Few names within Bronco Nation are as popular as Marty Tadman. From the years of big plays to the moments like the Fiesta Bowl that we will never forget. The Blue Turf Nation was lucky enough to get a chance to have Marty answer a few questions. Here is the second interview in our special Blue Turf Nation Off-season Interview series.
BTN: You were at Boise State during the coaching change from Dan Hawkins to Chris Petersen. Being that Coach Pete came from the offensive side of the ball, how was that transition for you being a defensive player?
MT: The transition from Coach Hawk to Coach Pete didn’t change too much for the defense. As head coaches in college football rely mostly on their coordinators and assistant coaches to take control of both sides of the ball. So for the defense, the main transition was from Coach Collins to Coach Wilcox. It wasn’t much different from the head coach standpoint, just different from the actual coordinators they had or brought with them.
BTN: After your career finished at Boise State it was reported you went on to workout with the New York Jets. After that did you continue to pursue the NFL? Is football something you still would like to be involved with someday perhaps coach at some level?
MT: After the Jets, my wife and I were pregnant and had decided to call it quits without pursuing professional football options at all. It was more important for us at the time to focus on our family, and it was a guessing game if I would have had a chance in the NFL or Canada at all, so we called it quits very early on. I don’t have any desire to coach football in the future, unless I have a boy ( currently I have 2 daughters). I enjoy my current profession, and the flexibility it has to spend a lot of time at home with my family. My involvement with football going forward is pretty much just a fan of the game, and have no plans to take it anywhere beyond that in the foreseeable future.
BTN: You finished your career with 14 interceptions, and you always seemed to find a way to make a big play in the big games. What was it about your style of play that made you so successful at creating turnovers?
MT: My gift and talents on the field had a lot to do with the mental parts of the game. I worked very hard on studying film, so that when games came, I would allow my instinct to take over naturally, and put myself in position to create turnovers. A lot of people I know think or thought I was a very lucky player, that a lot of times the ball would just come right to me, my response to that has always been that I prepared well before games, and I would use the mental part of the game to put myself in positions I believed the ball would be, and I would have a lot of interceptions thrown right to me because I was in the right spot at the right time. I also grew up as a quarterback and receiver, so knowing the offensive side of the ball’s mindset helped a lot in reading offenses and knowing what their tendencies were. The coaches also did a great job at calling the right plays at the right times, and putting me in a position to be successful with my limited physical ability, but they allowed me to maximize my potential focusing on my “football smarts.” I was fortunate to be coached well all the way from 10 years old and up, and those coaches instilled a football mind and focused on a high football intelligence as my number one trait they worked with me on…I guess those coaches are to thank for the mental strength growing up, and allowing me to be one step ahead of the game by preparing well.
BTN: If you could pass on one message to the kids who will sign to play football for Boise State in February, what would you tell them to help them continue to the tradition of winning you and the players before you created?
MT: The advice would be to be coach-able. Boise is great at having a successful system, and building that system around the types of players they have. The young guys should hit the playbook extremely hard and fast early on. I was able to get in early and know the playbook by the time my freshman season started, which allowed me to play as a true freshman even though I wasn’t necessarily the most talented, but I had focused on learning the defense early on. So that’s the first thing, is hit the play book really early. The second, is hit the weight room extremely hard. Your freshman year, especially those who red shirt, that should be their biggest focus. Once you start playing and starting, your body during season is so soar and constantly in recovery, that you can’t focus as much on weight lifting. That’s my only regret about playing as a true freshman, is not having that extra time to really hit the weights really hard and put on some weight and get stronger. The third thing is stay out of trouble. Your whole life you work so hard to get a college scholarship at a big school, and now’s your chance, so don’t blow it by getting in trouble off the field. The last piece of advice, is find a player at your position who is experienced and a starter and follow his every move, pick his brain, sit next to him during film, stand next to him during practice, and learn as much as you can from those that have already done what you want to do. I was fortunate to have Chris Carr, Cam Hall, Deshan Cabaong, Austin Smith, and Gabe Franklin, along with other defenders like Andy Avalos, Andrew Browning, Korey Hall, and many others who I watched, I listened, and I learned from their triumphs and mistakes, and learned from them as much as they would allow me too. On a final note, I would tell them to not take a moment for granted, because 4 and 5 years flies by, and then it’s just over, and most will never play again. Most guys like myself miss everything, even the hard grinding of college football, so don’t take a moment for granted and enjoy every minute of it.
BTN: What is your favorite personal moment and team moment during your football career at Boise State?
MT: I have many of these moments..so I’ll just list a few:
1. My first play as a true freshman against Tulsa on kickoff return..I got ran over.
2. My first interception against Hawaii my freshman year, it was against Timmy Chang, and my interception gave him the record for most career interceptions I believe.
3. My touchdown against Hawaii, at Hawaii, where I juked my high school rival Colt Brennan and scored.
4. My senior year, just a tackle against southern miss, but probably my best play of my entire life, I juked and slid under 2 pulling lineman, and rose up off the ground to lift the running-back up in the air and land him on his back.
5. my 99 yard interception return against La Tech my junior year.
6. Having sports illustrated name me an All-American my senior year, and doing a 2 page article on my life story and focus on my faith
7.. PROBABLY THE BEST, my 2nd interception in the 2007 fiesta bowl where I scored a touchdown, and my favorite picture was given to me framed, and when I score the touchdown , the picture is of me sliding in the endzone on my knee, pointing to the sky, with Adrian Peterson diving behind me after I scored…so I can tell me kids, I outran a future hall of famer Adrian Peterson…not that they need to know I had a 10 yard start.
Team moments: There are so many amazing moments, but there are 3 that stick out to me above the rest…
1. The 2007 fiesta bowl victory, running on the field, getting the trophies, called on the stage in front of Bronco Nation, the media room, the parade in Boise, and everyday since.
2. My last game against East Carolina in the Hawaii Bowl, we lost, but that last locker room and bus ride with my teammates, is one I’ll never forget.
3. Every away trip on the plane with the guys…playing 8 way Mario Cart on our Nintendo DS, playing poker on the plane for fun, and all the other memories of the guys I played with.