OL, Martin O'Donnell - Downers Grove, Illinois (South) - 6-5, 290, 5.1/40 - Being named first team All-State means something. It means that within that state, you are considered the best at your position. That means more in some states than others, but if you can say that in the "Land of Lincoln", you are doing something pretty impressive. Though Illinois doesn't get the hype most other states like Texas and Florida do, they continually put out top-level talent and Martin O'Donnell is one of the next in line.
This early in the season, most players don't have slim lists, rather they have lists comprised of a myriad of teams they haven't even looked at. Martin has been one of the exceptions in that he hasn't limited himself, but taken his choices down to a manageable few. "Illinios and Nebraska right now stick up a little over the rest, but I am also looking at Michigan, Stanford, Northwestern and a lot of other teams."
Of those schools interested in him, Martin has had a chance to visit almost all of them in return. O'Donnell reported to me that he had unofficially visited "most of the big ten" in addition to a recent visit he had to Nebraska. There may be other unofficial visits in the future, but O'Donnell pointed out, "I am just trying to focus in on this next season." Likewise, Martin says that his officials are still up in the air, but again, he stated, "I can't see me not taking trips to Illinois and Nebraska, but I don't know about the rest."
As for the rest, including the above-mentioned favorites, you will find Iowa, Northwestern, Michigan, Notre Dame, Purdue, Stanford and Wisconsin, all of them except for Notre Dame having offered him offers in writing.
Just a quite note on the mentality of one Martin O'Donnell. You like big, mean, nasty, in-your-face trench warfare soldiers that only get meaner as the opponent starts to tire? You will like Martin then as the best part of the game (for him) is "smacking people around". "That's exactly what I love about it". Martin stated. "When you see a guy starting to get tanked, you just go harder at him and keep at it."
As you are likely to hear from many recruits, his season up-coming takes precedence over thinking too far into the future as to where O'Donnell plans on going. Martin did say that he wasn't a likely candidate however to wait until signing day. "I think I will probably make my decision before that, but I still want to take my officials."