Redshirt senior John Martinez started five games at right guard and center in 2013 and was an active member of the offensive line rotation.
What went right: As a veteran offensive lineman with two full seasons under his belt as a starter, Martinez provided a good counter balance to Aundrey Walker who was transitioning to the right guard position. He also played a valuable role as cover on the line when injuries threw the line out of whack.
In fact, one of his most impressive games came against Oregon State when an injury to Kevin Graf forced Martinez to flip to left guard. Moving from one side of the line to another so quickly is no easy task and Martinez handled the transition perfectly.
What went wrong: Despite two seasons as the starter at right guard, Martinez couldn’t retain his hold on the position when Walker made his switch from left tackle. Being part of the rotation as opposed to the clear cut starter probably isn’t what Martinez had in mind for his senior season, especially after being named to the Outland Trophy watch list in the offseason.
Martinez also shares guilt in the often subpar offensive line play throughout the season. Right guard was rarely a position of strength for the Trojans, which is unfortunate as Martinez was a returning starter and All-Pac-12 honorable mention in 2012.
What’s next: Martinez graduated USC with a degree in sociology last May and has an outside chance of being drafted this April. WalterFootball.com lists him as a potential pick between the fifth and seventh rounds, projecting him to fit better as a center in terms of size in the NFL.
Final Grade: C
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