Q and A: GVSU running back Martayveus Carter

GVL / Kevin Sielaff -  Marty Carter (34) rushes the ball to the 35 yard line.  Grand Valley defeats Ashland with a final score of 45-28 Nov. 22 at Ashland University.

Kevin Sielaff

GVL / Kevin Sielaff – Marty Carter (34) rushes the ball to the 35 yard line. Grand Valley defeats Ashland with a final score of 45-28 Nov. 22 at Ashland University.

Adam Knorr

In last week’s win over Colorado State – Pueblo, Grand Valley State running back Kirk Spencer went down with a leg injury after a touchdown rush. A broken left fibula will keep Spencer, a senior, out the rest of the season.

Out stepped Martayveus Carter, who the stat sheets call “Marty.” Carter entered the game as the lead back, and rushed for 231 yards and a touchdown, while throwing for another, in GVSU’s 31-7 win over the Thunderwolves in the Super Region 4 final.

On Saturday, the Lakers will square off against Shepherd University in the NCAA semifinals. Carter, a true freshman, is slated to take the bulk of Spencer’s work out of the backfield. We chatted with Carter to get a better feel for who he is leading up to the game.

AK: First thing… Marty or Martayveus?

MC: Martayveus.

AK: That’s what you go by?

MC: Yeah, but a lot of people call me Marty.

AK: When did you start playing football?

MC: I started playing football when I was eight.

AK: Always a running back?

MC: Yeah, a running back since I was eight. (I) started out with this coach named Maurice Phillips and basically he created me as a running back.

AK: Any running back idols when you were a kid?

MC: LaDanian Tomlinson was my first running back — my favorite running back.

AK: Why’d you come to GVSU?

MC: I came to GV because it was a nice facility, nice place to go. I had other schools looking at me. I was supposed to attend (Northern Illinois) but they didn’t take me because of my SATs and Grand Valley still wanted me so I just came here.

AK: Any nicknames other than Marty?

MC: (Laughs) They call me ‘Sweetness’ on the football team. They say I run like Walter Payton.

AK: You like that comparison?

MC: I mean it’s pretty decent because I wear No. 34. I guess I accept it. They call me that as a freshman so I guess it was probably a funny thing.

AK: So with Walter Payton, are you a Bears fan or do you have another team?

MC: My favorite team is the Patriots. I like Tom Brady and Darrelle Revis, but they both left. I’m still a Tom Brady fan.

AK: Go Blue, baby. Let’s move on to some favorites. Favorite musical artist?

MC: My favorite musical artist… I would probably go with Lil Herb.

AK: Favorite food?

MC: Fried chicken.

AK: Favorite TV show?

MC: “Ridiculousness.”

AK: Favorite movie?

MC: “Friday” (with Chris Rock and Ice Cube).

AK: If you could do any touchdown dance and not get flagged, what would you do?

MC: The dance the tight end does from the Detroit Lions… well, he used to do it. Like when he just… (Carter waves his arms and does a quick dance).

(Editor’s note: I think Martayveus may have been thinking of Joseph Fauria, but neither of us could think of it at the time)

AK: Any sports you played growing up other than football?

MC: Basketball. I played AAU and I played high school ball.

AK: What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I say LaDanian Tomlinson?

MC: Elite.

AK: Barry Sanders?

MC: Greatness.

AK: Tom Brady?

MC: Special.

AK: Kirk Spencer?

MC: A brother, man.

AK: Finish this sentence: If I wasn’t playing football, I would be…

MC: Just a great father.

AK: If I played defense I would play…

MC: Cornerback.

AK: Anything you do before the game?

MC: I listen to R&B music to stay calm and relax. And then once it’s about time to get on the field I listen to Lil Herb to get me going.

AK: What kind of R&B?

MC: Return of the Mack. A little bit of Keith Sweat. A couple of songs I heard from my granny’s playlist.

AK: After school, do you have a dream job?

MC: Probably something in criminal justice.

AK: Any hidden talents?

MC: I can do some beats.

AK: OK, on a more serious level, GVSU is going into the NCAA semifinals for what will probably be your first start at tailback. What’s it like for you to get it on this stage?

MC: I feel like it’s a big step for me. The offense and the team knows that I’m a great player so I guess they feel comfortable, but I feel like it’s a big shoe to step in, to put my foot in, to take this team into the semis.

AK: Has Kirk Spencer given you any encouragement, advice, anything along those lines?

MC: All he said is go out there and play ball. Just play ball. Don’t think about it. Just play ball.