LSU Linemen Marcus Dumervil & Marlon Martinez on COVID-19, Coach O, and the 2020 Season

ByScotty Jenkins

11 min read

LSU Linemen Marcus Dumervil & Marlon Martinez on COVID-19, Coach O, and the 2020 Season

Torrian Wilson worked with LSU linemen Marcus Dumervil and Marlon Martinez during an important time in their lives. Wilson was their Offensive Line coach at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, during a stretch when the two 4-star recruits won Florida's Division-7A State title and beating Hawaii's Saint Louis High School to claim a national championship in January 2020.

Two of the most accomplished prep offensive linemen in state history, the two committed to, then defending national champion, LSU together in 2020. Wilson caught up with them on The Crafting Linemen Show following the Tigers' 5-5 season to chat about their recruitment, college football during a pandemic, and of course, Ed Orgeron.

The Crafting Linemen Show | Live with LSU Linemen Marlon Martinez & Marcus Dumervil | GMTM
Host and Crafting Linemen founder Torrian Wilson is joined by former top recruits and current LSU offensive linemen - Marlon Martinez and Marcus Dumervil! The three chat about the LSU Tigers’ big win against the Florida Gators and the difficult season for college football players during the 2020 pan…

Read our favorite excerpts from their December 16, 2020 interview below:

Today, we have Marlon Martinez and Marcus Dumervil from the LSU Tigers. What’s going on, guys?

MARTINEZ: I'm chillin'.

DUMERVIL: Nothing much. What’s going on, coach?

So first off, before we even kick it off, just tell the people a little bit about yourselves.

MARTINEZ: So, we both came from the same high school - St. Thomas Aquinas, Florida. Freshman year, I played JV and then I started for three years. Started getting recruited my junior year and they ranked me as a three-star or four-star. I ended up at LSU, one way or another with like about 30 other offers.

DUMERVIL: I played for you, Coach Wilson at St. Thomas and now play at LSU, as well. I played on the defensive side of the ball, but then I moved over to the offense. I didn't really like it at first, but it was going to get me paid, so that's what
I'm going to do. I was a four-star recruit coming out of high school.


What was the experience of being recruited to LSU like?

Tweet about Marcus Dumervil's family ties

MARTINEZ: Well, for me, it was a lot about just keeping my head down and working. I had to have a lot of faith because my freshman and sophomore years of high school, I wasn't getting a lot of looks. Even though, LSU offered me early on, I still had to keep working. And I actually got a late invite (as a sub) to the All-American game... they called me and they needed a guy. So I said, I'll do it.

DUMERVIL: It was a little different for me, obviously. I had some family members who did what I'm trying to do before me. So, that kind helped me get a head start in the recruitment - just from people seeing (my last) name. But, it also kind of put a target on me.

Marcus Dumervil & Marlon Martinez Talk About There Journey To LSU | GMTM
Marlon Martinez and Marcus Dumerville got 60+ offers combined coming out of high school. They talk about all the work they put in to get themself in that situation and how it got them to LSU.

I started getting offers freshman year and things really picked up for me late in my sophomore year. I got an offer from LSU my sophomore year and honestly, they weren't really my first choice at the time. I really didn't know where I wanted to go. I just knew I wanted to play in the SEC somewhere.

Do you feel having that last name of Dumervil adds pressure?

DUMERVIL: Yeah, certainly it adds the pressure of living up to a certain standard. Sometimes, the older (Dumervils) who've done it before me reach out and
want to know what I'm doing and how I'm representing them. So, it brings some pressure to what I do next.


So, you both of you went to the All-American game as seniors in 2019. What is it like watching this year's class miss that opportunity due to COVID-19?

MARTINEZ: But with what's going on, I feel bad for the kids that didn't get opportunity to play in that game. Because first of all, it's a great experience - getting to see guys that you're going to see the next three to four
years in college. Anyway. Me, for example - I've gone against guys in college that I played with in the All-American game. So, the fact that this class doesn't get to experience that is tough.

DUMERVIL: Yeah, as Marlon said, playing with those guys for a week in Orlando and you get to meet a lot of new people, see a lot of things. I got guys on my team now that I played with in that game. So those are great experiences.

I feel bad for those guys. You know, you work hard in high school for that... and it was stripped away from those guys due to a global pandemic. So, I feel for those guys and, and those friendships they won't make along the way. They just got to keep their head down and move forward.


