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Football Notebook: Martin Named SoCon Player of the Week; Nine Former Players Now on NFL Rosters

Senior Sam Martin was named SoCon Special Teams Player of the Week for the fifth time in his career after averaging 45.2 yards per punt in last Saturday’s season opener at East Carolina. Photo courtesy of David Scearce and Appalachian Sports Information

Sept. 4, 2012. For the fifth time in his career, Appalachian State University punter/kicker Sam Martin (Fayetteville, Ga./Starr’s Mill) has been named the Southern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance in Appalachian’s 35-13 season-opening loss at East Carolina last Saturday. 

Beginning his fourth year as Appalachian State’s punter, Martin averaged 45.2 yards over six punts against ECU on Saturday, with a long of 53. Two of his six punts were downed inside the 20 yard line and only one was able to be returned. The 45.2-yard average was the fourth-highest in the nation last weekend among players with at least six punts. 

The senior also handled Appalachian’s kickoff duties and averaged 61.7 yards over three kicks with two touchbacks.

Martin was also named the SoCon’s Special Teams Player of the Week twice as a sophomore in 2010 and twice last season.

MOUNTAINEERS FALL IN NATIONAL RANKINGS: Despite a strong showing against a formidable NCAA Division I FBS opponent, Appalachian State dropped five spots to No. 11 in this week’s The Sports Network NCAA Division I FCS media poll and three spots to No. 8 in the American Football Coaches Association poll. 

Appalachian’s No. 11 ranking in The Sports Network poll marks the first time since Oct. 24, 2005 that the Mountaineers have been ranked outside the top 10 during the regular season. The five-spot drop in the TSN poll came despite trailing Conference USA’s East Carolina by just one point with less than three minutes remaining in the third quarter of Saturday’s season opener in sweltering Greenville, N.C.  

The Mountaineers have a great opportunity to impress voters this Saturday when they host No. 12/9 Montana on Saturday at Kidd Brewer Stadium. 

SATURDAY’S GAME TO BE TELEVISED ON ESPN GAMEPLAN AND ESPN3: Saturday’s telecast of the much-anticipated intersectional FCS showdown between Appalachian State and Montana will be televised as part of the ESPN Gameplan pay-per-view package. 

ESPN Gameplan is available on most cable and satellite systems nationwide. Check with your cable or satellite provider for availability and cost. 

Additionally, the broadcast can be seen live on ESPN3, ESPN’s online platform. Visit ESPN3.com to see if ESPN3 is available through your internet service provider.

Darren Goldwater (play-by-play) and former Marshall and Minnesota Vikings running back Doug Chapman (analyst) will call the action from Kidd Brewer Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m.

Due to ESPN’s exclusive broadcast rights with the Southern Conference, GoASU TV cannot stream Saturday’s game. GoASU TV’s live football broadcasts begin on Saturday, Sept. 15 with the Mountaineers’ SoCon opener versus The Citadel.

PRESLEY, LeGREE SIGN WITH DOLPHINS’, FALCONS’ PRACTICE SQUADS: Former Appalachian State defensive backs DeAndre Presley and Mark LeGree will remain in the NFL after agreeing to join the practice squads of the Miami Dolphins and Atlanta Falcons, respectively.

Presley (San Diego Chargers) and LeGree (Chicago Bears) both impressed in training camp and during preseason games but did not make their teams’ final 53-man rosters. As members of the Dolphins’ and Falcons’ eight-player practice squads, Presley and LeGree can be added to any NFL team’s active 53-man roster at any time. 

With Presley and LeGree’s signings, Appalachian State now has nine former players in the NFL ranks. RB Travaris Cadet (New Orleans Saints), WR Armanti Edwards (Carolina Panthers), OL Daniel Kilgore (San Francisco 49ers), DB Corey Lynch (San Diego Chargers), WR Brian Quick (St. Louis Rams) and LB D.J. Smith (Green Bay Packers) are on their organizations’ 53-man rosters while DE Jason Hunter remains with the Denver Broncos but will spend the 2012 campaign on the injured reserve after undergoing season-ending surgery for a biceps injury sustained during training camp.