First to pledge

Our third of 22 (and counting?) "Eye in the Sky" film reviews for Notre Dame's incoming commitments examines the program's initial pledge of the 2014 recruiting cycle. How will LB Greer Martini improve defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder's unit, both in 2014 and beyond?

Ranked No. 31 among the nation's outside linebackers by, Greer Martini opened Notre Dame's 2014 recruiting harvest with his pledge to the Irish a full 18 months prior to the cycle's National Signing Day.

A four-star prospect, Martini will join current Irish junior C.J. Prosise and sophomore Doug Randolph as former Woodberry Forest School (Woodberry Forest, Vir.) products in South Bend.

Below is a film review of Martini with an eye toward how his skills project to the collegiate level, both next fall and beyond.

Current strengths and areas for development

Navigates traffic from the middle well, due to both good pre-snap instincts and post-snap recognition…Does a good job of staying lower than the ball carrier despite a rangy frame…Has a future in Notre Dame's 3rd down defense as a linebacker, possessing good instincts, acumen for what the offense is doing, and free space coordination…

Occasionally slips blocks rather than engaging and destroying, and that works for precious few at the collegiate level (Luke Kuechly was a master of this art -- it's not recommended)…Pedestrian speed suggests sideline-to-sideline pursuit could be an issue, though taking the proper angle tackle-to-tackle won't be…Like previously reviewed Irish pledges Justin Brent and Andrew Trumbetti, Martini faces culture shock in terms of competition…Strength gain is necessary, though that's true of 90 percent of incoming inside 'backer…

Is willing to deliver a blow but will need to add good weight to take on opposing guards and power-based offenses…Has no quit during the whistle and like Trumbetti, won't give up on a play…Appears to be a legitimate 6'4" or at least 6'3 1/2" and should add weight and strength without losing lateral quickness…

Doesn't always drive through his tackle which will have to be changed upon arrival (Former Irish defensive coordinator Bob Diaco called such players, "Decelerators"…Rarely over pursued on film, a sign he possesses good field presence…At home in the middle of a 4-3 front as he diagnoses a play though he showed a bad habit of hopping (bouncing) prior to giving chase...

Outstanding instincts but there's a little-known relation between "instincts" on film and a prep player making the jump to the college game --instincts appear more impressive when opponents a defender is chasing aren't faster than him.

Road blocks to playing time

As with previous inside 'backer pledges Michael Deeb, Jarrett Grace, Kendall Moore, and both Dan Fox and Carlo Calabrese, Martini isn't ready to take on college competition for four consecutive months -- a year on the scout team for seasoning, weight gain, and added confidence is necessary for Martini…

If pressed into action, Martini could fill the role of a lone inside 'backer in a dime (six defensive backs) set, though that alignment will likely change with new defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder.

Reminiscent of… Former Irish linebacker Dan Fox, a high school safety, early-career outside 'backer, and later, a three-year starter inside.

Martini Highlights

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