Junior . Football . Pontiac, MI 2012-13
Russ and Ann Gerdin Family Football Scholarship Recipient
Spring is in the air and the University of Iowa football team is in the midst of its critical spring practice season.
One of the Hawkeyes looking to make a strong push heading into the 2012 season is wide receiver Kevonte Martin-Manley.
Martin-Manley saw action in all 13 games during his redshirt freshman season in 2011. He tallied 30 receptions for 323 yards and three touchdowns, while also averaging 20.5 yards on four kickoff returns.
His position coach at Iowa, fifth-year wide receivers coach Erik Campbell, has taken notice of Martin-Manley’s development during the critical spring period.
“The guys really start to emerge right now,” said Campbell about his group of wide receivers. “Kevonte Martin-Manley got his feet wet as a redshirt freshman last year, playing for the first time. Now you can see that experience pay off. You can see him looking like a veteran receiver, doing things that a guy with that kind of experience has shown. So he’s done a good job so far this spring.”
Martin-Manley looked like a seasoned veteran in the come-from-behind win over Pittsburgh last season at Kinnick Stadium, during what the Pontiac, Michigan, native calls his favorite moment and accomplishment as a Hawkeye.
Martin-Manley, who wears No. 11, collected four receptions for 76 yards and Iowa’s final two touchdowns. The last touchdown catch, a 22-yarder from quarterback James Vandenberg with 2:51 remaining, completed the biggest comeback in school history as the Black and Gold rallied from a 24-3 deficit to defeat Pittsburgh, 31-27.
The sophomore-to-be in 2012 took some time to recall his recruitment to the University of Iowa.
“I weighed my options and Iowa was my best offer,” said Martin-Manley. “It was a great opportunity for me in that it is a Big Ten school. Coach Campbell was very honest with me and he has a great background so I felt it would be a great place for me to attend school.”
Martin-Manley originally had other college plans, but when Iowa made the call, the chance to don the Black and Gold was too good to pass up. “I was committed to play for Bowling Green University over other MAC schools that included Toledo and Central Michigan. I took my visit to Iowa in December. My host was Marvin McNutt and I had a tremendous time hanging out. I liked the program and the people that were involved with it. Iowa offered me a scholarship and I committed on the spot.”
Martin-Manley still has three years of eligibility remaining at Iowa, but already has an idea of what he wants to do upon graduation. He wants to work in athletic training or be involved with recreational facilities in his home community.
“My community has few recreation centers and opportunities for youth to engage in positive activities,” said Martin-Manley. “I want to be able to help my hometown in that area.” The Hawkeye standout is grateful for Iowa Athletics supporters and the opportunities he has at the University of Iowa.
“I greatly appreciate the contributions you have made to the University of Iowa,” said Martin-Manley. “It is people like you that help make it possible to enjoy this wonderful time of our lives as collegiate student-athletes. You have given your hard-earned money to a great cause and I am honored to be a beneficiary of your contributions. Thank you!”