Former Rutgers University running back Joe Martinek is used to being overlooked, so he was not shocked when the 2012 NFL Draft came and went last month with his name never being called.
"I thought I should have been drafted," Martinek said. "I've been overlooked my whole life so I figured that was probably going to happen again -- I wasn't going to get drafted.
"That's motivation for me, proving people wrong every day."
Martinek gets a chance to begin doing that at the NFL level on Friday when he joins the other rookies at the Timex Performance Center for New York Giants rookie camp. Martinek is one of the players signed after the draft by the Giants as an undrafted free agent.
Note: Yours truly will be at mini-camp Friday and Saturday. Hopefully I will come away with some feature material for you, and I will be sharing some info via Twitter, so follow along.
The 6-foot, 224-pound Hopatcong (N.J.) High School graduate was also in touch with the Houston Texans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- coached by former Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano -- following the draft. Martinek said, however, that "the Giants were the right choice."
Martinek ran for 1,770 yards at Rutgers on 391 carries (4.5 yards per carry) and caught 46 passes for another 448 yards. He scored 17 touchdowns for the Scarlet Knights.
He begins his NFL career looking up at a Giants' depth chart that includes starter Ahmad Bradshaw, first-round draft pick David Wilson and three other running backs who have experience -- D.J. Ware, Da'Rel Scott and Andre Brown. Martinek is not worried about the depth chart, or any other undrafted free agent running backs who hit the field with him on Friday morning.
"I work on whatever I can control. That's just bringing myself in great shape," Martinek said. "When I went to work out with them I think I proved to them that I belong on this level. I belong on their team and can definitely help their team. I think I opened up their eyes -- people who don't know me I plan on opening up their eyes, too."
Beginning Friday morning, we see if Martinek can do just that.
-- Learn more about Martinek at JoeMartinek.com