Nerves Cooled

Though every verbally committed Notre Dame recruit was worried about Charlie Weis' welfare the few days after the USC game, Marlon Pollard and his family were extremely concerned.

No worries anymore.

The Pollard family was extremely happy to hear, that the day Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick publicly backed Weis, the Irish head coach was in San Bernardino, Calif., to visit Marlon Pollard himself.

"He assured me several times during the visit that Marlon coming to Notre Dame means a lot to him, and he considers Marlon family, and me family, and my daughter family," Rachael Pollard, Marlon's mother said. "He literally stated with (the) announcement (from the school), he would do his best that Marlon felt right at home."

Weis and Irish assistant coach Brian Polian visited the four-star cornerback out of Cajon High last Wednesday.

"They met at my house around 11 and we talked," Rachael Pollard began. "It was just adults at that point for a good hour, with my daughter in her room, really talking football honestly. We talked about what he thought were the flat spots in the last game, and he is very determined to make the appropriate adjustments. He seemed confident in what he had to do, and he went into the fact that even with right now, he was kind of suffering with that knee injury, but he said more important than his knee, he wanted to be sure that he did not waste anytime in recruiting, and get out to all of his recruits and not lose anytime. He's going to wait to address, oh gosh, his own health to give confidence to his own recruits.

"Then we went to the school. Marlon's team (was) in the semifinals, and him and the athletic director, and the head coach. and the seniors of the football team, sat around and chatted for a little bit. Basically (coach Weis) was encouraging them to get out there and leave it on the field.

"Then we left from there and went to this place called Jersey Pizza, and it was interesting because I didn't know coach Weis was from the East Coast. So he said there was no more fitting place than to go to Jersey Pizza. We had one-on-one time and they continued to express their strong interest in Marlon, and that he has an infectious personality, and he's a big part of the 2009 recruiting class. We had pizza and he ate all his pizza, and so did Marlon, and coach Polian and Marlon went into their conversation. I didn't know what they were talking about, I guess the playoffs, and coach Weis was making sure that Marlon had confidence in his play, and he went over his own war stories with (the NFL) playoffs. He kept complimenting him on his manners and smile. Then we went over some highlights of things they learned about Marlon during different meetings that he said and done."

Weis and Polian stayed for a few hours.

"Basically, he said this is Marlon Pollard's day, that's how important you are. I thought as a parent, that makes me feel really good because not everyone can express confidently what a parent can express about their kid, so to hear it from someone that is not his parent obviously makes me feel good as a Mom."

Despite his commitment to Notre Dame, Pollard's phone has been ringing off the hook with college recruiters. Stanford recently offered a scholarship and came by the school. UCLA is floating around, as well as several other programs.

"I've raised my son to never be disrespectful and never to minimize someone recognizing him. We're never rude to anyone and we're never not open to a conversation. We're down to earth people, and this is one of the busiest times for football recruiting. Too be honest, I'm a business women and I would not encourage him to be rude and push anyone away, however we stand firm in telling people we're committed.

"Everybody is aware because we are very honest and up front."

This past Monday, Irish assistant coach Corwin Brown made a trip out to California to see Pollard.

"Corwin is a very important component to this. Immediately our family connected with Corwin. He's a very engaged coach with Marlon. He's a standup guy."

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