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Posted on Thu, Feb 23, 2012 : 2:26 p.m.

Michigan's Mike Martin was strongest player in Big Ten last year, Iowa OL says

By Kyle Meinke

INDIANAPOLIS — Former Michigan defensive tackle Mike Martin is aiming to break the bench-press record at the NFL Scouting Combine, and he has at least one believer.

The poor guy who got beat up by him the past two years.

Iowa offensive guard Adam Gettis told on Thursday that he thinks Martin has a legitimate shot at breaking former Oregon State star Stephen Paea's record of 49 reps (at 225 pounds).

Asked if he thinks Martin is the strongest player in the Big Ten, Gettis, who matched up with Martin, didn't hesitate.

"Definitely," he said. "I’d definitely agree with that one. Definitely."


Mike Martin is scheduled to arrive Friday in Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine.

File photo

Iowa beat Michigan each of the past two years, including 24-16 this past season in Iowa City. The only other team to beat the Wolverines in 2011 was Michigan State.

But Gettis said the Michigan defense he beat last year was markedly better than the one he beat in 2010 (by a 38-28 score). He credited the schematic change executed by Wolverines coordinator Greg Mattison, who ditched Greg Robinson's 3-5-3 for a 4-3 look.

Gettis said the move made Martin more difficult to handle because it was no longer easy to double-team him. It was, in the 3-5-3.

"They were playing that 3-5-3 thing, and he was getting a lot of double-teams, and he really couldn’t do too much," Gettis said. "But this 2011 season, he’s done well. There’s less double teams on him because of the new system, and he could move a little bit more, get out of his stance better."

Martin finished with 64 tackles and 3.5 sacks last year, both career highs for the three-year starter. As a team, Michigan jumped to 17th in the country in total defense after finishing 110th in 2010.

Martin is scheduled to arrive in Indianapolis on Friday. His combine gets under way Saturday with medical and psychological testing, as well as private interviews with NFL teams. He is projected to be an early- to mid-round pick.

He bench presses with the other defensive linemen on Monday.

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.



Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 8:16 p.m.

The record is actually 51 reps. The player that hit 51 reps didn't get drafted so the NFL's website lists Paea's instead.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 7:14 p.m.

I wish Mike Martin all the best at the NFL Combine. U-M fans owe him a debt of gratitude for deciding to come back for his senior year and for doing so well in the revamped defense. He reminds me a lot of Rob Renes (U-M team captain in 1999 and All-American nose tackle) who was also a high school wrestling star. Although he wasn't a first team All-American like Renes, Martin is a very good nose tackle who should help any NFL team who picks him. Renes was drafted by the Colts but got hurt (fractured vertebrae) and had to retire from the NFL. Hopefully, Martin can stay healthy and do well.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 3:09 p.m.

Mike Martin is a beast! I don't understand why he takes such a hit for his size when he is easily the strongest guy at the combine. Isn't that why they want the size/...because presumably the strength comes with it? Hmmm Sparty gets angry because they are looking at our recruiting class with disgust and envy.


Tue, Feb 28, 2012 : 7 a.m.

Don't delude yourselves. Nobody in East Lansing cares about recruiting rank. Win on the field...then talk!


Thu, Feb 23, 2012 : 9:41 p.m.

Yeah Tom - Funny As your boy Jerel Worthy sinks on the draft boards...... UM has a 67-32-5 record in the rivalry. Reel off the next 35 in a row then you will be BACK TO EVEN. Another Sparty troll looking for relevance. Rejected.


Tue, Feb 28, 2012 : 6:59 a.m.

And the South lost the civil war! And Michigan last won a BIG football championship in 2004! And Michigan has one co-national championship since 1948! YAWN! Relevance? Dantonio has been in East Lansing for 5 years. Over the past 4 years MSU's 24-8 record is the BEST in the Big 10! The struggle for relevance is in Ann Arbor! Worthy is a first round pick...Molk and Martin went 0-4 vs. MSU!


Thu, Feb 23, 2012 : 8:50 p.m.

Funy how this works. This article touts Martin and refers to Adam Gettis as "The poor guy who got beat up by him the past two years." I remember how upset UM fans when the entire team, including Martin, got "beat up" 28-14 in East Lansing as Edwin Baker and the MSU offense moved through this defense like butter. Nobody else is allowed to have "tough guys" on their team. Where was Martin when the game was on the line on October 15th? I'll take Worthy, Gholston and the MSU defense...any day! Funny!


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 8:17 p.m.

"Michigan State is important too!!!!!"

David Cleveland

Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 6:34 p.m.

ahh....poor Sparty's feelings are hurt 'cause no one's talking about his hoo...

Matt Patercsak

Thu, Feb 23, 2012 : 8:24 p.m.

great article. Iowa offensive lineman are a valid source of information. They are always an impressive bunch. also, check out this blog its all thins progressive to Michigan football (personnel, recruiting, coaching) <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>