Rushing His Way Into Fordham History

Rams’ Longtime Running Back Xavier Martin Reflects on his Time at Fordham


Published: October 21, 2010

Beginning his journey at Fordham in the fall of 2007, Rams’ running back Xavier Martin, FCRH ’11, has slowly become one of the most prolific running backs in Fordham’s history. Having been a significant part of the Rams’ offense for the last four years, Martin hopes to make his final year at Fordham a memorable one. “I came into this season wanting to win football games but I also came into this season planning to have fun,” Martin said. “It’s my last time with the guys and I want to have fun this year.”

As a young child, Martin was always interested in playing football. “As a kid I really liked the way Deion Sanders played football; he used to be very flashy on the football field,” Martin said. “I wanted to be like that, so I joined the pee wee league when I was nine years old.”

Originating from Staten Island, N.Y., Martin made the choice to play for Fordham, not only because it was close to home, but because he could define himself as a player. “At bigger schools they wanted me to play a different position,” Martin said. “At Fordham, Coach Masella was more forward with me. He told me that if I came to Fordham I could play as a running back. I just wanted to be a running back.”

Coming in as Fordham’s new running back in 2007, Martin quickly turned heads on campus. Making his collegiate debut against Columbia University on Sept. 15, 2007, Martin amazed Ram fans with his quick feet and lateral movement. In the game Martin led Fordham to a 27-10 victory over the Lions. Notching 158 yards on 25 attempts, Martin carried the Rams offense, scoring three rushing touchdowns.

However, this was just the start of a blossoming career for Martin, as he finished the 2007 season with a total of 635 rushing yards. As a freshman he scored a team high:  eight touchdowns en route to helping the Rams win the 2007 Patriot League title. “Coming into college as a freshman and being on the conference championship team at Fordham was a great experience,” Martin said. “I didn’t think I could contribute that early on a championship team.”

In 2008, Martin solidified himself as the Rams’ go-to rusher. Rushing for more than 100 yards on six different occasions, Martin was well on his way to becoming one of all-time great running backs in Fordham history.

In the 2009 season, Martin got help with the  addition of running-back Darryl Whiting, FCRH ’12. Despite not getting as many carries as the 2008 season, Martin was effective as usual, posting big numbers for the Rams, including a 187-yard rushing performance against Old Dominion on Oct. 3, 2009.

Always looking for ways to improve his game, Martin likes to see  annual improvements in his performances. “I look at the year before and I always strive myself to be better than I was before,” Martin said. “Last year I tried figure out what my weaknesses were and how I could work on my weaknesses.”

Currently fourth on the all-time rushing yards list, with 2,538 yards, Martin hopes to leave a mark on the football team when he graduates from Fordham. “Hopefully I can leave a legacy behind here; I always want to be remembered as helping Fordham,” Martin said. “I’m happy for what I did here and I have no regrets.”

As for Martin’s plans after football, he hopes to use his Fordham connections to help him in the future. “I’m going to network with some Fordham alumni and basically we’ll see if I can play football after the season, but if not being a graduate from Fordham is a big achievement,” Martin said.