Saginaw Valley State Coach Awry on Ruvell Martin

Sometimes the best insight can be garnered from friends, family or an old coach. When that player is from little known Saginaw Valley, the information garnered from such people is worth its weight in gold. In this case Saginaw Valley Head Coach Randy Awry speaks out on San Diego Chargers undrafted wide receiver Ruvell Martin.

How did you find Ruvell Martin?

Ruvell was a quarterback in high school. Great athlete and we had seen him in high school as a quarterback and I projected him – and our staff – projected him to be a wide receiver. What we did was we brought him into our program four years ago and when we brought him we had the opportunity – we needed to find wide receivers. We had both Ruvell Martin and (Glenn) Martinez as four year starters for us and we went out and found the two best receivers that we could in the country and brought them in and totally revolved our whole program around them.

We told Ruvell – you are going to be our football program. You are going to be what we are going to revolve everything around and we are going to throw the football a lot and we need to get guys who can come in and make plays.

What intrigued you most about Ruvell that you thought he would be a perfect fit for your team?

His tremendous talents, long arms, big hands, soft hands catching the ball and one of the nicest young men you will ever want to meet.

As his coach and mentor, what role did you play in his progress on the football field and as a person?

What I did as the coach was work with him to become the best football player and academically in school – he was over a 3.0 GPA and will have his degree in four years, he is just a class act. Just really is a joy to be around and has been a tremendous leader on our team. When it came to the final decision it was up to Ruvell. He has got his head on straight and he knows what he needs to do and what he should do.

You mentioned he has his head on straight, would you elaborate on that and tell us how that relates to the football field?

He has got a lot of character and is a tremendous competitor. That is the thing about him that we love. He is going sorely be missed around here. He was a big, big part of this football team.

How about his demeanor, is he someone who takes a missed pass to the sidelines and frets over it, causing it to hurt him the next time out?

I have never seen him down. Probably the only time I have seen him down is when we have lost a game.

Sum up his personality:

A very upbeat, friendly, outgoing, kind young man. He does a tremendous amount of community service for our program and our school. Anytime he is asked, he does whatever. He has never said no to anything.

And on the football field was he able to turn that friendly personality into something you could use when it counted?

We revolved our program around him. He is the type of guy that we knew had the class, the character, the drive, the determination and leadership skills to take this program to the level it is at right now.

Should Ruvell make the team as a rookie, an undrafted rookie, he will be asked to play a role on special teams. Did you use him in that capacity?

He did some. I needed to give him time to rest. He easily could have started both ways. I didn't want to make it a situation where I would lose him because you would wear him out.

He was the holder for extra points. You don't know how many times he caught the ball high, wide, left, right and got it down. He even had some fakes. In the tight games we did put him back there to sometimes play free safety. Play the jump ball, he always won. You will see his stats have some interceptions.

What made him such an integral part of your offense?

He is very strong upper body. We did everything we could to get mismatches anytime we could. It was easy to get mismatches because it is very hard to compete with him.

Summing up his play on the gridiron, what attributes will you miss now that he is gone?

Runs good routes, good hands and when it came to the jump ball, he won them all. When you are 6-5 with those big arms it is easy for him.

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Denis Savage can be reached at denis@sandiegosports.net

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