Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Lucky Number Thirteen | by Pat

Indiana offensive tackle Zach Martin called up the coaching staff this past week and became Irish public commit #13.

The senior-to-be wasn't expected to make a decision until closer to his high school team's first game but was convinced after a visit to South Bend last weekend.

"I felt like it was the best place for me and there was really no reason to wait," he said. lists Martin as a 4-star recruit and the #18 overall offensive tackle. They have broken down the tackles into even smaller lists such as best run blocker, best pass blocker, etc... and Martin was listed as the #4 athlete at offensive tackle for whatever that is worth. slots Martin a little lower at the #27 overall tackle and a 3-star prospect. ESPN is still waiting to unveil their Top 150, but their review of Martin compliments him on his effort, athleticism, and aggressiveness. Following his junior year, Martin was named 1st Team All-State in Indiana's 3A classification.

Towards the end of his recruitment, Martin was going back and forth between ND and Michigan. It seemed like he was leaning towards Michigan after announcing he would make his college choice following a trip to Michigan, but visited ND instead and called up Charlie shortly thereafter with the good news. In addition to the Wolverines, Martin had offers from Virginia, Stanford, Illinois, UCLA, Northwestern, Michigan State, N.C. State, and others. Martin also joins the long list of Irish players with football bloodlines as his father played at Kentucky in the early 80's.

Thanks to google, I've discovered that Zach shares the same name, though not spelled exactly the same, as the main character on a Disney TV show. Let's just hope he is a good a player as the last notable left tackle to share a name with a Disney TV show. (Thrilling insight, I know)

Back to non-Disney analysis, Martin fills a big need in this year's recruiting class. With Bullard and Watt giving ND one of the better guard hauls in the country, Martin fills a much needed tackle spot. He also continues the recent pickup in pace of this current recruiting class. After last year's 3-9 season, the coaching staff needed to spend every last minute keeping the incoming freshmen class from being poached by other coaches. That put them a bit behind in terms of evaluating and offering juniors. But with 13 recruits before the end of July and the class not expected to be much higher than 20 players, ND is more than caught up. Given just how bad the team looked on the field last season, the recruiting to this point is almost more impressive than the job done last year, when all but five of the players had committed before ND lost their first game.