Hawkeyes Making OL Martin O'Donnell a Big Priority

One of the biggest priorities for the Hawkeyes this recruiting season will be the offensive line. The state of Illinois is producing its best year in a long time for quality offensive lineman. There is no question that Iowa hopes to invade this border state for some talent. 6'5 275 OL Martin O'Donnell is one of the top targets on Iowa's list.

Coach Ferentz is no stranger to the offensive line position and it should be no surprise that Martin O'Donnell was one of the first lineman he decided to offer this recruiting season. O'Donnell is being tagged early by many recruiting anyalsts as one of the top lineman, not only in the midwest, but in the nation.

That has also shown in the quanity of offers that Martin has gained early in the recruiting process.

"Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Purdue, Northwestern, and Stanford have offered me a scholarship," Martin said. "My favorites right now would be Iowa, Stanford, Michigan, Purdue, and Northwestern. Stanford and Iowa are the only schools I have not visited yet, but teammate OL Kevin Gage and I will be visiting Iowa City on May 4th."

Without visiting Iowa City, what has Martin been able to obtain from the Hawkeyes?

"I called and spoke to the coaching staff last month. They all seemed to be real cool guys. It is a definite positive that Coach Ferentz was a former OL coach to go along with his offensive line coach now. That is a very good thing and my recruiter, Coach (Lester) Erb, has also been a real nice guy."

Obviously, Iowa will be looking to add both tackles and guards this recruiting season to its offensive line. Where does Martin figure to see himself playing at?

"I play tackle in high school, but the majority of schools have me listed at guard. That is fine with me as I would rather go up against bigger guys than the quicker ones. They are more fun to handle. I'm more of a run blocker, but I do not think I'm limited in what I'm able to do as I should be able to improve all aspects."

Martin's teammate, 6'6 285 OL Kevin Gage, was in Iowa City this past Saturday to witness the 2002 spring game. Kevin has early offers from Illinois and Purdue, but Iowa could be a possibility to add to that list very soon. Kevin is being recruited as a tackle. Is there a chance these two could form a tackle-guard combination in college?

"We've been childhood friends going through all forms of schooling together. It would be very cool to play together. I'm just going to make my decision based on where I feel the most comfortable and can get a quality education. I would like to major in history and education."

Martin will not make an early decision as he indicated he would like to take some official visits. Martin excels on and off the field, including a 310 bench press, and should find himself sitting very comfortable on Signing Day with the school of his choice. Will the Hawkeyes be able to come away victorious?

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