As a sophomore last season, Paul Martin rushed for a total of 1,017 yards, which put in him a select club at Marian.

Martin became the 15th Colt to rush for 1,000 yards in a season, making him a member of Marian's celebrated Grand Company.

Among the members of that exclusive group are Mike Tracy (who did in three times), Jim Agosti and Dave Houser (each who hit the 1,000 yard mark twice) as well as Pete Albano, Fred Segilia, Joe Agosti, Pete Bumbulsky, Mark Coury, Bob Agosti, Greg Izzo, Joe Gillespie, Justin Barrasso, Al Donadi and Matt Rizzo.

The 5-9, 193 pound Martin has gotten off to a fast start in pursuit of another grand season, carrying 19 times for 205 yards and two TDs in Marian's 28-17 victory over Lehighton. That earned Martin TIMES NEWS Player of the Week honors.

When asked to compare Martin to other members of the Grand Company, Marian Coach Stan Dakosty likened him to the Agosti brothers, Jim and Joe, who both hit for 1,000 in 1976, with Jim repeating the feat in 1977.

"He reminds me of Jim and Joe Agosti, because he's very quick, as well as a strong, physical kid who works hard in the weight room," said Dakosty, who also mentioned Houser as another back with attributes similar to Martin.

Martin, who has been timed at 4.68 in the 40 yard dash and has run an 11.4 100 meters in track, has improved his game in other ways as well.

"In the offseason, I worked a lot on my moves and my cutbacks," said Martin.

"He is reading his blocks a lot better," noted Marian Assistant Coach Lou Ceci, who coaches the Colts' running backs.

"He's more comfortable and a lot more confident," said Dakosty. "He knows the speed of the game now. Great backs know the difference between a five and eight-yard gain and can lower their shoulders and get those extra yards.

"What impressed me last week was the blocking of our offensive line and Paul's speed in the secondary. Paul is very fast, but he also has the speed to kick it into another gear."

Martin demonstrated his breakaway ability against Lehighton on two long TD runs that covered 88 and 63 yards.

"I have to thank my line, because they created some nice holes for me," said Martin. "On the first TD, I just saw the open hole, cut, and outsprinted everyone. On the second TD, Brett Befano was able to drive his block downfield and gave me an opening to the right."

Martin is well aware of the milestone he accomplished a year ago and is poised to make a run at even bigger numbers this season.

"I felt happy to get 1,000 as a sophomore, and I hope to get 1,500 this year, maybe even 2,000, as much yardage as the line can get for me," related Martin. "I just got out and try to run as hard as I can."