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Player of the Week: ACC

10/22/2012

Kickers rarely get their due when they simply go out on Saturdays and do their jobs.

Well, that changes today. My choice for ACC Player of the Week is Duke kicker Ross Martin.

Martin was an integral part in Duke's 33-30 win over North Carolina, a victory that clinched bowl eligibility for the Blue Devils for the first time since 1994.

Martin set a Duke freshman record with four field goals (28, 30, 20 and 43 yards) and became the first Duke player with four field goals in a game since Will Snyderwine against Virginia Tech on Oct. 3, 2009.

In all, Martin had 15 total points, setting the Duke freshman record for points in a game, topping the 14 scored by Brandon Connette against Virginia in 2010. On Monday, Martin was recognized as one of the Lou Groza National Collegiate Place Kicker Award "Stars of the Week."

You read all that right. Martin is a true freshman.

Rarely do youngsters begin their careers the way Martin has. Then you also must consider the huge shoes he had to fill going into the season in replacing Snyderwine, who ranks No. 3 in school history in career points with 222 and holds the school record for most field goals made in a season (21 in 2010).

Martin has a shot at breaking that record, having converted 14 of 15 field goal attempts on the season. With four games remaining, Martin ranks No. 2 in the ACC in average field goals made per game, with 1.75.

Duke got some pretty terrific performances on Saturday, no question. Quarterback Sean Renfree, tackle Perry Simmons and running back Jela Duncan were honored by the ACC on Monday. But Martin deserves some special praise as well for the way he played in such an important game.