Walk-on Connor Martin made himself essential in 2017, playing double duty as Baylor’s kicker and punter down the stretch of the season. As a result, Baylor coach Matt Rhule rewarded Martin with a scholarship on Friday, fulfilling Martin’s dream of being a Division I scholarship player.
When I was in high school I promised my parents I would earn a scholarship to play at the D1 level. I’m excited to say I have finally fulfilled that promise. Thank you to everyone who made this possible, I feel very blessed! pic.twitter.com/WzQ2TfyH0s
— Connor Martin (@Connor_J_M) May 11, 2018
The scholarship is a rich reward after a strong 2017. A native of Frisco, Tex., Martin saw brief action as a freshman, and won the starting kicking job out of spring camp after incumbent starter Chris Callahan left the program.
He responded with a superb 2017 as a kicker, hitting 20 of his 24 field goals. Although it’s only one season, that 83.3 percent mark qualifies him as the most accurate kicker in Baylor history.
What’s more, Martin took over as Baylor’s punter after starter Drew Galitz suffered a season-ending injury against Kansas State. Martin punted for the rest of the season, averaging 40.3 yards on 39 punts. Martin joined Oklahoma’s Austin Seibert as the only Big 12 specialists to handle both punting and kicking duties.
Galitz is expected to return in 2018, taking punting duties off of Martin’s plate. However, the junior is tipped for another season as one of the Big 12’s most accurate kickers. And when Martin takes the field in 2018, he won’t have to worry about paying tuition.