So there’s more news about blue-chip recruit Chris Martin. And it’s news that Irish fans aren’t too happy about.
Martin spoke with USC recruiting site WeAreSC.com and made waves by openly admitting that he’s taking visits and looking at other programs while long being committed to the Irish. This contradicts what Charlie Weis hinted at last week when the initial rumors of Martin’s wandering eyes started to make news.
While the most rosy-eyed of Notre Dame fans could dispute a USC recruiting site — I mean, consider the source! — just to make adamantly clear that Martin is looking at other programs, former NBC Sports writer and current Fanhouse.com contributor John Walters caught up with Martin’s mom who confirmed the same thing.
“Chris probably should not have committed so early,” Cheryl Martin said. “He proclaimed Notre Dame would be his school last February thinking that would quiet things down. It only encouraged everybody else… We kind of put the cart before the horse when Chris committed a year early.”
Before Irish fans start proclaiming that the sky is falling, they should take a deep breath and relax. Martin is still taking his official visit to Notre Dame for the biggest game of the year and likely the most electric home atmosphere the Irish will have all season.
Irish fans should also stop and think before they start throwing gas on the fire. Like many 17 and 18 year olds (and 30-year-olds), Martin has a Facebook page. And like many other kids his age that know nothing different than a life packed full of social networking websites, Martin is eager to accept friends. Over 600 of them. And if you’re one of the 600 or so people that Martin has befriended, a pleading message supporting your favorite team probably isn’t helping.
This is the first time through the adventure for recruits like Chris Martin. He’s going to make mistakes. He’s going to make quick decisions, think with his heart before his head. We all did it when we were teenagers, and we weren’t getting phone calls from Charlie Weis, Pete Carroll, Urban Meyer, and Jeff Tedford.
Every college kid wonders if he made the right decision when he finally picks a school. For most of us, the options were far more limited than talented student-athletes like Chris Martin. The fact that Martin is wobbling on his college choice isn’t the end of the world scenario for Notre Dame. He’s still incredibly high on the Irish and head coach Charlie Weis.
“I love the school and I absolutely respect him,” Cheryl Smith said of head coach Charlie Weis. “He’s given me his word that he’ll take care of my son.”
You’ve got to wonder if Martin’s commitment issues are still a product of the heat being applied — mostly by Notre Dame fans — on Charlie Weis. If Weis’ job was no longer a topic being discussed weekly on Notre Dame fan-sites and message boards, then this might not be an issue. Likewise, if Notre Dame fans didn’t panic when they heard Chris Martin was looking around, and quickly morph themselves into self-preservation/”we-don’t-need-him-anyway” mode, none of this would be an issue.
While there is a very real chance that Chris Martin is gone, there’s also a very real chance he’s going to be Irish. Just a few years ago, message boards were going nuclear questioning the motives of a blue-chip wide receiver that had supposedly given his commitment to Charlie Weis, but wasn’t really discussing anything with the press.
I’m not talking about Arrelious Benn, who ended up flipping his silent commitment from the Irish to Illinois. I’m talking about Michael Floyd… who turned out pretty good for Notre Dame.
Let’s not turn the possible decommitment of Chris Martin into a self-fulfilling prophecy.