MOBILE, Ala. -- The 2012 Senior Bowl is often used as a proving ground for players before they take the next step to the NFL level. A lot of the times, just this week of football practices can determine quite a bit for a player, especially running backs. Boise State running back Doug Martin is a back a lot of people think is going to steadily climb draft boards, despite being from a "smaller" school. I asked Doug Martin if he felt like there was a bias in the draft against non-BCS players. "Yeah, I feel like it. That's why I'm here," Martin said with a smile. "To play with the big boys."
"I don't get wide eyed," Martin said about playing with some of the more elite level talent in the NCAA at the Senior Bowl. "There's a lot of great players here, you have to ignore that. I'm a great player, too." The compact running back from Stockton, CA finished up his senior season with 1,299 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns, Martin also had 255 receiving yards and two touchdowns catching the ball out of the backfield. Even though he played at Boise State, he's no stranger to playing big time competition, playing against multiple BCS schools in his career.
Martin was asked if he played with a chip on his shoulder, being from Boise State and his short stature. "You gotta have that chip on your shoulder," Martin said. "If you don't have one, you better find one." Martin definitely came into the Senior Bowl with that chip and has looked excellent in practices. "I feel like it's gone smooth so far," Martin said on Monday evening after the first day of practice. Given Martin's size at the weigh in, 5-foot-9 and 219 pounds, he's drawn the obvious comparisons to some shorter NFL running backs. "I hear Maurice Jones-Drew, Ray Rice. I love their game, I respect their game," Martin said. We asked Martin who he compared himself to, "I compare myself to Ray Rice. Someone also told me Jonathan Stewart. I like Ray Rice."
Martin told us one of the things he really wants to work on is recognizing the defenses pre-snap, but one thing is for sure, he likes to hit people. "First, I'd just run him over," Martin said what he prefers to do when he meets a defender one-on-one in the hole. "Then next time, I'll juke because he thinks I'll run him over," Martin added with a grin.
The 2012 Senior Bowl game kicks off on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. ET on NFL Network.
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