Former Transfer Val Martin Goes After PJ Fleck, Gophers Football
PJ Fleck and the Minnesota Gophers, like much of college football, have a love/hate relationship with the NCAA Transfer Portal. We’ve seen some huge contributors pulled out of the portal, but they’ve lost some big time talent to it too. And even when the transfer portal works in your favor and spits talent out, the end result isn’t always a positive.
Val Martin Takes to Twitter to Slam PJ Fleck
Take Val Martin, a veteran defensive tackle from NC State, who landed in Minnesota prior to the 2021 season, for example. Martin landed in Dinkytown with a lot of prior on-field power-five experience and wound up hating it. Just ask him. Or even easier, check Twitter.
Im not gon lie the worst thing i prolly ever did was go to the University of Minnesota💯 fleck is a helluva car salesman😭 its crazy bc wen i go places ppl ask me “well how is fleck?” And i just say “he is different👀” and they laugh and say we heard so many stories about him😭— Val Martin (@Iam_VMLV) June 28, 2022
Have of the people in that “culture” hate it why u think people always leaving player and coaches😭😭😭 u trynna peak over a fence u cant even see over but got an opinion about wats on the other side😭😭😭😭— Val Martin (@Iam_VMLV) June 28, 2022
U practiced wit fleck? U traveled with fleck? Did fleck read u a bedtime story the night before every game? Did fleck bring you have way across the world from your family for nothing? Ian think so😭😭😭 u dont know that man you just kno of him thru media😭— Val Martin (@Iam_VMLV) June 28, 2022
Val Martin was one of many defensive transfers brought in before the 2021 season. And he wasn’t the only defensive tackle. He spent three seasons at NC State, before transferring to Minnesota. He never played over 260 snaps while with North Carolina State.
Like most upperclassmen who enter the portal, Val Martin came to Minnesota for more playing time. He didn’t get it (156 snaps). Is he mad about that? Obviously. Still, that doesn’t mean his Twitter accusations are false or should be immediately disregarded.
Martin is not the first player to go after PJ Fleck, on Twitter or elsewhere. Not only have I written blogs about public challengers, but I’ve often defended him. I can confirm through my own sources, however, that there are plenty of former Minnesota Gophers football players who loathed their experience at the University of Minnesota, under Fleck.
Whole we on a knee listening to him read a article about himmself and we woulda never known this article even existed had he not read it to us while we sat on a knee at 9pm after practice😭😭😭 we was so mad in the locker room💯— Val Martin (@Iam_VMLV) June 28, 2022
I never talked fleck he never said not one word to me about getting punched he jus showed up to the team@meeting the next week with a celebration dance shirt of bro wit bro face on it😭😭😭— Val Martin (@Iam_VMLV) June 28, 2022
Others in Martin’s transfer class
The other players in Val Martin’s transfer class; Nyles Pinckney (Clemson), Jack Gibbens (Abilene Christian – FCS) and Dylan Wright (Texas A&M) all made, or are making, much larger impacts than Martin did while here.
Pinckney played nearly 500 snaps on the Gophers’ interior defensive line in 2021 and was last seen trying out for the Saints. Gibbens transferred from an FCS school and ended up as, arguably, the best defensive player on the Gophers roster in 2021. He is heading to Titans camp as an undrafted free agent.
Dylan Wright is a one-time 5-star wide receiver who transferred to the University of Minnesota with most of his eligibility still remaining. He’s made some highlight reel catches and has a lot of talent, but in his two seasons, has yet to reach his full potential. This year feels like a do or die season for his future.
In the age of endless transfers and players gaining more of a voice in college athletics, I expect to see more of these reports around college football. None of the things that Val Martin tweeted were damning to the Minnesota Gophers program but they certainly don’t look good, nor will they help transfer portal recruiting in the future.
One current player has already come out and semi-defended Fleck’s honor. It’s the guy who Martin claims punched him at a Gophers practice. Trill Carter, who’s expected to play a large role on Minnesota’s interior defensive line in 2022.
Dont do too much🙃 i pulled up on last time and u kno how u came outside😭😭😭 u not cut like dat fr— Val Martin (@Iam_VMLV) June 28, 2022
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan