Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick's announcement that Charlie Weis would return for a fifth season helped quell some of the concerns recruits felt, but the Irish coaching staff took no chances and following the USC loss they hit the road to firm up recruits that might be wavering. Irish Eyes spoke with two of these recruits last week. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Eyes?
In the wake of the numerous rumors that Charlie Weis might not be back, Marlon Pollard, CB, 6-0, 170, Cajon High School, San Bernardino, CA and his family understandably felt great concern over his commitment to Notre Dame. Weis, special teams coach Brian Polian and defensive coordinator Corwin Brown made a special effort to reassure Pollard that Weis would indeed be back and that he remained a very important recruit for Notre Dame.
"He (Weis) assured me several times during the visit that Marlon coming to Notre Dame means a lot to him, and he considers Marlon family and me family and my daughter family," said Rachel Pollard, Marlon's mother. "He literally stated with (the) announcement (from the school) he would do his best that Marlon felt right at home."
Weis and Polian met with the Pollard family last Wednesday (Dec. 10) and spent nearly the entire day with them.
"They met at my house around eleven and we talked," said Mrs. Pollard. "It was just adults at that point for a good hour with my daughter in her room, really talking football honestly. We talked about what he thought were the flat spots in the last game, and he is very determined to make the appropriate adjustments."
Mrs. Pollard continued:
"Then we went to the school. Marlon's team (was) in the semi-finals and him and the athletic director and the head coach, and the seniors of the football team sat around and chatted for a little bit. Basically (coach Weis) was encouraging them to get out there and leave it on the field."
Weis and Polian's visit with Pollard didn't end there. After the young cornerback's practice ended, he and his family joined the Irish head coach at Jersey Pizza.
"Then we left from there (Pollard's practice) and went to this place called Jersey Pizza and it was interesting because I didn't know coach Weis was from the East Coast," related Mrs. Pollard. "So he said that there was no more fitting place than to go to Jersey Pizza. We had one on one time and they continued to express their strong interest in Marlon and that he has an infectious personality and he's a big part of the 2009 recruiting class.
Weis and Polian spent the entire day with the Pollards, a fact that was not lost on them.
"Basically he said this is Marlon Pollard's day, that's how important you are," said Mrs. Pollard. "I thought, as a parent, that makes me feel really good because not everyone can express confidently what a parent can express about their kid, so to hear it from someone that is not his parent obviously makes me feel good as a mom."
Though the Pollards are hearing from a number of other programs, they have made it clear that Marlon is still firmly committed to Notre Dame.
Zach Martin, OT, 6-5, 275, Bishop Chatard, High School, Indianapolis, IN used Notre Dame's end of the year football banquet to firm up his own commitment to the Irish. Though Martin attended a couple of Notre Dame games this year, he really never had the opportunity to get to know the coaches, players and other recruits like he really wanted. On his official visit, he rectified that problem.
"It went real well," said the Scout.com three-star tackle. "It was a lot of fun. Just getting around the guys again, that was a big reason why I made my decision to come to Notre Dame. Also, getting to know the guys coming in, in our class, so that was good hanging out with all those guys."
In addition to Martin, six other verbally committed players made it to South Bend for the banquet. Martin got the opportunity to bond with those players.
"I met a couple at the games, but I met four or five guys this weekend that I've never met before," said Martin. "I never met Dan Fox, Jake Golic or Tyler Stockton, so it was good to meet those guys and hang out for a little bit."
Martin also got the opportunity to hang out with Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis.
"It went well," Martin said of his meeting with Weis. "Just kind of catching up on things. I hadn't talked to him in a while, so it was good to talk with him again. His situation is obviously all good and he's going to be back."
Trevor Robinson served as Martin's host for the weekend visit.
"I never really met him (Robinson) either," Martin began. "He was a lot of fun and he showed me a great time, so it was a lot of fun. He's a real fun guy and he's tight with all those other guys, so we were all kind of together. It's a good experience."
Martin is expecting to see offensive line coach, John Latina, at his school some time this week and Weis plans to visit him in January.
These two summaries represent just a sample of the Notre Dame football recruiting information available each week on Irish Eyes.
Recruiting week in review.
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