Blake Martinez destined to be a Packer

Ryan Wood
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Stanford linebacker Blake Martinez gets tackled after intercepting a pass against Central Florida on Sept. 12, 2015.

His mother’s premonition belongs in the “mom’s always right” hall of fame. Before the 2016 draft, Carrissa Martinez told her son Blake the Green Bay Packers would pick him. Her husband, Marc, bought one hat for all 32 teams just to be safe.

But mom’s always right.

The Packers drafted Blake Martinez with the 131st overall pick in the fourth round. Given Carrissa’s prediction, it seemed fitting. But there was something else to this foreshadowing.

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Martinez attended the Packers' playoff loss to the Arizona Cardinals in January. On the sideline before the game, Martinez and his agent bumped into Packers vice president of football administration and player finance Russ Ball.

“We were talking to Russ,” Martinez said, “and we were like, ‘Hey, we have a linebacker here for you.’ And he was just like, ‘Oh, yeah, OK.’ All of a sudden, we’re here. I was messing with him when we were up there (Thursday), so it was pretty funny.”

What was Ball’s reaction when they revisited that moment last week?

“He was laughing,” Martinez said. “We were both laughing about how during that time, he was like, ‘Haha, we’ll see.’ Just kind of shooting it off. Then, now it happened. So he was pretty excited.”

Sometimes, life just works out. Martinez now has a chance to be the coverage linebacker the Packers desperately need.

He’ll be easy to spot from the stands next season. That’s because Martinez not only became a Packers linebacker, but he’s wearing the familiar No. 50. Yes, that would be A.J. Hawk’s old No. 50.

If Martinez’s arrival in Green Bay was destiny, he said his number was mere coincidence. Martinez wore No. 4 at Stanford, a number linebackers aren’t allowed to wear in the NFL.

“They gave me like 12 options,” Martinez said, and I just kind of going through it and not really thinking the No. 50. And I was like, ‘50’s a great number.’ Then all of a sudden, everybody’s like, ‘Oh, you’ve got A.J. Hawk’s number.’ I was like, ‘Oh, yep, here we go.’

“But it’s a great number, and I’ll do everything I can to kind of live up to his legacy and all of what he’s done.” and follow him on Twitter @ByRyanWood

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