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USC Center Marcus Martin Drafted By The San Francisco 49ers

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Offensive lineman Marcus Martin takes center stage joining 29 other NFL draftees in New York City's Radio Music Hall, a befitting location for dreams to be realized.

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Martin is a San Francisco 49er after being selected as the 70th pick overall in the 3rd round of the NFL Draft. Martin was touted as the No. 1 center in this year's draft, which is why it came as a surprise to many that he was not called earlier. Initially when Martin declared for the draft after last season, there was some uncertainty on whether Martin was making the right decision.

He applied his on-the-field motto to the draft process: he put his head down and continued to grind until people were forced to take notice. His approach worked as the soon to be NFL rookie received an invitation to the NFL Draft in New York City, where he sat alongside former USC teammate Marqise Lee.

Martin had a chip on his shoulder from his days at Crenshaw High School, despite winning two LA City championships playing with college football standouts like fellow draft prospect DeAnthony Thomas (Oregon) and Trojan Hayes Pullard. With dedication and sacrifice, Martin wound up as one of the starting offensive guard at the University of Southern California on a full scholarship.

As a true freshman, Martin started in 10 games making him the first since Jeff Byers in 2004 to start as an offensive guard. In his sophomore year, Martin showed much promise at right guard. Once the Trojan's beloved senior center, Khaled Holmes, now playing for the Indianapolis Colts graduated, the offensive line became Martin's responsibility.

He was moved to center and adapted to the role instantly.

Spring practice was the time that Martin attracted a lot of attention as he eased into his role as center and one of the leaders of the team. He earned honors as All Pac-12 first team and USC's Offensive Lineman of the Year after starting every game last season.

An injury at the end of the season, created some worry however, the fight in Martin allowed him to be down for some time, but not out. He chose not to compete in running drills at the NFL combine saving that for USC's Pro Day and was able to show his athleticism and agility to scouts who had any doubts.

With a simple blink of the eye from Crenshaw High School, Martin found himself preparing for the opportunity of a lifetime, to play in the NFL.

During the game against UCLA, Martin sustained injuries to his left kneecap and ankle generating some worry. He chose not to compete in running drills at the NFL combine saving that for USC's Pro Day and was able to show his athleticism and agility to scouts who had any doubts.

After a long wait, Martin is on his way up north to join the San Francisco 49ers.