STILLWATER — A former Oklahoma State football player, who says he has a strong relationship with former coach Joe DeForest, feels some of the Sports Illustrated allegations are not true.
Markelle Martin was a safety at OSU from 2008 to early 2012. Throughout his time at OSU, Martin recorded 104 total tackles, three interceptions and was part of the 2012 Fiesta Bowl championship team, according to okstate.com.
During Martin’s four years as a Cowboy, Joe DeForest was Martin’s position coach from start to finish. Not only was DeForest a great coach, but he also was a person who cared deeply about Martin as a player, he said.
“I have a great relationship with coach DeForest,” Martin said. “He was someone I could talk to about stuff that happened on the field and off the field. He was like my second father.”
Even though Martin said he can only account for the years between 2008 and early 2012, he said he never knew of coach DeForest compensating players for big plays and performance on the field.
He said without his position coach, he wouldn’t be where he is today with his career.
“He gave me a lot of hope and he had hope in me,” Martin said. “He was my position coach and he was the one who kept me in line and level-headed and focused.”
Martin said what made the coach different was his ability to talk about things besides football. All the safeties at OSU knew they could talk to DeForest about anything, he said. Some days, the safeties would sit around and talk about how each player was doing instead of watching film, Martin said.
DeForest was not only a coach but a coach who cared about his players and there wasn’t any inclination he was paying players for performance, Martin said.