Martin Verbally Commits To Notre Dame

On a day normally reserved for class-of-2009 recruits, Chris Martin reluctantly stole some of the show.

National Signing Day was Wednesday, and Notre Dame had 17 players ink with the program, including five-star linebacker Manti Te'o.

At this time a year from now, Irish head coach Charlie Weis will be expecting a signed letter-of-intent from Chris Martin.

Earlier this morning, the 6-foot-4, 222-pound defensive end from Bishop O'Dowd High in the Oakland, Calif., gave Weis his verbal pledge, picking the Irish over programs like USC, UCLA, Georgia and a slew of other offers.

"Notre Dame has been my leader for awhile now," Martin said. "There wasn't any pressure from my parents. They didn't know I was going to commit today. It was a surprise to them.

"I wanted to do it today since it's National Signing Day for the 2009 class, and I wanted to just slide my commitment under there, and I didn't think it would blow up like this. I was on Facebook, and I had like 30 friend requests, and I heard the message boards were going crazy. I heard they got the linebacker form Hawaii, and I didn't want to do anything to take away from that."

Martin certainly didn't take away from that, he added to it.

In helping lead his team to a 10-2 record, Martin had roughly 110 tackles, with 20 of those coming for loss including four sacks. As a sophomore, Martin racked up 108 tackles, four sacks, three forced fumbles, and two interceptions in being named a first-team sophomore all-state selection.

"As far as choosing Notre Dame, it was the right place for me from the academics to playing time," Martin said. "Those are my two big things. The scheme they run, there is a lot of opportunity there, and academic wise, there aren't too many places that can beat Notre Dame.

"It feels like it's the right place to be for four or five years."

While Weis was talking to all the signees in his current class, he certainly had time to take Martin's call.

"Oh man, it was kind of funny actually," Martin said. "Coach (Rob) Ianello threw me on the phone with him, and you could tell he was gesturing something like make my day. I told him I was letting him know I was committing to him, and you could tell he was overwhelmed. It humbles you that a man of his notoriety, appreciates you and wants you to come to his school, and it feels great."

Martin is the third player to give Notre Dame a verbal commitment in the class of 2010, joining five-star offensive tackle Christian Lombard, and four-star receiver Daniel Smith. All three are ranked in's top-100. Top Stories