Bryce MacMartin — Starting Center/Smart Guy

Inside, Bryce MacMartin, who took over the center duties for injured Mark Fenton last week, talks about his first full game since junior college, leadership, the demands of being a football player and chemical engineering major and what he expects from the Baylor defense.

Bryce MacMartin came to CU last year from San Francisco City College, where he started 24 games at center. Last season at Colorado, MacMartin saw action in mostly mop-up duty in nine games. Two weeks ago at Georgia, the 21-year-old found himself playing when starter Mark Fenton went out with a fracture in his lower leg. Fenton is expected to miss at least two more games, possibly more.

MacMartin started Saturday at Missouri, and drew praise from head coach Dan Hawkins for his play, especially his ability to recognize the Tigers' defensive front.

BSN: How was it to play four quarters at Missouri?
Bryce MacMartin
: It was good. It felt good to be back on the field and be the guy in there. And be able to get in there and lead. I felt like we played pretty well on offense, but little mistakes here and there kind of killed us; not converting fourth downs, dropping passes, little penalties. But I think we're improving.

BSN: How'd you feel physically Sunday?
Bryce MacMartin
: I felt all right. The way we practice, the way we get out here and hit, when we get to the games it's not something new or strange. It's kind of the same feeling. We get out there and get after it (during practice), so I felt fine Sunday.

BSN: You mentioned the word "lead." You've got a reputation for being a leader even though you hadn't played much. When did you start feeling comfortable in that role?
Bryce MacMartin
: I feel like I've always been a leader, through high school and junior college. It's just something that's always come naturally to me. But it was tough when I first got here. Even though I was an upperclassman, it's hard to come to a new place, not knowing anybody, especially when you're not living up to the expectations you put upon yourself – it's hard to get out there and lead.

But I think what this new staff (has emphasized) is if you're going out and putting in a 100-percent effort and you're working hard, guys are going to see that and respect that. All you need to do to be a leader is make sure you're going 100 percent all the time. I feel like I do that as best as I can. I feel like I've gained some respect on the team, especially in being able to step in and fill Mark's shoes a little bit.

BSN: What's more challenging, your football schedule or keeping up with your classes?
Bryce MacMartin
: Both, I think, are difficult by themselves. Once you put them together, it becomes that much more difficult. However, having such a structured schedule, knowing things that you need to do and getting used to that has made it easier.

In the season, I'm kind of all business. It makes it easier to have that schedule and kind of clock in with football, then go home and clock in and do the homework; just go to sleep, get your rest, then do it all over again.

It becomes workman like and kind of a grind, but it helps me stay on track having everything pushed on me and having that pressure.

BSN: How many class hours do you take during the season?
Bryce MacMartin
: I only take 12 during the season because I'm taking all upper division courses, which is pretty tough. I'm taking two classes at School of Mines.

Especially now being thrust into the starting role, I'm in here at Dal Ward during my free hours looking at tape, watching game film and just making sure of what I have to do and of my responsibilities.

BSN: Do you have to commute to Golden for those classes?
Bryce MacMartin
: I do. Luckily, I got it worked out so that both of those classes are on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the mornings. So I commute up there then come back and have one more class before practice on Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays. And then I have only one class on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

BSN: What do you want to do with your chemical engineering degree? What does a chemical engineer do?
Bryce MacMartin
: One of the reasons I got into chemical engineering is because it provides so many options. I'm not sure what I want to do with it yet.

The main thing chemical engineering grads are doing these days are working with oil and working with renewable energy, that type of thing. Efficiency issues with energy and fossil fuels.

BSN: Baylor, what do you expect from them defensively?
Bryce MacMartin
: They run what looks kind of like a 4-2-5 defense. It's kind of a six-man box, with four down linemen and two linebackers. But they also have what look like two rovers who are like faster linebackers who can drop into coverage. If I was running their defense, I think they'd probably stack the box. That's what we're expecting. We're expecting eight-man fronts. We're confident in our o-line and our tight ends and running backs that we can still attack that and make sure our running game is going, then let B-Jack play off that.

Our offense is evolving every day. We're adding new things, new wrinkles. I think we're going to come out with a good game plan.

Injury Note
Starting senior safety J.J. Billingsley was helped off the practice fields by two teammates and carted up to Dal Ward near the end of practice. He was favoring a knee and appeared in pain. Dan Hawkins said after practice he didn't yet know the severity of the injury. Hawkins noted, however, that Billingsley continued to practice for a bit after coming down awkwardly during one play on his knee and apparently injuring it.


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