“I do some extreme things, but I know that no other punter in the league is doing. And that’s my goal because I just want to stand out. I want to be the best at what I do. Fort Valley State taught me to work really hard. If you decided to keep moving from every situation that was hard, you would never learn, you would never grow. I don’t like taking the easy way out.” – Marquette King, Fort Valley State
Marquette King, who attended FVSU as part of the Wildcat Football Team, is the NFL’s only African-American punter, setting records as part of the Oakland Raiders. King will be featured in a documentary tonight called Breaking Ground- A Story of HBCU Football and the NFL, premiering tonight on the NFL Network. According to the filmmakers, King’s “willingness to be unique has forever changed the way we see his position.” Marquette joins Jerry Rice (Mississippi Valley State University), Doug Williams (Grambling State University), and Mel Blount (Southern University) in discussing “the impact HBCUs had in not only shaping their football careers, but laying the crucial foundation for what the National Football League has become.”
King came to FVSU from Rutland High School in Macon to play wide receiver, but his coach encouraged him to focus on his talents as a punter. In his senior year at FVSU, he was an SIAC All-first Team member, led the conference in average punting yards, and was named the team’s most valuable player.
In 2013, King led the league in yards per punt, and in 2014, King led the league in punting yards and total punts. He has been AFC Special Teams Player of the Week twice. He set Raiders single-season franchise records for punts (109) and punting yards (4,930) in 2014.
“You know a guy like that, that has the talent he has, it comes down to consistency,” Raiders Special Team Coach Brad Seely said. “Being consistent every day, being consistent every game, being consistent for all four quarters, making the plays that are going to affect us positively in the game.
Learn more about Marquette King through the Oakland Raiders here.