Kelly told me I'd be able to contribute to the team by moving to offensive line it was hard to argue with him. I've always been about what is best for the team and right now you can see how well we're doing. I have no problem with working hard and right now all the hard work is paying off. When you watch athletic guys move from one side of the ball to another and have success it's hard to argue."

While Randy doesn't like to look back at what has already been completed, he did get a giant smile when the Rutgers game was brought up.

"Being back at home and getting to play in front of my family in the third and fourth quarter was great. I know a lot of the players and coaches at Rutgers and it was great to play there."

Another area Brian Kelly has installed in his team is not looking too far ahead or back. Randy explained.

"The next few games are going to be really tough so we've just got to buckle down because we're into Big East play and once you get into this you don't look to far ahead. We're not looking forward or looking back, we're looking at the game for that week and only that week."

Making the move from offense to defense is an area Coach Kelly has seen great success. But moving a defensive minded player to the offensive side especially the offensive line is something a little different. How much work went into making the move?

"Coach Longo worked with me a lot because coming from the defensive line you have to be agile and fast, once I moved over to offensive line I had to gain about 30-pounds and get my technique down with my hands and feet. Coach Quinn took me under his wing and really worked with me because I never really played offensive line in high school. It's been a great transition for me and I'm glad I got the opportunity."

It also helped that fellow teammates were eager to help with the transition.

"Jason Kelce really knows the playbook from front and back as do the other members of the offensive line. Little things that when I can pick his brain really help me a lot and have allowed for me to become a better player."

But while Randy has seen a smooth transition on the field his transition to his new home saw a lot of change.

"Coming here to Cincinnati is a big difference because I'm use to the big city life like New York City, but I love Cincinnati and wouldn't want to be anywhere else."


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