Interviews

Published on February 27th, 2020 | by Percy Crawford

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Exclusive With XFL Week 3 Star: Martez Carter from the L.A. Wildcats

Former Grambling State standout running back, Martez Carter had a breakout weekend in the L.A. Wildcats win over the D.C. Defenders.

Life, on and off the field wasn’t easy for Monroe, Louisiana native, Martez Carter. And I don’t think Martez would have wanted it any other way. His running style reflects his life’s struggles. Hard nose runner, intense between the tackles and elusive on the edge. Carter showed those talents against the undefeated D.C. Defenders last weekend, leading the L.A. Wildcats to their first win of the young season (39-9). Appropriately nicknamed, “Mr. Excitement,” Carter found the endzone on 3-different occasions (2 rushing and 1 receiving). The former Grambling State standout hopes to keep the momentum going against the New York Guardians in New York on Saturday, February 29th.

You can check out the L.A. Wildcats versus New York Guardians on ABC at 2:00 pm ET.

Congratulations on an outstanding game against the D.C. Defenders. No better way to get your first win as a team by knocking off a previously undefeated team.

Martez Carter: It felt good, man. We game prepped all week. We looked at extra film. We put in extra time in the meeting rooms. Whatever we felt would put us in the best position to get the W, we did it that week. We have been continuing to do that this week, so I feel pretty positive going into the games forward since we’ve been taking different steps to prepare for the weekend’s games.

Obviously, starting 0-2 wasn’t ideal and you guys knew your backs were against the wall. How important was it to not only get that win, but in the impressive manner in which you guys won by?

Martez Carter: It felt good because we are an explosive offense. We need to be a little bit more efficient as a team. I feel like once we get the efficiency part down, we will be a lot more consistent. Once we become efficient and more consistent, then we will be a team that the commentators and sportscasters will pick to win on these weekends instead of having us losing. It will feel way better when people start to believe in us and not look at us as a one hit wonder.

Waiting your turn and then proving you belong has been the tale of your career, from Grambling to the L.A. Wildcats. It’s cliché, but is it a matter of staying ready so you don’t have to get ready?

Martez Carter: Most definitely! I’m not a guy that you look at and think I’m a, Ezekiel Elliot or Saquon Barkley. I’m a different built football player and the way I play is just different. So, I’m not the guy that you are just going to lay your eyes on and be like, “That’s our guy.” But they know somewhere deep down, I’m a contender. I’m a ball player, so they love to have me in their program. Just being able to have an opportunity to be here and have this opportunity is just a blessing in itself. Man, like you said, nothing has been handed to me. I’ve always been in a position where I had to climb the depth chart. At Grambling, I was the #8 running back on the depth chart and here I was 4. I didn’t travel the first game, I was inactive, and then in the second game I got a lil glimpse of playing time and then in the third game they utilized me. It is what it is at this point. I control what I can control. And that’s what I been living by since I been in the NFL and XFL now. I’m just controlling what I can control really.

You have been a part of two NFL squads, the New Orleans Saints and the Washington Redskins. Have you been able to bring any of those experiences over to the XFL?

Martez Carter: It’s crazy because I only played on game with the Redskins and none at all with the Saints. It’s not really to go off of. I don’t have a lot of film. Maybe practice film, but you know, practice is practice. So, just being the player, I am, I was just staying ready. Just putting myself in the position like, if this guy goes down or if this happened and they need me here. I was just playing wherever they needed me. If we lost the center and we didn’t have no more, just tell me which way I need to go after I snap the ball. I would play center as well. Whatever the team needs from me, I’m all for it. If I don’t play a down or if I do play a down, the whole time you gonna see me on the sideline rocking out to whoever making plays. Just showing some excitement and showing them guys that I appreciate them for just buckling down and just giving their all.

You can’t keep a guy with the nickname, “Mr. Excitement” on the sideline. You belong on the field.

Martez Carter: (Laughing). It’s all good, man. It’s all good.

You’re coming off of a 3-touchdown game, viral front flip into the endzone score and then when asked about your talent of doing back flips, you put more pressure on yourself by saying you would only do one if you scored again. And of course, you scored two more times. It’s been an insane week for you considering that was your first opportunity to shine.

Martez Carter: Good man! The internet is on fire with, Martez “Mr. Excitement” Carter. I’m loving it. I used to get this pub back in high school, I used to get it in college, but I didn’t get as much pub in the NFL because the opportunities didn’t present themselves to me. Just being on fire every time I open up any webpage, Instagram, Snap Chat, Facebook, Vevo. They are loving me on it and it’s exciting. It makes my heart stop to know that I have a lot of people that want to support this long journey for me.

It has definitely been a long journey and a hard one for you.  From your home life to the football field, it seems as if the key word for you has been patience. Is that something you had to develop being that you didn’t have the greatest life coming up?

Martez Carter: Most definitely! My mom did a great job with me growing up. She made sure that I knew how to be independent as well as be able to handle any situation that is thrown at me. I had to adapt my whole life. I got 9 siblings. So, just not being the center of attention at all times was a big part of growing up. I’m able to be diverse with not being the guy or being the guy or being a help to the guy. Whatever the case may be, I’m fine in any situation because of my upbringing. My momma always told me, “Don’t be selfish. Learn how to share.” And she just showed me so many ways to react to any situation brought to me going forward. Any hurdle I had to jump, any obstacle I had to run, she showed me, “Hey look, here is the blueprint. How you take it on is based upon yourself.” I just want to shout out my mom for just showing me how to be a man at a young age.

I’m sure the plan is to duplicate last week’s performance, but that’s not going to be easy with all eyes on you. Can we just expect the same workhorse-like effort and determination against the New York Guardians this weekend?

Martez Carter: Most definitely! Coaches have a lot more faith in me. They see that I am one of the guys that can open up the run game so the passing game can be more effective as it has been the last 3-weeks. It just feels good to be able to contribute period. No matter where, no matter when and no matter how, just me being able to contribute is what gets me up in the morning. It helps me sleep at night; it gets me through an injury that may be nagging me. Just knowing the outcome to whatever it is, to be able to contribute with the guys to come together as one with the same goal, is just amazing.

I love the replay system the XFL has in place, I think the kickoff system should be implemented in all football. What are your thoughts about the league through the first 3-weeks?

Martez Carter: It’s different. I feel it’s a fan first league. Whatever they can do to implement the fans and get them involved and make them feel like their presence is needed. Whatever it is that the fans feel they need to be closer to this game and more connected to the players, the XFL is presenting that. On top of presenting some great football. This ain’t no roody poo league where you just come out and go through the motions. Guys are displaying some good film on this platform that the XFL has provided for all players. You didn’t imagine this. We knew there would be some great football, but we didn’t expect what the XFL has presented for the last 3-weeks. The media has been putting out great publicity and getting everybody to know who these guys are on each and every team. You just wouldn’t imagine this. It’s just been so productive, and I appreciate these guys for a second chance that they gave us.

Congratulations, you just threw your name in the mix with some great company of the league’s best. Keep making Louisiana proud, I’m proud of you and good luck the rest of the season. Is there anything else you want to add?

Martez Carter: It’s just excitement. I appreciate you guys and I appreciate everybody. Thank you for allowing me to step foot on your platform for this interview. Just stay tuned, Wildcat football is on the way.

 

 



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