January 2, 2008 // Notre Dame Recruiting

Irish lose NT Omar Hunter, Target Mike Martin

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As reported by ESPN on Sunday, Omar Hunter has officially decommited from Notre Dame and it appears as though the Irish are now completely out of the picture for the five star defensive tackle.

“I committed to Notre Dame four or five months ago,” Hunter said. “I went there on my visit and my intentions were to commit to Michigan. I fell in love with Notre Dame when I was there and I liked the coaching staff and facilities and that won me over.”

It was a little more than distance that weighed into his decision, but he is certain he will not be playing for Notre Dame next season.

“Just watching Notre Dame, their style and how they played,” Hunter said as reasons for making the switch. “It doesn’t really fit with the way I play. I am not really sure about the coaching staff there, I know they are good guys and I love them, but I am not comfortable with the decision I made. I am officially decommitting from Notre Dame.”

For now there are three schools in the race, two which are geographically close to Buford.

“I am definitely looking at USC, Florida, and Auburn, those schools that have kept in touch with me,” Hunter said. “Those are the schools I am looking at. This dead time I have been looking around and see what I like.”

The loss of Hunter is no doubt a huge blow to Notre Dame’s and the whole saga which has been unraveling over the last couple weeks has tested Weis’s policy of “If they’re looking, we’re looking,” that he instituted last year after the defections of Justin Trattou, Greg Little, and Chris Little all in January. According to Jeff Carroll of the South Bend Tribune, citing two different sources including Tom Lemming, Notre Dame informed Hunter that his Notre Dame offer would be off the table if he visited elsewhere.

According to an Internet report earlier this week by Rivals.com’s Mike Farrell, the Notre Dame coaching staff had informed Hunter that if he chose to take other official visits like he was talking about, then the Notre Dame offer would be withdrawn.

“That’s a fact,” competing recruiting analyst Tom Lemming confirmed Tuesday from the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. “You can print that.”

Many will debate whether or not this was the best course of action over the month and it will be very interesting to see what Weis has to say on the matter at his Signing Day press conference next month.

Regardless, the only silver lining in this mess is that it happened in the beginning of the month and not the middle to end of January as last year’s defections did. The most likely replacement for Hunter in this class seems like it may be current Michigan commit Mike Martin according to NBCSports.com.

With committed nose tackle Omar Hunter now looking at Florida and USC, one name to keep in mind for the Irish is Novi (Mich.) Catholic Central’s Michael Martin. The 6-2, 290-pound Martin committed to Michigan but could be open to switching because of the coaching changes in Ann Arbor.

Martin is a four star DT from both Rivals and Scout and ranked as the #12 DT by both. ESPN has Martin as the #9 DT in the country. Look for Martin to visit Notre Dame sometime this month and decide whether or not he is sticking with Michigan or joining the Irish.

Martin would be much, much more than just a plan B type recruit should he land at Notre Dame . Martin likely would have been very heavily pursued by the Irish staff all along had Hunter not committed to the Irish so early which in essence ended Notre Dame’s recruiting at the position. The Irish staff, however, thought they were done recruiting DT’s and didn’t pursue any others at the time.

Comments to this Article

  • bleednd82 commented on January 3rd, 2008 at 8:09 am

    If anyone sounded like they wanted to be apart of the ND family it was Hunter. It sounds like from what I hear ND withdrew the scholarship. I think this policy that ND has in place after a recruit as verbally committed could go both ways. You lose some you might not have and you might just keep some you wouldnt have otherwise. I hope Martin commits. Taking another player from Michigan would be very satisfying. Also, I think we are going to get Gerral Robinson for sure. Almost seems like a lock and will announce in AA bowl. Same with Deion Walker announces but he seems totally up in the air right now. Cyrus Gray seems like a possibility also right now but I dont know how many more running backs we need. Ohhh go support the 10-2 Mens BBall Team tonight taking on 10-2 West Virginia. Go IRISH

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  • Frankie V commented on January 3rd, 2008 at 9:31 am

    Actually, Robinson is not announcing this weekend while Walker is. Lemming was quoted today in the SBT saying he thinks Walker picks ND and as a result, Robinson might go elsewhere. If ND can get both it would be a real coup for Weis.

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  • robert t. gilleran commented on January 3rd, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    frank,

    1. while charlie and corwin and their staffs cannot speak about the omar situation until loi day per ncaa rules, our sources, who are current 2008 notre dame commits, do not indicate that omar’s scholarship offer was withdrawn.

    2. per our sources, charlie and corwin and their staffs simply implemented the policy that they announced on loi day last year-if you are looking, we are looking and no soft verbals.

    3. our sources indicate that omar might still change his mind. after all, he was simply the victim of a recruiting scam by urban meyer, greg mattison, pete carroll, and some others.

    4. we are informed that omar is a fine, intelligent young man and that, once he realizes that he has been lied to, omar may well be back at notre dame.

    5. no matter what lies omar has been told by meyer, mattison, carroll, and some others, the graduation rates speak for themselves, with notre dame always in the high 90′s and florida, usc, and auburn, in good years, lucky to be around 50% and significantly lower for african american student athletes.

    6.these nfl or bust schools simply use athletes. they do not provide any real educations since they want full time football players.

