Team leader, work horse, competitor are all terms that best describe Marian Catholic's Paul Martin. Those exact characteristics are why Martin is headed to next level to continue his athletic and academic carreer as a member of the Wagner College football team.

Martin, who started to see some serious time at running back as a sophomore for the Colts always dreamed of playing football at the collegiate level.

"It felt great to get a good amount of carries at such a young age," said Martin. "A lot of people helped to get me where I am today, but a great deal of my determination came from wanting to play college football."

Martin became the main option for Marian in his junior and senior season rushing for 668 yards as a junior and 1,163 yards (third in the TIMES NEWS area) last season. Martin most likely would have rushed for more yards in his junior campaign, but was sidelined for four games with an ankle injury.

Along with Martin's stellar play on the field, Marian head coach Stan Dakosty believes Martin's leadership qualities were just as important to the Colts as his on-field play.

"Paul (Martin) is one of those guys who leads by example," said Dakosty. "Paul was a vocal leader as well and it's great when a player says all the right things to his teammates. Paul not only said the right things, he followed through on those things and that's what makes him such a great kid."

Martin will be receiving a partial scholarship to Wagner and chose the Seahawks over St. Francis University of Pennsylvania. The Seahawks are a member of the Northeastern Conference in the FBS, previously known as Division I-AA.

"I chose Wagner because they had a great staff and I felt it was a top-notch college," said Martin. "I really liked the game-day atmosphere too, and I just felt it was the right place for me."

The Seahawk coaching staff recruited Martin as an athlete which means he could be playing anywhere for Wagner come next season. Martin understands he might have to jump into a different role for Wagner, but Martin explained he is chomping at the bit to get his collegiate football career underway.

"I couldn't be anymore pumped up or happier right now," said Martin. "I'm excited to get going and I want to show my teammates and coaches at Wagner what I can do."