Ben Martin Trips to Ohio State

Many Notre Dame fans have tabbed Scout.com's No. 8-rated defensive end Ben Martin of La Salle High School (Cincinnati, Ohio) as one of the team's highest priorities for the 2007 recruiting class. If the Irish are going to be successful in luring him to South Bend, the Notre Dame staff will have to pry him from the arms of his home state Buckeyes.

Recruiting fans were surprised this weekend to learn that Ben Martin (6-foot-6, 220 pounds) was on the Ohio State campus for an unofficial visit. There were a number rumors floating around his visit, so Irish Eyes caught up with Ben to discuss his weekend trip.

"I was just going up for another visit. I wanted to meet some people and talk to a few players," Martin responded when asked his strategy of his visit to Ohio State. "I was up there a few hours. I was just a one-day thing. I went over with one of my coaches. I've been up there several times, and I wanted to get a better feel for the people there.

"[On previous trips] I'd met some players, but I really didn't get to talk to them. It was a ‘hey, what's up' kind of thing. All of them were pretty nice guys. They seem pretty dedicated in the weight room, focused, and hard working… nice people, real nice people."

Football practice will be starting shortly, so Martin has likely made his final unofficial visit for the summer. The next time he finds himself on a college campus will be for his official visits.

"Right now I think I'll focus on my season," replied Martin when asked about his plans for determining his official visits. "I'm trying to keep all the college stuff in the background right now. Next month I'll try to narrow it down to my official visits. If I don't feel comfortable making my decision during the season, I'll make my decision after my season.

"I have two [official visits] for sure, Ohio State and Notre Dame. The other three visits are open."

A couple teams that may be in the running for a couple visits are Penn State and USC. Both schools made a strong impression on Martin during the last several months.

"Penn State, I've talked to the coaches from USC," Martin responded when asked if any new teams were making an impression on him. "I've got a few options, a few good options.

"I'm real curious to go out there and see what it's like, and really give it a chance. I could live away from home if I had to. It would be something new just going out to USC."

Martin has also been keeping in close contact with the Irish. Ben has speaks frequently with the Irish defensive coordinator, Rick Minter.

"I talked to coach Minter two days ago. He's a great guy," Martin said. "I like him. He's real down to earth and he's a good person to talk to. I can't say enough good things about coach Minter. He's a great person."


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