For the second Sunday in a row, Notre Dame picked up an offensive linemen commitment from a prospect very much on Michigan’s radar in Zach Martin.
Martin (6;5″, 260) is a great pickup for the Irish since we needed at least two tackles in this class and Martin has the athleticism to be a left tackle on the college level. With Martin, Bullard, and Watt, Notre Dame has an outstanding trio of OL in this class so far with a few more big time prospects still on the board.
It looked like Martin was Michigan bound a couple weeks ago, but a recent visit to ND got the Irish right back in the race. Originally he was scheduled to visit Michigan last weekend, but that trip got rescheduled and he ended up visiting Notre Dame instead. He followed up that visit with another this past weekend to seal the deal.
From ESPN’s scouting profile:
“Demonstrates great leg drive and locks hands into the defender’s body; big meat hooks really clamp on. Could give a little more punch but this aggressive football player does a great job of sustaining his block. Alert and picks up inside stunts and blitzes like a seasoned veteran. Very mobile for a big man; pulls with authority and athletic enough in the openfield to lock on to linebackers and defensive backs. Has no trouble getting turned upfield and gives that little bit extra to get downfield block. Very solid at pass protection and anchors down with weight underneath him. Uses his hands very well and delivers a jarring blow on the pass rusher.”
“I just knew I was going to Notre Dame and I didn’t want to lead anyone on anymore,” Martin said when asked why he chose the Irish without taking the scheduled Michigan visit. “I just knew where I wanted to go, so I thought I shouldn’t drag it on any longer.
You can use your amazing powers of deduction to infer that the visit target is Ann Arbor, and that’s a terrific signal that Michigan has a significant lead. As mentioned earlier, if a recruit is approaching a commitment and one school’s site is the only one breaking news/writing articles, that’s a good sign for whatever school that site covers. And if a recruit is making a second visit to a school he’s already seen before making a decision, that visit is usually a last opportunity to kick the tires. This is all heuristics and speculation, but Michigan appears to be in excellent shape for Martin.