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Irish A-to-Z: Greer Martini

Jul 22, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

Greer Martini

The founding member of the 2014 recruiting class, linebacker Greer Martini enters a football program that looks decidedly different than the one he committed to back in July of 2012. The product of the same Woodberry Forest football program that supplied the Irish with C.J. Prosise and Doug Randolph, Martini was an early target and commitment to Bob Diaco, a prototype linebacker to play on the inside of the 3-4 defense.

The profile for inside linebackers has changed, but the need for a big, physical player like Martini has not. And while Nyles Morgan is expected to get the first opportunity to play on the inside of Brian VanGorder’s defense, Martini helps fill a position of need and walks onto campus with an immediate opportunity to help.

Let’s take a closer look at Martini.


6’3″ 225 lbs.



Martini didn’t rate on the national level, likely a product of a ridiculously early commitment to Notre Dame that took him off many program’s radars. He had offers from Maryland, N.C. State, and Virginia Tech, but never seemed to waver from a commitment he made the summer after his sophomore season.

Martini fits that RKG mold, and Brian Kelly wasn’t afraid to talk about that on Signing Day.

“Greer Martini is one of the smarter defensive players we signed,” Kelly said. “We got a chance to spend some time with him here on campus. His leadership skills, his ability to recognize and really‑‑ you have to have leaders. He’s a really good player, and he’s a really good leader, and he’ll be a very good linebacker for us here at Notre Dame and will also be a guy that makes others around him better.”



Martini racked up stats by the bushel at Woodberry Forest, and played tight end and linebacker for the team. He’s a big enough guy to play linebacker in any system, though you don’t see “elite” athleticism when you watch his highlight tape. (Then again, when you saw C.J. Prosise or Doug Randolph’s high school highlights, you didn’t either — so maybe it’s a product of the competition (or video crew) at the prep school.)

Notre Dame’s staff obviously saw something early in Martini, likely a very good athlete with a perfect frame for an inside linebacker. He was a perfect profile fit at a position that was recruited to said profile. That the staff was willing to accept Martini’s commitment as early as they did — and stuck with him for almost two years — says quite a bit more than any YouTube clip or recruiting ranking.



If it weren’t for the uncertainty at linebacker, I’d have called Martini an absolute lock to redshirt. But with Jarrett Grace’s return still uncertain, and a player like Michael Deeb not making a move during spring practice, who’s to say that Martini can’t be a surprising freshman who picks things up quickly and finds his way onto the field.

In all likelihood, if Martini does see the field, it’s on special teams. He’s the combination of speed and power that can help Scott Booker’s wayward coverage teams. But we thought that about Deeb last year and he spent the year on the sidelines.

Neither Prosise nor Randolph saw the field as freshmen, taking an extra calendar year to get up to the speed of college football. My hunch says that’s going to happen with their former Woodberry Forest teammate, who will jump into competition in the spring.



The Irish A-to-Z
Josh Atkinson
Nicky Baratti
Alex Bars
Hunter Bivin
Grant Blankenship
Jonathan Bonner
Justin Brent
Kyle Brindza
Chris Brown
Jalen Brown
Greg Bryant
Devin Butler
Jimmy Byrne
Daniel Cage
Amir Carlisle
Austin Collinsworth
Ben Councell
Scott Daly
Sheldon Day
Michael Deeb
Steve Elmer
Matthias Farley
Tarean Folston
Everett Golson
Jarrett Grace
Conor Hanratty
Eilar Hardy
Mark Harrell
Jay Hayes
Matt Hegarty
Mike Heuerman
Kolin Hill
Corey Holmes
Chase Hounshell
Torii Hunter Jr.
Jarron Jones
DeShone Kizer
Ben Koyack
Christian Lombard
Tyler Luatua
Cole Luke
Nick Martin


  1. jerseyshorendfan1 - Jul 22, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    How do you make a Greer Martini? First open up a can of whoop ass, mix with a couple of shots at the QB and several shots at the running back, shake with ice, strain into a martini glass and garnish liberally with some nasty attitude. That oughta do it.

  2. irishdog80 - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    Maybe he can be our Luke Kuechly story. Smart, undervalued player with a nose for the football.

