Second, he had concerns about getting a COVID-19 infection through football, particularly as his parents have weak immune systems. Last, he had surgery for his toe in December and, because he wasn’t able to go through the standard rehabilitation process in the offseason due to quarantining measures, he hadn’t regained full range of motion in his toe as the team began preseason training.
“That kind of put my mind to a place where football, for the first time, didn’t feel like a game anymore,” he said.
With his extra time, Martin has already taken part in a two-week work program with a home-buying company and has had multiple interviews with companies. He is interested in a job in the field of operations and supply chain management. He has had internships with the Atlanta Airlines Terminal Company (which operates the terminal and concourses at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport), an executive search firm and a marketing company.
“I almost feel like I’m getting recruited again from all the people I’ve been talking to,” he said.
His favorite memories from playing for the Jackets include the team’s trip to Ireland to play Boston College in 2016, beating Georgia in 2016 and his first career start (in the 2019 season opener against Clemson) while wearing No. 90, the jersey number of the late Brandon Adams, his close friend.
Martin likely would have had a chance at starting and certainly being in the defensive tackle rotation. He called it strange to be apart from football.
“I still love football, of course,” he said. “Everybody does, and I miss playing in the games, but football isn’t just playing on Saturday.”