So, I coached both of you at St. Thomas Aquinas? During your time there, you guys won the state championship - AND - the national championship. What was that feeling like?

MARTINEZ: It's really indescribable to be honest, because the year before we had got to State and we fell short. So our mindset is literally "go all the way or it doesn't mean anything". So we came into that year with a chip on our shoulders. And it showed. Our offensive line, we had to move positions around all the time. And a lot of guys definitely grew from that experience.

DUMERVIL: Winning the state championship, going undefeated, and then winning the national championship in Vegas... it felt like I had won the Super Bowl. It just was... it was indescribable. It was the time of our lives.

With so many top offensive linemen at LSU, how involved are you guys as leaders of that offensive line? Are there coaching moments during the game?

DUMERVIL: Yeah, so when the first group is on the field, Coach Cregg wants the second group with him up and down sidelines calling out stuff. Sometimes for example, like a couple of games ago, one of the linebackers kind of called out the guard. So, the guard went back to the center. He came late, but our coast, not like he just came right away. So when we tell him, when me telling him it was a little
coffee house stuck, then that he could correct the guard and say: Pete! Wait
till he's committed to drop out and then go back and help the center.

Right. So is that going on with you, too, Marlon?

MARTINEZ: Definitely. Walking into that center role, I have to know what's going on at all times. So, basically every game, (Coach Cregg) told me to stand by him and I'll be trying to help him. Because sometimes, you know, coaches aren't perfect. Nobody is. He may not see something that we see. So we just talked on the
sideline, whether we in or not.

How was that transition from the guard position to center? What's the biggest difference?

MARTINEZ: At the college level, it's the responsibility. Playing center in high school, you know, our calls weren't really that complicated. But now in college, there's so much responsibility to look at the defense, read the defense and I call the
protection. Everybody is listening to you.

When you get to college, it's really all about reading the defense, seeing the blitzes early, looking at the characters, seeing who's back over the safety. You know, you got more responsibility, more things you got to know.


How has it been, dealing with COVID and everything, during your freshman seasons?

DUMERVIL: Well, I could say some of his been stressful due having some guys out in quarantine, some games postponed, and stuff like that. But, mostly it kind of took a lot from the guys who just got into college. They experience like a tiger stadium is packed out this year. Like for certain games, we would have the Tiger Walk with 25,000 or 30,000 fans screaming and that is just a little different. It's just been kind of a stressful season on that end.

Marcus Dumervil & Marlon Martinez Speak On Covid & Next Season | GMTM
The global pandemic has caused life to change for many people and college players are no different. They have had games canceled and have lost players for the season due to this, but still, find a way to go out there and win. Marcus Dumervil & Marlon Martinez also talk about their offseason plans an…

But, it's been fun, as well. Going out there and seeing guys win big games and just being in the atmosphere next to somebody you grinded throughout fall camp and summer workouts with. So, (those parts) are really enjoyable.

There've been a ton of instances where a team would go through the whole week of practice and then come to find out their game was postponed. I know, for me as a player, I would've went crazy, man.

DUMERVIL: So when that happened to us, he kind of told us on a Wednesday or
Tuesday after practice. So we kind of knew going forward that we'll switch in
the game plan to the following week's opponent. And he gave us like that,
that Friday, Saturday, Sunday off.

MARTINEZ: As a center, it was especially tough to switch the game plan mid-week because I'd be memorizing coverages for a certain team. And then, from one day to the next, you have to learn a whole different defense.

Right. You got to throw out everything that you just learned?

MARTINEZ: Yeah. But, keep it in the back of your mind because chances are, you're going to see it again.


Next year looks very bright for both of you guys and you've got upperclassmen that are leaving. What are you guys doing to make sure that you guys are prepared for
this next season?

MARTINEZ: I'm definitely going to focus on getting stronger and faster.
I also have to study up on our protections because I'm going to have to know it next year. And then, just working on my technique, knowing even if I'm not going to be at center next year, I got to keep that same stuff going on wherever I go.

DUMERVIL: With me, I obviously want to get bigger... stronger, faster. That’s everybody's off season. But when you grow in size, you kind of (also) grow mentally. You still want to do some film study, technique work... and go through some of the blocking schemes with your plays. Just stay sharp on the protections and schematic stuff.


What advice would you give these young guys on what it takes to get to the level?

DUMERVIL: It takes a lot of sacrifices and a lot of time. You going to miss out on things... but later on, you're going to look back at it like... "this opportunity is not going to come again."

