Starting left tackle Zack Martin’s brother, Nick, had been committed to play for Kentucky since August, but according to multiple reports on Monday, the younger Martin brother decommitted from Kentucky in favor of Notre Dame.
Martin is a versatile lineman who could play either guard or tackle depending on what Notre Dame’s needs are. Like his big brother, Nick Martin plays tackle in high school, but has the ability to slide inside if necessary.
It’s rare for Notre Dame to get into a recruiting battle with Kentucky, but prior to committing to play for the Wildcats, Martin held scholarship offers from Stanford, Michigan, Boston College, Iowa, and Tennessee among others. In other words, other programs that know a thing or two about offensive linemen offered Martin.
Notre Dame was in desperate need of adding another offensive lineman to the class of 2011 with just two lineman in each of the last two years before Martin’s commitment. Notre Dame now has three linemen on the offensive side of the ball for 2011 with Martin joining Matt Hegarty and Conor Hanrattay.
Notre Dame previously had three offensive linemen committed but lost Jordan Prestwood to Florida State during the season.
Martin wasn’t the only committed offensive lineman Notre Dame was after. In the last week, Chase Hounshell announced that he would be deciding between Notre Dame and Florida and Michigan commit Jake Fisher said he would reconsider his commitment in the wake of Rich Rodriguez’s dismissal with Notre Dame being one of the schools he would look at.
It is not clear right now how Notre Dame will proceed with linemen in this class. If there is another scholarship open, Notre Dame would certainly not mind adding another lineman to strengthen its offensive front. Just how many scholarships are available, however, is not exactly clear.
If Michael Floyd announces he is returning for his senior season, Notre Dame would be down to as few as three available scholarships with several highly touted prospects left on the board. Aaron Lynch, Ishaq Williams, Brennan Scarlett, and Amir Carlisle are all reportedly announcing where they will be headed in the next week.
Regardless of how many spots are left, this was a great pick-up for Brian Kelly and the Irish. Notre Dame needed another lineman in this class and any time you can pick one up that had offers from Stanford, Michigan, Boston College, and Iowa you are doing something right.