Brian Martin is the founder of TEST Sports Clubs and the TEST Football Academy , an elite training complex for NFL-bound athletes getting ready for the draft. The league is dotted with his talent, from the likes of Joe Flacco and Ryan Clady to Rutgers ’ standout Eric Foster and Jamaal Westerman of the Jets, a number of rising stars have gone through TEST Sports Clubs.
This past spring, the NFL Network turned to Martin and TEST Sports Clubs to help Rich Eisen cut down on his time in the 40-yard dash (every NFL combine, Eisen runs the dash in full suit). Martin and company achieved just that. Martin boasts three owned facilities in the New Jersey area in addition to two management contracts at Donald Trump’s Trump National Golf courses and the TEST Football Academy also has a location in Miami.
Before the NFL Draft, Martin trained and mentored former Penn State linebacker Josh Hull. Martin has several dozen players currently in the league right now on NFL contracts.
FightOnState.com: Everyone who follows Penn State football knows that Josh Hull went from walk-on to star with the Nittany Lions. His work ethic is notorious. What did you see from Hull on and off the field during your months training him?
BM: I saw a driven individual who wants it as much as any athlete I have ever been around. He is a coach’s dream with his work ethic and desire. I also learned that he is very funny and has a great personality. Often when you see such an intense linebacker, they are wound very tight off the field. Josh has a great family and is a balanced young man.
FOS: Any player that comes into your facility gets a complete analysis and break-down from body shape and type to fundamentals. What did you see in Hull that needed to be worked on to get him NFL ready?
BM: The two primary areas Josh needed to work on were linear speed - straight ahead speed - and flexibility in his hips to help him in pass coverage. He was very diligent with both and it will help him in the future. He is extremely quick from side to side but needs to continue to work on his straight ahead speed.
FOS: With a player like Hull, how much of what makes him a success goes beyond muscle and mass and really is in the heart of the player?
BM: Well… he has plenty of muscle and that is important but his heart and desire is what has gotten him to this point. He is tenacious in all that he does and I believe the Rams will be very pleased with what he brings to the table every week.
FOS: What impressed you the most about him as a player at first glance? Who does he remind you of in terms of a NFL linebacker?
BM: I was impressed with his excellent instincts and knack for always being around the ball. He reminds me a bit of Brian Urlacher because he is very tall and has range and always finds a way to make a play.
FOS: What are your thoughts on where he fell in the draft? A lot of the draft experts earlier in the year didn’t have him rated very high but he seems to have really changed people’s minds in the weeks leading up to the draft?
BM: We assumed he would be a late round pick. Many of the scouts and experts focused on the other two line backers coming out of Penn State and many were concerned about his linear speed. He did exceptionally well in all drills at the combine except the 40-yard dash but he redeemed himself in the 40 at Penn State’s pro day so I think he fell right about where expected.
But I also believe the Rams got a steal in the 7th round. He had top 100 talent on film if you ask me…
FOS: What players from Penn State are you looking at this year to make a big statement before leaving for the league? Is there an under the radar guy who could use 2010 to springboard into a successful pro career?
BM: Penn State always produces quality NFL talent. Obviously Evan Royster is a blue chip running back. If he can prove that he can be an every down work horse, he should be one of the top running backs taken in the 2011 draft.
A couple of other guys who have potential to rise are WR Graham Zug and DT Ollie Ogbu. Both have a chance to move up draft boards with a big senior season…