    7.can real students get fine educations at some of these football factories? of course, they can. however, at these places, the football players get pushed into courses with no real academic content so that they can be full time football players.

    8. if someone gets injured, these nfl or bust schools find some reason to cancel their scholarships to make room for the next victims.

    9.if an athlete falls for these fraudulent sales pitches, which include palatial living quarters completely separate from the real students at those schools, and does not make it to the nfl, those athletes, with very minor exceptions, have no real education to fall back on.

    10. those stories that we hear about football players actually graduating from auburn and other schools without even having learned to read are quite true.

    11. the stories that we all hear about football players making it to the nfl from these football factories and ruining their lives despite all of the nfl money because they have not received any real educations or character development at the football factories, such michael vick, are also quite true.

    12 . these things simply do not happen at notre dame, boston college, the service academies, stanford, ucla, a a few other schools where every student athlete is a student 1st, in addition to getting the best training available to maximize their chances of having nfl careers and the education to live their lives during and after the nfl.

    13. whether or not omar comes back to his senses, mike martin would be a fine addition to notre dame’s 2008 class and he would get a much better education than he would at michigan, according to jim harbaugh, the current stanford coach, who played football at michigan, but who got pushed away from courses with real academic content so that michigan could use him as a full time football player.

    14. with respect to walker and robinson, we fail to see the conflict. walker is being recruited as a wr and robinson as a safety and wr.

    15. we see no reason why both walker and robinson, in addition to a number of other fine student athletes, will not all choose notre dame, unless they are afraid of the academic challenges or there are some family reasons which require them to stay close to their families.

    16. being a real student athlete at notre dame is not easy, with real academic burdens added on to playing football or other sports.

    17. however, for any student athlete who is not afraid of the academic requirements, there simply is no better choice, either for sports or for life, now that charlie and corwin and their staffs are at notre dame to provide the best possible preparation for the nfl.

    again, we thank you for keeping things positive and for the eloquence and inspirations,

    bob gilleran

    ps we understand that omar’s roommate at the espn under armour high school all american bowl is a solid nd 2008 commit.

    it is unfortunate that omar chose the espn bowl over the army bowl where most of notre dame’s 2008 commits are playing.

    being relatively isolated from his future notre dame teammates made it easier for urban meyer, greg mattison, and some others to take advantage of omar, for the time being.

    recruiting battles are wars and those battles are still being fought until loi day.

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  • Frankie V commented on January 3rd, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    Check that, looks like Robinson might be deciding Saturday after all. Earlier this week he had said he wasn’t. Should come down to ASU and us.

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  • bleednd82 commented on January 3rd, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    Asu or ND….. My money is on ND. Robinson and Walker would be outstanding players in this class and with these signess cement our class as the #1 rated class in the nation. Go Irish

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  • bleednd82 commented on January 4th, 2008 at 4:07 am

    Bob,
    You had some valid pts in there. ND does put academics first unlike other schools but to say going to Fl or USc is not going to get you a “good” education is rediculous. My girlfriend goes to IUSB here in South Bend. She is getting a education and getting her teaching certificate. I wont say that her “education” is any less than mine even though I went to ND for 4 years. ND does a lot better job with student athletes than other schools do to graduate and give them a superb education. I think USC is a great school academically but I just hate the Football program. I am a ND fan who would like it? I think the average student does not feel that if he goes to Florida he is going to get a “low quality” education. Now, a student athlete that takes easier courses and fails and is inneligible to play is another story. I think these schools do prepare students but do a poor job with student-athletes. The Vick comparison is horrible because he was a Thug and thats all he knew. I rooted for the man when he first came in the league and that cheering for him became more of a wtf are you doing.
    Frankie- It was posted on Rivals about Robinson but then was taking off about him announcing at the AA. Who knows. BoBBy is right though and I dont see why both Walker and Robinson can join this group playing 2 differ positions. My concern is at D tackle and we need to get someone in here if not Omar or Mike.
    ND mens BBALL plays UCOnn tomarrow night at 9pm. Come out~ Go IRISH

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  • Frankie V commented on January 4th, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    I like ND’s chances too. Gerrell’s been around 14 ND commits all week which could not have hurt our chances.

    Getting both Robinson and Walker to commit tomorrow on two different networks would be HUGE.

    Throw in Mike Martin and maybe a Datone Jones in the class and you have a consensus #1 ranked class IMO.

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  • bleednd82 commented on January 4th, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Mike Farell is stating that Gerrell Robinson will commit to ND on at the AA according to Rivals.com. We need a DT BAD. Mike Martin please Leave Michigan.

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  • It’s only hypocritical if we say it is. « Get The Picture commented on January 10th, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    [...] only hypocritical if we say it is. Jump to Comments From the saga of Notre Dame and Omar Hunter’s withdrawn verbal commitment: … The loss of Hunter is no doubt a huge blow to Notre Dame’s and the whole saga which has [...]

  • tom commented on January 11th, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    Hi up there in South Bend. I am a graduate of the Univerity of Georgia. Your football program stinks. The local paper here in Buford published a picture of your coach down here watching a Buford High School practice. He looked as though he would rather be any place in the world other than where he was. Standing alone, scowl, staring off into the distance. Great P.R. This is your terrific recruiter?

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