Markelle Martin never viewed himself as an NFL prospect.
Not after he backed up Jacob Lacey and Perrish Cox as a freshman cornerback. Not after he successfully transitioned to the starting strong safety as a sophomore. Not even after he burst onto the scene as a junior, punishing roaming receivers and earning the label of a hard hitter.
“I'm a realistic person,” Martin said. “I was just living in the day and enjoying college football.”
So imagine Martin's surprise when a teammate came up to him during last season's summer workouts and told him that he wasn't just appearing on recent mock drafts. Martin was rated as the top safety in his class.
“I thought he was playing around,” Martin said. “A couple days later, I saw it on the TV and was like, ‘Wow, that's me.' ”
Fast-forward 10 months and Martin has come to grips with his new reality.
Six NFL scouts were in Stillwater on Tuesday, representing the Titans, Colts, Jaguars, Patriots, Buccaneers and Falcons. All came to see Martin's individual pro day.
And he performed relatively well, running a respectable 4.60-second 40-yard dash, jumping 34 inches in the vertical leap and looking smooth in position drills.
All of this came six weeks after he had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.
“This is the most I've done since the surgery, so whatever I did, I'm pretty much happy with that,” Martin said. “Not a lot of people can say six weeks after that surgery they ran a 40, so it's pretty much a blessing.”
The injury occurred one day after Martin returned from the Senior Bowl. He was doing routine drills at the stadium when he hyperextended his knee and felt a twinge.