  3. blackirish23 - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:53 PM


    How often does ND target, offer, and seek commitment from sophomores? Sounds a bit early in my opinion which means he could end up being a special player? Unless of course it’s common practice.

    Also, it looks like you skipped over DaVaris Daniels? Was this due to his suspension at time you started your A-Z mission? Now that he’s been reinstated, will we be seeing an addendum in the future?

    Thanks for filling our summers with these fun updates. Nice work as always!!

    Go Irish!

    • rdw71 - Jul 22, 2014 at 5:40 PM

      I’m not sure ND “targeted” this kid. I think they learned about him while they were scouting Randolph, offered him (which is happening a lot with sophomores these days) and he didn’t hesitate to commit. While mid-level teams might have backed off after his ND commitment, you can bet if Alabama, OSU, Michigan, USC, etc. saw something they thought was special they wouldn’t have hesitated to offer him. Same for the rating services – maybe they would have rated him higher with more offers, but they do not hesitate to rate even those guys who are already committed.

      So it’s more likely that he will be a workhorse a la Dan Fox than a special player like Jaylon Smith. Though there are aways the Luke Kuechly guys who find their upside a little later. If he’s a RKG, then I’m pulling for him, and another Dan Fox can still help this team..

  4. ndgoldandblue - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    Again, this post has nothing to do with the topic of Greer Martini, but I just have to say this: I really hope that Brian Kelly has a great year. What constitutes a great year, you might ask? I’d say great preparation and exceptional game-day coaching that leads to at least 10 wins and a marquee bowl victory. It’s not that I want the pollyannas to feel vindicated; I just want the doomsdayers to shut up about Brian Kelly. I’m not altogether sold on the guy as a play-caller or game-day coach, but I think he’s a great program builder, and he doesn’t deserve some of the flak he receives in the blogosphere.

    The pollyannas seem to think that BK can do no wrong, and the doomsdayers think that he can do no right. While I am neither, I think that people who make up the former are more right than people that make up the latter. Besides, as a Notre Dame fan, why would you want your coach and team to fail? Doesn’t make sense to me. Man, I gotta’ stay off other blogs.

    • nudeman - Jul 22, 2014 at 5:29 PM

      He has his pluses and minuses, but overall the ledger is decidedly in the positive.
      Tough, tough job building an NC contender at ND.
      It’s legit to ask “can it be done anymore?”, and I’d say if it can, BK can do it

    • goirishgo - Jul 22, 2014 at 8:07 PM

      The doomsdayers will never shut up regardless of results or other salient facts.

    • johngaltisspeaking - Jul 23, 2014 at 12:18 AM

      A great year in the classroom and a bad year on the field is not success. Either make it happen Brian K or GET OUT !

  5. papadec - Jul 22, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    Talk about things looking “decidedly different” – this picture looks nothing like the kid in his commitment picture. I think “Joisey” has nailed it. BTW Joisey – the kid brother bought tickets for the CUSE game in the Meadowlands, yesterday. I’ll be there with him. Maybe we can meet for a tailgate brew?

    • ndgoldandblue - Jul 22, 2014 at 6:28 PM

      I, myself, am going back and forth on whether or not I should buy tickets for the Syracuse game in the Meadowlands. I went to the debacle against Navy, and man did that put a damper on my weekend in the City. One bit of trepidation that I have is the fact that I haven’t been there since my son was born three years ago. Why does that matter? Navigation. My wife and I brought our son to Boston this summer, and we couldn’t navigate the T to save our lives, yet we’d been there six times prior and used the T every time. I swear, parenting has made me dumb.

      • goirishgo - Jul 22, 2014 at 8:10 PM

        Go to the game! I live 30 minutes from the stadium and have folks coming in from out of town. We’ll serve as hosts and navigators while you’re here.

    • jerseyshorendfan1 - Jul 23, 2014 at 11:48 AM

      Tailgate brew sounds awesome papa. We can arrange details as we get closer and broadcast it so anybody that wants to can come join in.

  6. rayguy14 - Jul 22, 2014 at 7:48 PM

    To say that he “didn’t rate on the national level,” is not accurate. He was an ESPN 300 player and the #11 rated ILB. I’d say that’s a fairly solid national rating.

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