Former NFL Running Back Joins Italy’s Parma Panthers

The Parma Panthers of the Italian top division – the IFL – have struggled this season having lost two games so far (they were undefeated in the regular season in 2014), one of them badly against the Milano Seamen (44-3). The club decided to stem the tide and have brought in reinforcements in the form of running back Joe Martinek, who was on the New York Giants roster in 2012.

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A New Jersey native, Martinek played at Rutgers before signing with the Giants in the spring of 2012.

He played four years at Rutgers and caught the eye of pro scouts. Known as a tough, hard-nosed running back the 6′ 0″, 220 lb Martinek rushed for almost 2,000 yards at Rutgers scoring 17 touchdowns.

“Jersey” Joe had an outstanding high school career. He is the all-time high school leading rusher in New Jersey state history. Playing for the Hopatcong High School Chiefs he rushed for 7,589 yards. He was also the team kicker and was 31 of 34 in field goal attempts in his career and six of six from 50 yards or longer.

Martinek attended his first Panther practice earlier this week and will be on the field when the team faces, ironically, the Bolzano Giants in his first game this weekend.

Joe Martinek scoring his first NFL touchdown in a preseason game against the New York Jets in August 2012.

Original article posted by Sergio Brunetti in Italian from American Football News.

Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.