Grinz on Green Blog
Nov. 19, 2011
By Steve Grinczel, Online Columnist
When Michigan State wideout and returnman Keshawn Martin said it's all about taking steps, no truer words were ever spoken.
In the Spartans' 55-3 Senior Day victory over Indiana, Martin personally kept the crowd of 74,128 interested with a rapid-fire series of frontward, backward, sideways and even diagonal steps.
Martin amassed a season-high 182 all-purpose yards on eight catches for 99 yards, a 19-yard touchdown run off an end-around and five punt returns for 64 yards. Forty-seven yards came on a touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to give MSU a 17-0 first-quarter lead.
Martin had one of MSU's best individual Senior Day performances, but isn't through with next Saturday's regular-season finale at Northwestern, the Big Ten Championship Game and a bowl still to be played.
"I'm happy right now for me and for all the seniors," Martin said. "We went out on a good note at home. It felt good to have all the fans cheering for you, and what I accomplished feels good, but it's not done yet.
"We've got a lot more football left."
Few players pack more football into less space than Martin, who was a quarterback in high school.
On his first score, Martin made the catch while slipping one defender, pivoted and held off another before breaking for the end zone.
"Kirk threw it, I saw it and had to jump for it a little bit," he said. "Once I caught it, I saw the safety coming, so I had to give him a little stiff-arm, and after that, it was just a touchdown. On the reverse, I just used my speed and got into the end zone."
However, Martin was at his elusive best in the second quarter while evading six Hoosier tacklers before the seventh caught him during what was arguable the greatest 5-yard punt in school history.
"I was just trying to make guys miss and get up the field," he said. "I was successful with that, but then I got tackled. But, it's great to hear the fans ooh and aah when I run."
Martin said that if hadn't come to MSU on a football scholarship, he'd probably be playing basketball for a small college. Coach Mark Dantonio recounted how he came to be the Spartans' Human Highlight Film.
"He was an unknown," Dantonio said. "He didn't go to any (prep football) camps. He was a quarterback and a basketball player. The guy never ran track until his senior year. We watched him for about 15 minutes on film I got midseason in 2007.
"I immediately called him up, offered him a scholarship and got him up here. He's a great young man. He's got a knack for all kinds of big plays. I think he's scored every way possible for us. We will deeply miss him. He's a lot of fun to be around and he's a great player."
During his MSU career, Martin has accounted for 16 touchdowns: 10 receiving, three rushing, one passing, one on a kick return and one on a punt return.
"It's gratifying, a little bit, to know where I came from and where I'm at now," Martin said. "That's just life. You've got to take steps in life to get better, and that's all I'm trying to do to get a shot at the next level."
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