As the LSU Tigers embark upon the 2023 football season, Marlon Martinez is definitely someone to keep an eye on. He’s a senior offensive lineman who has star power, and when given an opportunity to step up and showcase his physical abilities, he doesn’t shy away from the light.
During his high school career, Martinez was named a three-star offensive tackle by Rivals and by 247 Sports. He was also rated as the No. 20 offensive guard by 247 Sports. He helped lead St. Thomas Aquinas High to an undefeated season of 14-0 in 2019, and he played a huge role in its win at the Class 7A Florida High School State Championship game.
It wasn’t long before the college offers came rolling in for Martinez. He received interest from Florida State, Penn State, Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky, and countless other colleges and universities across the nation.
When asked why he chose LSU, Martinez responded enthusiastically.
“I developed a strong relationship with the coaching staff,” he said, “and I loved the culture I experienced when I visited campus.”
Martinez explained how his mother heavily influenced his decision to play football. He considers her to be one of his biggest motivators both on and off the field.
“I’ve witnessed first-hand how hard my Mom has worked and the many sacrifices she’s made to put me in the position I am now. My passion and ambition to be successful are fueled by wanting to make her proud.”
Over the past two seasons, Martinez’s role with the Tigers significantly expanded. As a sophomore in 2021, he reached a career-best of 81 snaps against Arkansas. He also had a profound impact in the Tigers’ win against Florida, when he recorded a total of 71 snaps at right guard. Martinez helped pave the way in that game for Ty Davis-Price to set the LSU single-game rushing record of 287 yards.
During the 2022 season, Martinez proved to be a dependable backup for center Charles Turner III, and he was also a key contributor to LSU’s punt protection. His performance in the Citrus Bowl was outstanding, as he played 52 snaps at center in LSU’s dominating win against Purdue. Martinez completed the season with a total of 198 snaps (157 on offense, 41 on special teams).
On game days, when Martinez hits the locker room he likes to quiet his mind and get laser- focused. He thinks through plays he’s learned in practice, he thinks about the positions that his teammates play, and he puts those thoughts into action as he steps on the field.
Martinez said the support shared with his teammates is vital to building a strong culture within the LSU program.
“My focus is on playing my part and always being there for the team,” Martinez explained. “You never know the headspace that your teammates might be in, so I’m very intentional about how I show up and support them.”
Martinez is excited for the final season of his collegiate career, wearing the three familiar purple-and-gold letters across his chest. He said he went through an adjustment period when Brian Kelly became the Tigers’ coach, but he has embraced Kelly’s style.
“Coach Kelly’s methods have clearly worked for the team,” Martinez said. “We believe that with his experience and our hard work and dedication, we can win a national championship and strengthen LSU’s legacy.”
Martinez has established himself as an integral part of the LSU program, and he has worked extensively to elevate himself to becoming a trusted member of the offensive line rotation. His career success indicates there are more signature moments on the horizon as the 2023 season unfolds.