Dale Martin (5-11, 195) only lives a couple hours down the toll road from South Bend, but he had never been to the Notre Dame campus. That was until this past weekend when he visited for Notre Dame's junior day.
"I hadn't been there yet, this was my first trip," Martin said of his visit to Notre Dame. "It was what I had expected. I already knew it was a great school and it had a great tradition. The facilities were real nice and the locker rooms were real nice. I haven't been to a lot of colleges, but this was one of the nicer campus' and facilities I've seen so far. It's Notre Dame, they have a good tradition so I'm going to look at them hard."
"I've been up to a Michigan game but I didn't see much of the campus, and I've been to Iowa," Martin replied when asked to name the schools he had visited.
Even though Martin hadn't visited Notre Dame before, he does know quite a bit about the school. What the junior day provided him was an opportunity to learn more about the Notre Dame staff and the direction of the football program.
"When we came in Charlie Weis was talking about, if you go to Notre Dame you're going to get an education," Martin commented. "You'll have a good chance to go to the pros, because they have high standards. I knew he was the offensive coordinator for the Patriots when they won the Super Bowl. He must be a good coach to come into a school that was doing okay and then take them to a BCS game.
"They're not looking for a certain type of player, as long as they think you're a good person and if you have good size and good speed they want you."
"Coach Ianello definitely said I was a good enough player to play there and they were going to be looking at me hard," Martin said of his discussion with Notre Dame's recruiting coordinator. "I left them my tape when I was down there so they said they would get back to me after they watched it."
Being one of the top juniors in the state of Illinois, Martin is already being recruited very heavily.
"I'm getting the most mail from Ohio State, Notre Dame and Iowa," he answered when asked which schools were recruiting him the hardest. "Michigan and Texas were probably my two favorite teams growing up. I know Texas gets everyone from Texas, so I'm looking more around here."
Martin said he didn't have a favorite school at this time. He and his coach are going through the process of looking at his options. Once Martin gets a manageable list of schools he will focus on those schools.
"I'm going to take as much time as I need to," Martin said about when he'd make his college decision. "I'm not going to try and rush it. I'm going to take my time, and make a decision once I fell comfortable.
"I think I can come in a do some punt return and kick return. I don't want to go somewhere I'll have to sit behind four or five running backs to get a chance to play. I'm not going to rule out a school if I'm not going to play right away, but I will look at a school to see if they have an opening or not."