One of two Pitt Panthers to be elected in the Class of 2012 (Chris Doleman being the other), Curtis Martin was one of the sturdiest and most consistent running backs in the NFL over 11 seasons with New England and the New York Jets. Drafted in the third round by the Patriots out of Pitt, Martin was lauded for his slashing running style and his exceptional ability to keep his feet moving forward. Martin started every game 166 of 168 career NFL games and never played fewer than twelve games in 11 career seasons. A powerful and reliable runner, Martin is the oldest player to win an NFL rushing title; he was 31 when ran for 1,697 yards in 2004. The 1995 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, a five-time Pro Bowler and five-time All-Pro selection, Martin is the only NFL running back besides Barry Sanders to rush for over 1,000 yards in his first ten seasons. Martin is the fourth running back in NFL history to retire with over 14,000 career yards and retired as the league's fourth-leading rusher of all-time in 2005.
Text: Gabriel Baumgaertner
Photo: Walter Iooss Jr., Damian Strohmeyer/SI