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Posted on Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 3:56 p.m.

Michigan's Mike Martin falls short of combine record, former teammate in bench press

By Kyle Meinke

INDIANAPOLIS -- Mike Martin said last month he was aiming to break the combine's bench-press record. It wasn't bombast, but rather the confidence of a player who already had posted more than 40 repetitions even before the start of his combine training.

Then, after former Michigan teammate David Molk registered a 41 on Friday, Martin arrived in Indianapolis offering the dictum, "I’m happy for him, but I have to beat that. I’m not leaving here without beating him."

Martin benched Sunday afternoon. He's surely disappointed with the results.

The defensive tackle posted 36 reps in the 225-pound bench press at Lucas Oil Stadium, 13 off Stephen Paea's event record and five fewer than Molk.

Molk said he fell short of his own goal for the lift because he slipped on the bench during his drill. It's unclear if a similar problem plagued Martin.


Former Michigan defensive tackle Mike Martin, above, bench pressed 225 pounds 36 times at the NFL Scouting Combine on Sunday.

Lon Horwedel |

"Thirty-six is a good number. One of the best in the country," Martin's trainer, Mike Barwis, texted "I am never disappointed in Mike. He and Dave both have two of the highest numbers in the country.

"The thing that is great about both guys is they expect to exceed the expectations of everybody. That's what they want. That is why they are the best."

For as disappointed as Martin will be with his result, it still is an overall impressive performance. Bench-press results had not been posted as of 3:45 p.m. Sunday, but his number beats everyone except Molk from the first two days.

It would have placed third among defensive tackles last year.

Martin told on Saturday he planned to attend Michigan's pro day March 15, but which drills he participated in were contingent on his performance at the combine. The bench press could be a candidate now.

All isn't lost for him in Indianapolis, though. Martin said he prepared to impress scouts not only with his strength, but also his quickness and agility. He competes in those events Monday.

"The strength factor isn't a big deal for me to showcase here," he said Saturday. "It’s really my ability to move and my athleticism, and I think that’ll be the most impressive thing for scouts to see -- for a guy my size to be able to move."

Martin weighed in at 6-foot-1, 306 pounds. That's an inch shorter and two pounds heavier than his listed size at Michigan.

He said he's received a lot of interest during private interviews with teams, including the Houston Texans, Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He is listed by most analysts as a mid-round pick, although his stock has been on the rise after a strong Senior Bowl showing. ESPN's Todd McShay lists him No. 1 among defensive tackles in "toughness/motor."

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


Steve McQueen

Tue, Feb 28, 2012 : 12:23 a.m.

Mike Martin also ran a 4.8 something 40 which is excellent for a nose tackle


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 9:24 p.m.

Hey trigg, Please post a link to an article that outlines Jerel Worthy's training style, goals, and expectations..... Perhaps the writers should stake out a few drive thrus - then they can get his perspective on his quickly sinking draft value....


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 3:10 p.m.

A high-repetition exercise is not a good indicator of the kind of explosive power NFL linemen need. 225 is arbitrary and too light for a lot of these guys. A guy as thickly muscled as Martin can seize up after 30-odd reps. He might still be able to put up a much bigger low-rep max. I'd be interested, across the board, to see how many times these players can bench their own body weight.


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 3:52 a.m.

Pride before the fall. Sure runs deep at SCum.


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 4:38 a.m.

Pride before the fall??? Mike Martin and David Molk posted the two highest numbers out of anybody in the entire combine! They fell short of their own personal goals but, relative to literally everybody else, they were completely dominant - and that's all that matters. You are faulting them for holding themselves to a higher standard than everybody else. That's absurd! It's hard to fall when you're still on top of everybody else bud.

Nic schweigert

Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 12:04 a.m.

He should have stuck around and worked out with the new Michigan strength and conditioning coaches. Ya maybe they're more explosive working with Barwis, for the first 1/4 to 1/2 of what they're doing. Look at the way the team played and looked gases the past three years with rich rods crew. The team looked much tougher, stronger and more conditioned this year. Love mike as a player and person, he is an animal. But falling 14 reps short of what you wanted probably doesn't have much to do with the slipping on the bench, such as molk dealt with, as much as the training with Barwis. Would be interesting to see Martin workout with the current strength coaches at Michigan until michigans pro day and see what difference there is


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 11:33 p.m.

Barwis seemed like he was more talk that results from the day he showed up in Ann Arbor. My opinion. I hope Molk and Martin have long and safe NFL careers.


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 3:56 p.m.

Actually I've heard more than one opinion from the strength and conditioning community that did not place total faith in Barwis' method. On the other hand, the players clearly like and trust him, and that does mean a lot. Personally I can't judge, the only results I really care about are on the field, and that was certainly not 100% Barwis' fault but it didn't look good.


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 10:03 a.m.

Everyone has an opinion. Yours just happens to be the opposite of everyone in the strength and conditioning community that have nothing but the utmost respect for Mike Barwis and his methods. I think I'll take theirs.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 11:22 p.m.

Bench press is perhaps the most over-hyped workout exercise. Yes, it is good and much more useful that bicep curls but YEESH! It is not the end-all, be-all measure of strength. I'd be interested in his dead and squat numbers too. But for some reason the NFL doesn't measure that.


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 5:49 p.m.

Right! Squats nail you all over.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 9:53 p.m.

Mike is a smart enough kid and I doubt he would have put it out there, (boasting) if he didn't have the ability to accomplish the feat. Maybe Mike had a bad day, it happens. As far as folks disapproving of Mike's boasing that he would beat the record set last year by the kid from Oregon good for Mike for striving to be the best. The very challenge of such a feat motivated by the highest energy level attributed to years of brutal training motivated by a young mans testosterone level and self confidence is very reassuring to this old man that all young folks are not wasting their time bragging up their prowess on computer video games. Good for you Mike and may the gods favor you at the next level, (pros).


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 9:06 p.m.

Although a good showing, it's quite a bust considering the lofty predictions and goals he'd made. Maybe his statements have just been over reported with little other football news to talk about, but this looks bad now.