Top Veterans: No. 5 Markelle Martin

This is another installment of our preseason series on the Top 10 Veteran Players for 2011. To be eligibile you have to be a veteran player that has either started or played a significant role as a backup player. The criteria to be on this list is that you play a vital position to the success of this season.

No. 5 -Markelle Martin, SS
5-11, 192, Sr.
Wichita Falls (Rider), Texas

Wow! Has Markelle Martin not done a lot of growing up right in front of our eyes at Oklahoma State. It seems like it was yesterday that he was showing up in January for the start of the second semester of the 2007-08 school year.

Remember, Markelle was given that early entry into the program over quarterback Kody Spano, who bitched and moaned about giving it up and eventually de-committed and went to Nebraska where he has since washed out. It looks like a great decision now.

Martin needed the stability in his life. He has really turned it on in the classroom and will get his degree in December. The Defensive MVP in the Alamo Bowl win over Arizona, Martin is needed on this defense for more than his very physical play and excellent football IQ.

He is needed to lead and that will be his greatest challenge this season. He is not a very vocal player and knows he needs to chime in this season more than just by example.

A couple of weeks ago he admitted he had thought this summer about those defensive meetings at halftime where the defensive staff would address the unit, and really focus on middle linebacker Orie Lemon knowing Lemon could lead on the field and enforce the halftime adjustments with players all over the defense.

Martin admitted he has thought and dreamed of how those will go, and who will be the Orie Lemon that becomes a coach on the field and makes sure instructions get carried out. Martin knows it likely will be him.

The vocal part of it will be out of character, but then again, so was going to class and pushing the academics at one point. Martin used to go home to Wichita Falls all the time and was not as vested in all of it away from the field. We think he will be fine this season and a better leader than even he might imagine.

On the field it is no problem. He may draw a few penalties sometimes just for how viciously hard he hits. Those hits are worth a lot as they cause opposing wide receivers to have wandering eyes and short arms.

Top 10 Veteran Cowboys
No. 10 Grant Garner
No. 9 Quinn Sharp
No. 8 Nigel Nicholas
No. 7 Josh Cooper
No. 6 Johnny Thomas

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