Placekicker Ross Martin made a splash during his first season with the Blue Devils, earning honorable mention All-America honors after setting a school single-season record with 106 total points. As a rookie, the Solon, Ohio, native booted 20-of-23 field goals and 46-of-47 extra points as Duke appeared in a bowl game for the first time since 1994. GoDuke.com sat down with Martin as spring practice got underway.
GoDuke.com: What are some of the team goals for this spring? Ross Martin: The theme of the spring is ‘Get better’ in everything we do – offense, defense, special teams. Just in every aspect, to get better and improve off of last season.
GoDuke.com: What are some things you’ll be working on refining during spring practice? RM: We have a new snapper so I want to get the operation seamless like last year. Obviously it wasn’t perfect last year, but it’s something we always strive to be.
GoDuke.com: What is the atmosphere in the locker room at this time of the year? RM: Everyone’s super excited to be back at it. Everyone’s getting real anxious for spring ball and finally playing football again.
GoDuke.com: How can this year’s squad build off of last year’s success moving forward? RM: Just stay focused and not worry about last year or look at the future, but look at the next game ahead of us and make sure to go win that.
GoDuke.com: How important is the spring in terms of developing some of the younger players on the team? RM: It’s really important because we definitely have some spots to fill that the new guys could take over. Just like with my class, there were a few guys who came in and played early as freshmen last year. It’s definitely important to get them here early. We already have four coming in early, so anything like that is really helpful for us.
GoDuke.com: With the loss of last year’s senior class, how do you think the rising senior class will step up and fill those leadership roles? RM: I think they’re going to be awesome. We already have a great group returning. One of our captains from last year, Ross Cockrell, is returning. I think the upperclassmen this year are going to be awesome.
GoDuke.com: With one year of college football under your belt, how confident are you heading into your second season? RM: It definitely gets rid of the first-year jitters. I’ve done this before now. I’ve played in some of the places we’re going to play next year. I just want to improve off of it, think about what I did last year and think about how I can improve off of that.
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