Kelvin Martin played for Boston College from 1984-1987 and is considered one of the finest receivers to play for the school. He graduated as the school’s all-time leader in receptions (134), and TD catches (28), as well as holder of various punt return records. A shifty receiver with deceptive speed, K-Mart was part of a strong triumvirate of BC players drafted in 1987. He’d go in the 4th round to the Dallas Cowboys, probably because of his height (5’9″) and frame (163).
After a wash of a rookie season- thanks in part to the players strike, K-Mart went back to work as the team’s primary punt returner, working his way into the lineup as a slot receiver. Beginning in 1988 he began to see an increased workload. As the team transitioned from Danny White to Troy Aikman, Martin saw little drop off, in fact, increasing from 39 to 59, his average yards per game, from 1988 to 1989. His best season came in 1990, as the team leaned on Kelvin heavily while Michael Irvin recovered from his 3rd straight injury plagued season. He’d finish as the team’s leading receiver in catches (64) and yards (732), however Josh and I joked about his bottom line- zero touchdowns. (I believe that his 100+ total catches spanning 4 seasons is an NFL record for futility, as he did not score a TD from week 12 of 1989 to week 4 of 1992.) He’d pick back up punt returning, and lead the league in yardage (532) and TD returns (2) in 1992 while Michael Irvin and Alvin Harper were seeing more and more targets.
1993 was the dawn of a new era in free agency. Kelvin signed with the Seattle Seahawks, where he’d be paired opposite Brian Blades in the lineup. A value pick up, Kelvin finished with a career high 798 yards and 5 receiving touchdowns that year. He’d record respectable 681 yards the following season before he was left exposed in the 1995 Expansion Draft held for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthers. Before Martin knew it, he selected with the 27th pick of the draft by the Jags. Oddly enough, the team cut him outright 2 weeks later- citing that his $800k price tag was too high to justify keeping him on the roster.
Enter the Philadelphia Eagles, who were burned by Martin, by denying the Eagles a playoff appearance in 1991, when Kelvin returned a punt 85 yards for a score. He’d sign with Philly and be one and done there before going back home to Dallas in 1996. Kelvin scored a 60 yard TD against the Atlanta Falcons that season before hanging up the cleats.
I had never gotten Martin at training camp when the Cowboys were at St. Edwards back in the early 90s. It had almost appeared as though he preferred the anonymity rather than revel in the glory like guys such as Irvin did. Martin always reminded me of Houston Oilers slot man Curtis Duncan both in play, statistics, and overall class act. I was surprised at how fast I got a response from Kelvin and had seen that he averaged somewhere around 3 months per return. Kelvin lives in the Dallas area and has been involved in coaching at the college level.
G 139/66 Rec 367 Yds 4768 Avg 13.0 Td 15 Lg 60t |
Kr 76 Yds 1453 Avg 19.1 Td 0 Lg 59 |
Pr 261 Yds 2567 Avg 9.8 Td 3 Lg 85t