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Utah State RB Joey DeMartino will carry work ethic to Kansas City Chiefs

Published May 12, 2014 4:09 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Joey DeMartino has a list of guys he wants to talk to when he gets to Kansas City.

The Chiefs have more than a few talented guys at running back: Jamaal Charles, Knile Davis, Joe McKnight. But the first person DeMartino is likely to grab is special teams coach Dave Toub, because he wants to show how hard he's willing to work to make the roster this fall after being signed as an undrafted free agent on Saturday.

"I want to show them that they made a great choice," DeMartino told the Tribune. "That I'm going to be the great person they think I am. I want to get on as many teams as possible to make the roster or the practice squad."

The former Utah State running back is brimming with excitement after getting the chance to join the Chiefs. Less than two years ago, it seemed like an unlikely prospect.

Injuries hampered DeMartino's early years at Utah State, but he eventually caught on first as a special teams whiz, then last season as the featured back in the offense. He ran for 1,221 yards and 13 touchdowns, winning offensive MVP in the Poinsettia Bowl victory for Utah State.

The dream has only continued with the chance to play in the NFL. DeMartino said the attitude adjustment he made at Utah State will come in handy down the road.

"I changed my work ethich pretty good," he said. "It's all about the focus, the grind. You have to treat it like someone keeps coming after your spot."

DeMartino said he celebrated draft day at home, eating pizza with family and a few close friends. He got a call from the Chiefs about 15 minutes after the draft ended, and that was that. Calls and texts from former coaches and teammates streamed in afterward.

It wasn't tough to get Chiefs gear: One of DeMartino's best friends is a big KC fan, and he gifted his jersey to the soon-to-be Chiefs running back.

But getting a contract hasn't slowed DeMartino's ambition. He has about a week until he reports to mini camp. And even though he'll squeeze in some beach time, he's dedicating most of that stretch to work.

"I gotta get right," he said. "I've been working hard these last few months. There's not no time for breaks now."

Kyle Goonkgoon@sltrib.comTwitter: @kylegoon