Martin Moves Into Starting Lineup

SAN ANTONIO - Defensive ends Ben Martin and Justin Trattou look like they have emerged as the starters for the East team at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Martez Wilson is still in the mix, but Martin and Trattou ran with the ones during the Wednesday morning scrimmage at the Alamo Dome.

Defensive line coach Robert Prunty, who coaches at Hargrave Military Academy in Danville, Va., couldn't say enough about the 6-foot-5, 225-pound Martin or the 6-foot-4, 250-pound Trattou.

"Once (Martin) puts on 20 or 30 pounds he is going to be a great player. He plays with a lot of leverage, he gets off the edge extremely quick, got an eye for the ball, very aggressive for his size. I'd say he is a wiry-type player. Reminds me of a Jason Taylor type.

"Out here he is going to start, he is going to be one of our starters at d-end."

As for Trattou.

"Just one of those guys, full speed ahead, special, special. Him and Martin, if they end up at the same place, they are going to be phenomenal. Once again you have another guy that is going to put on 30 or 40 pounds, same type of body, another type of guy like Jason Taylor. These guys are 4.6 guys or below. They haven't blocked these two guys in practice yet."

Notre Dame hopes the pair will be unblockable in Irish jerseys. Trattou has already given a verbal commitment to Charlie Weis. Martin, out of LaSalle, Ohio, will decide this weekend between the Irish, Ohio State, Florida and Tennessee.

It took Martin a day to get settled in San Antonio.

"(Monday), I thought was a little slow a little sluggish, but (Tuesday) I came out and was ready to go," Martin said. "I took some mental reps and just decided it was time to turn it on. I just went out there and had a good day of practice."

A good practice on Tuesday turned into a start in the scrimmage on Wednesday.

"I had a good day, I can't complain about things, a few ups a few downs," Martin assessed.

There were a lot more ups than downs. Martin was in the backfield all morning, and was quick to the ball carrier on running plays. Tackles Chris Little and Anthony Davis had troubles getting their hands on Martin.

"I can hold my own in the run game as well as the pass game, but when I get to college that will be one thing I need to work on," Martin said. "I just use my speed because a lot of people underestimate me because I am a defensive end, I'm a lineman and they think I'm supposed to be slow."

Before arriving in the Alamo state, Martin was anxious to see where he stacked up with everyone else. If his size was going to be an issue. Now he knows.

"I am feeling real good, real confident and ready to play on Saturday."


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