MARTINEZ: But besides that, you just got to keep working. I mean... everything I do, I'll look at it later and be like I could've done this better. I could've done that better. So just take advantage of every moment you get, whether it's playing in a game... whether it's training... whether it's practice. Take advantage of everything
anybody gives you, because you're going to look back at it and critique yourself. And you should look back and say, I did what I had to do to get where I am now.


One thing I want to know is how is Coach Orgeron?

DUMERVIL: He’s fun. Sometimes, we'll be in a serious moment and then like he'll say something to loosen everybody up... and he's got the Cajun accent and stuff.
So, when he does go off topic, sometimes people can't understand him.
He's a demanding coach, though, as all coaches should be. And, when it's off
the field, he's a father figure to some guys and, and he treats us
like we’re his own sons.

MARTINEZ: Yeah. Especially with lineman... he’s going to take care of lineman.

DUMERVIL: For example, Tuesday is usually the grind day... competition Tuesdays. So, we'll have like two minutes left in a really tough workout and he'll call out the big men and say, "We done." And, for the rest of the 10 minutes, we just get to be on a knee watching the skill guys keep going, shaking their heads.

Current LSU Players, Marcus Dumervil and Marlon Martinez, Talk About Coach Orgeron | GMTM
Marcus Dumervil and Marlon Martinez both have massive respect for Coach Orgeron. They say that he is a father figure to many of the guys on the team and that he loves lineman. They also go on to speak about the intense practices and the overall culture.

MARTINEZ: But, that shouldn't be taken the wrong way, though. He really is
demanding of everything he do. Like, the culture of LSU is practice
harder. We go hard as often as we can. So, that two minutes is like really earned. But yeah, he demands full speed, full contact. He's that type of coach, you know, hard-nosed, like the culture of LSU football.


Torrian Wilson: (23:34):             All right. For my last question, I do this with
every guest that comes on the shelf. All right. Whoever  wants to come,
whoever wants to go, they go first. . But this is strictly talking about NFL
lineman on this one. So you are a NFL head coach. You have to put
together five offensive linemen. I'm going to take you to the super bowl.
And so I get this question all the time. So it doesn't matter if it doesn't
matter if he's a left tackle and you put him at right tackle, that doesn't
matter. As long as he's intact.

Marlos Martinez: (24:21):         Oh, go for it.

Marcus Dumervil (24:25):           Hold on, hold on, hold on. Trent Williams.

Torrian Wilson: (24:29):              Who was that second name?

Marcus Dumervil(24:30) :            Todd Smith

Torrian Wilson(24:31):                 Okay. Okay.

Marcus Dumervil: (24:33):          And then.. Can people be out of position or no?

Torrian Wilson: (24:36):               As long as they play guard, it doesn't matter.

Marcus Dumervil: (24:38):          Okay. I'm gonna put  Brandon Sheriff side.

Torrian Wilson: (24:48):              I like it .That's a new one to. we never had .

Marcus Dumervil: (24:52):          Richie, Richie. I left Gore

Torrian Wilson: (24:55):               Richie. Yeah, no one never named him either.

Marcus Dumervil: (25:00):          And then at center,  I'll put, I think he's named Brian. The one from
Tampa Bay.

Torrian Wilson: (25:08):              Oh, Brian Jensen. Yeah.  That's a good line. I like it. I like that line. See
those two names. Brandon Sheriff and Richie Incognito. No one has ever
named those two and they get slept on too. Yeah. I like those too.

Marlon Martinez: (25:26):           I have my final with his phone, but from left to right. I got David
Boughty  already. Quentin  Nelson ,Jason Kelsey, Marshall Yonder and
Tyrone Smith.

Torrian Wilson: (25:40):             Who did you have at left guard?

Marlon Martinez: (25:45):          Quentin Nelson

Torrian Wilson: (25:46):              Oh no,I don’t know!? Dumervil?

Marcus Dumervil: (25:51):          Who will bring every boy And pass the test.

Torrian Wilson: (25:53):              That's it. That's the line. That's the super super bowl line right there. I
gotta give it to you. That's a Super bowl line right there, but that's a
good game. You two meet, meet each other at super on that. But guys,
man  I appreciate you guys for coming on, man. Taking the time out of
your busy schedule. I know you guys are preparing for Ole miss this
weekend, man. Once again, I appreciate you guys. This is Tony Wilson
with the craft and limey show, man. And you guys have a good night on
th

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