MARTIN IFEDI WORKS TOWARD NEXT LEVEL SUCCESS
I vividly remember the day I arrived in Memphis very eager to get started training and to begin the next chapter of my life. I was excited to make the best of my opportunity as a division 1-football player. Memphis has had a couple of consecutive losing seasons, but I thought it would get quickly turned around. I was sadly mistaken, the problem was very deep rooted and within.
With the hire of Justin Fuente, he laid out a plan on how a real football program operates. He also quickly weeded out the bad apples who were not needed and who did not see Fuente’s vision for the program.
He taught the upperclassmen how to lead and show the younger guys how things were done. This was the most critical part of our success. When times got hard, knowing that someone was watching me and looking up to me on the field, I was obligated to maintain my composure and act in an appropriate manner.
After having a monstrous junior season, I contemplated entering the NFL draft a year early. However, after thinking long and hard, I decided my work at Memphis was not done and I could not leave on a bad note having just completed a 3-9 season. We worked tirelessly during the offseason and prepared for the 2014 season with the motto 1-0, never looking ahead and only playing week by week.
We wrote out our personal goals and our team goals. I hung these up and looked at them everyday before I left my apartment. Some of them were fulfilled and some of them were not. I achieved all of them academically but fell short of some of them athletically.
After my last college game and first bowl game experience, I knew my career was not done. I had and still have to prove that I belong at the next level. After participating in the East/West shrine game and receiving an invite to the NFL combine I liked my chances of being drafted. Although, draft day is crazy and anything can happen I kept my faith and continued to pray. When the day finally came around it was nerve wrecking pick by pick on day 3. I finally received a call from the St. Louis Rams and my opportunity presented itself.
I trained pretty hard before the report day for rookies so I felt prepared, which I was. Being a rookie is very similar to being a freshman in college again. You have to reprove all over again especially as a 7th round pick. You have to show them that you belong and you can be a professional.
Things are going good so far. The things which have helped me get to this point in my life, is what’s going to keep me here. So this break we have before training is going to be vital as to how I perform in camp. So I will train the best way I know how.