BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -
LSU senior safety Ronald Martin knows what he means to the tiny White Castle community. Martin played quarterback for then head coach Ferrante Dominique and the Bulldogs' first ever state championship football team in 2010, before moving on to the Tigers. He also was an all-state selection in basketball, while also starring in baseball and track. Martin has certainly set a great example for young boys in small towns, who have those big college sports dreams.
"Ronald Martin, the kids look up to him," current White Castle head coach Lamar Thomas agrees. "He's doing well at LSU, and we have kids who aspire to be where he is and accomplish the kinds of things he has accomplished. And will continue to accomplish."
The LSU defensive back acknowledges that responsibility.
"I give those guys a want to in life," Martin humbly says. "I think those guys really look up to me. I try to keep it positive for them."
Martin has played in 24 games during his first three seasons with the Tigers, starting eight of them. He's made three career interceptions and 76 tackles, while certainly hoping to finish his LSU playing days strongly.
"I'm just trying to accomplish great things as a team," Martin states with purpose. "Winning the national championship would mean the world to me."
There's certainly been adversity to overcome on and off the field. Martin's father, Ron Martin Sr, passed away early during the 2013 season. Despite the devastating loss, Ronald kept plugging away.
"I had a great support group. These guys over here, my family. They kept me strong and kept me going right."
Martin acknowledges that the 2014 season is for his father. And many others.
"I play for my whole family, I play for the Tigers. Most of all, I play for God. I let him take the stand and I just follow his role."
Martin says the 2011 LSU defense set the standard, for what this season's group needs to follow. He was a freshman on that team, playing sparingly in a secondary absolutely bursting with future NFL talent. Names like Tyrann Mathieu, Brandon Taylor, Eric Reid, Mo Claiborne, Tharold Simon and Ron Brooks spearheaded LSU to a 13-0 start and SEC Championship.
"That was a spectacular defense," Martin admires, "That's what we're striving to be, greater than those guys. If we can get on those guys' level, I think we'll have a great defense this season."
And finally, what exactly is LSU football? Martin has a distinct and powerful definition.
"Focused, physical, dominant football. That's LSU every day."