EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Before Robert Martin had a chance to make the Giants’ roster as a running back, he had a sweet backup plan.
“After the draft, I didn’t get a call,” Martin said after a recent New York training camp practice. “So the next day, there’s a place called Hershey’s Chocolate (World) in Pennsylvania and my friend works there and they pay good money.
“So I’m talking to him like, ‘Man, nobody called me, make sure you get me an application.'”
The former Rutgers running back was not invited to the NFL Combine, and his not being picked in the 2018 NFL Draft left his football future in question. The Harrisburg, Pa., native finished his college career as the Scarlet Knights’ 10th leading rusher of all time with 2,256 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Martin was playing “Call of Duty” at his home the day after the draft when he got a call from the Giants with an invite to training camp.
“I felt really good (to get that call),” Martin said. “A lot of people get overlooked at Rutgers. I haven’t gotten (to the NFL yet), but it’s up to me now.”
2018 NFL PREDICTIONS:
Can Giants bounce back this year?
The Giants boast a strong trio of running backs with second overall pick Saquon Barkley, 11th-year veteran Jonathan Stewart and second-year rusher Wayne Gallman. Martin is competing with undrafted rookie Jalen Simmons to make the team as a potential fourth-string running back if the Giants decide to carry that many rushers.
NFL teams must cut their rosters down to 53 players by Sept. 1.
“All I need is an opportunity, a shot,” Martin said.
Martin graduated from Rutgers as a labor studies major this past semester but is taking one final class — a United States history course — to complete his undergraduate degree. He plans to walk at graduation next spring.