Martin Andrus’ initial rush up the middle forced Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne quarterback Jalen Chatman to roll right. The Los Angeles (Calif.) Senior defensive lineman circled around. Feeling Andrus coming hot behind him, Chatman sprinted to his left where his offensive line gave him a chance to look down field.
Chatman scanned the field and found a target. He shifted his body, turning his shoulders and prepared to launch a pass toward the end zone. After fending off a block, Andrus had continued to fight his way toward the quarterback. Chatman wound up and fired. The ball was barely out of his hands when Andrus laid into him a forceful shove, sending Chatman flying to the ground with an off-balance Andrus falling nearby.
Neither Andrus or Chatman had a clear view of Tyrone Marshall leaping backwards to snag the pass as he tumbled to the ground with the game-winning touchdown in the final five minutes. Narbonne held on for a 13-6 win in a game that was an opportunity for Los Angeles Senior to show their merits as a top City Section squad.
“It was a tough game. We played hard. I'm very satisfied with our team and everyone is going to respect us,” Andrus said. “I think it sets us up well because people know we’re a big-time team and they know like, we’re real.”
The 6-foot-1.5, 280-pound Andrus did his part in the middle of the Los Angeles Senior defensive line, clogging up any running lanes, which is what many colleges think he will be able to do well at the next level. Ranked No. 194 overall in the Scout 300, California’s top defensive tackle has been in communication with several Power-5 schools, including UCLA, Nebraska and Oregon, who Andrus said are the schools recruiting him the hardest.
“Pretty much they’re trying to reach out to me every day,” Andrus said. “They’re making sure they talk to me every week. Make sure we're up to date and just keeping the relationship strong.”
But right now, Andrus’ primary focus is on doing well on his Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).
“After I get that done, I'll start scheduling some visits,” Andrus said. “I'm trying to take some official visits in November.”
One visit that he’s trying to solidify is a trip to Eugene, Ore. on Nov. 11. He is also eyeing a trip to Nebraska and expects to stop by local schools USC and UCLA, but an official trip to either isn’t guaranteed.
“[I will] pretty much just go on as much unofficials as I can. Get out to as more games as I can. That's it.”
Andrus plans to take one of those unofficial trips today when he’ll check out the Trojans’ matchup with Arizona State. Andrus said he’s stayed in consistent contact with the USC coaching staff, talking to primarily High School Relations Coordinator Gavin Morris and head coach Clay Helton.
Rather than focusing on Andrus’ on-field talent, the USC coaches have spoke more about life in general than football specifics.
“Pretty much not really much football just building relationships. That's pretty much it,” he said. “We still have a steady conversation, so I'm good with them.”
“I'm not worried about the team record,” Andrus said when asked about the Trojans’ slow start. “I’m just worried about what I can go in and do to help the team get better and win.
USC’s depth concerns on the defensive line are something he’s taken note of as he looks for a school that suits him best. A good fit is important to the No. 5 defensive tackle in the West. He wants to be both comfortable and wants a shot at playing early, calling it “big.”
To best use his skills, Andrus thinks he’d be best in a four-man front playing the three technique lined up to the outside shoulder of the offensive guard. But where those skills fit best is still up in the air, which is why Andrus has not set a specific date of when he will announce a college decision though he has mentioned National Signing Day as a possibility in the past.
For now, he is intent on making the Romans the pride of the City Section. To do that, Andrus and Los Angeles will have to take care of business against Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey at home next week. A win would set up an elite matchup against prospect-laden Los Angeles (Calif.) Hawkins, who Andrus referenced after the game as “The Team That Never Beats Us.”
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