Martinek, NJ's POY, Inks with Rutgers

Joe Martinek is best known in New Jersey as being the state's all-time leading rusher. He broke that record this year. He was also named the NJ Gatorade Player of the year for his offensive performance. But as Greg Schiano introduced him as part of the 2007 recruiting class, he humorously mentioned ...

... "he is the all-time leading rusher in the state, but now you are going to see my genius and we are going to try him on defense".

And while Martinek could be a very good RB at the college level, he could certainly become a very good defender as a bandit/safety on the collegiate level. Defensively, the 6'0 202 lb Martinek makes a lot of plays. He has good athleticism, excellent closing speed, takes great angles and is a very solid tackler and hitter. He has a very similar style of game to former WVU safety Mike Lorello. Like his offensive exploits, don't be surprised if he becomes known as a stud on the defensive side of the ball.

Martinek Sr. shared his thoughts on the initial thoughts of his son playing defense.

"We are happy about him playing defense. Rutgers has some great talent in the back field and he just wants to help this team win. He wants to get on the field and be successful."

And success should not be an issue for this young man. Martinek is the kind of talent that succeeds at whatever sport he plays. He decided to try out for basketball this year and is one of the team's top players.

Last year in track, Martinek was one of the top overall athletes in the state. And like the rushing record, he has goals to break a big record in track this spring.

"Joe is shooting for the school and county record in the javelin throw, which is around 224 feet. He has a great coach who was a former Olympian himself. Joe is also getting a lot stronger now. His body is developing. He is 202 pounds, all muscle. Basketball has kept him very lean. And he will be getting the strength and conditioning program from Rutgers soon. We want to use that to get more powerful and explosive, yet keep his flexibility. So it is a combination of his maturity, his mind set, his physical ability, and the support around him. I think he can break that record."

Like many of the young men in this recruiting class, Rutgers got themselves a competitor that shoots for the stars.

Below, we are grateful to have the opportunity to display some of Joe's signing day images. We greatly appreciate the Martinek's generosity for sharing some of the sights of their wonderful LOI Day with the Rutgers community.

Joe with his mother, Mrs. Martinek


Joe with his younger brother -- perhaps another Martinek at Rutgers down the road?


Joe gathers with his friends and teammates


The icing on the cake

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