Pollard Makes Final Decision

It didn't take Marlon Pollard long to know Notre Dame was the place for him.

"When I first stepped on campus," the four-star cornerback from San Bernardino, Calif. exclaimed.

"It was just the way it made me feel on the inside. I've been in California my whole life, and I feel it's time to spread my wings and go elsewhere."

Marlon Pollard made elsewhere official on Monday morning, calling Irish head coach Charlie Weis to let him know he would be taking the staff up on the scholarship opportunity they gave him.

"It was like a connection when I got out there, and then when I began to meet people that weren't on Notre Dame's football staff, I was like I can see myself out there."

Pollard visited Notre Dame for the first time last month, when he had an extra day in the Midwest following a football camp in Chicago. At the time, Pollard was a verbal commit to UCLA, a pledge he gave former Bruins' head coach Karl Dorrell almost a year ago.

"We opened the possibility of looking elsewhere, and we talked with the coaches at UCLA and obviously everyone knows there was a big coaching change," Rachael Pollard began. "Right around that time, we thought we should at least explore other opportunities, not because of the coaching staff, Rick (Neuheisel) is a great guy and the people he's brought on have helped strengthen that coaching staff. We are not leaving UCLA because they don't have the potential to win there. They're a great program, with great facilities and a great coaching staff. They've shown us nothing but love, and done nothing wrong.

"We are going to a better opportunity for Marlon as an individual. We just want to make sure it's known UCLA did nothing wrong to Marlon or our family. They've done everything right."

The 6-foot-1, 160-pound Pollard usually does everything right on the football field, and also considered scholarship offers from Nebraska, Washington and Arizona State before becoming the 10th verbal commit in the Irish recruiting class. Last season, he had 56 tackles and three interceptions for Valencia High. A family move will see Pollard play his final prep season at Cajon High, where he begins practice today.

Pollard's mother will move again to the Midwest to be near her son. As a human resources director for a major metal corporation, her job allows her to do that.

"I don't know if it's going to be South Bend, but it's going to be somewhere in driving distance," she explained. "Because we're not from the Midwest, I don't want Marlon to be in a situation where if he wants to come home for a weekend he has to take a flight.

"I love my job, and I love the fact I have the ability to do that, so I can continue to support him in his dream."

Pollard dreams of both the NFL and being a doctor, and will go through Notre Dame's pre-med program.

"It's the balance of great football and great academics," Pollard elaborated on why Notre Dame. "You heard my mom, academics are number one in my book. It's academics, football and family, and that's the school that's going to give me the best of all of them in one shot."

Pollard will visit Notre Dame for the Stanford game this fall. The Irish coaching staff said they will send a representative by the school whenever NCAA rules allow. Pollard got a chance to speak with defensive coordinator Corwin Brown, his recruiting coach Brian Polian, and Weis for a few minutes.

"The whole thing was very exciting," Pollard said. "Coach Weis said he has two of the top players in California now, and me and Cierre (Wood) are going to try and get together and do something."

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