Woodberry Forest (Va.) head coach Clint Alexander first saw Notre Dame
class of 2014 commit Greer Martini as an eighth-grader visiting the
school for a three-week sports camp.
At the camp, athletes competed in six sports on teams of 12 in
football, soccer, lacrosse, basketball, floor hockey and softball.
Martini played for the Texas team (each team was named after a
college) and earned the No. 1 or No. 2 seed for the tournaments in
Martini, who was attending year-round school at the time, had to
return home before the tournaments started. His team went on to lose
in the first round of every sport without him.
“He ended up winning our leadership award, which was pretty
impressive, because he could only be there two of the three weeks,”
Alexander said. “I remember telling my wife then: ‘If he comes to
Woodberry he’s probably going to be the best inside linebacker I’ve
ever had.’ Thank goodness he came.”
So when Martini enrolled as a freshman at the all-male boarding school
in central Virginia, Alexander put him on the varsity football roster
and let him learn as a 155-pound linebacker-in-waiting.
By his sophomore year, Martini played at 6-foot-3, 212 pounds and
earned a starting spot as an inside linebacker and was named first
team all-state at the end of the season.
The same athleticism that Alexander saw from Martini as an eighth
grader was transferring to the gridiron.
“He’s real flexible in his hips. So he’s a big, tall kid but he can
really get down and play low,” Alexander said. “I think he really
plays smart. He’s a really smart kid, really dissects things and does
his homework as far as tendencies and formations and those types of
Martini tallied 74 tackles, six fumble recoveries, three sacks and
three interceptions last season. He returned two fumbles for
“All of his interceptions were just incredible catches,” Alexander
said. “They weren’t just hitting the linebacker in the chest throws.
He went up to get them all. All those things combined (make him a
great linebacker), and he’s only 16 and doesn’t have a hair on his
Alexander is no stranger to talent on the defensive side of the ball.
He’s been coaching linebackers for 18 years and is confident in
The path to D-1 programs from Woodberry Forest has been filled with
defenders over the past few years. In the 2010 class, safety Ed
Reynolds signed with Stanford and linebacker Aramide Olaniyan signed
with UCLA. Safety C.J. Prosise signed with Notre Dame in February and
linebacker Doug Randolph has a verbal commitment to Stanford’s 2013
class. Randolph and Olaniyan play outside linebacker.
“We kind of pride ourselves and say Penn State might be Linebacker U,
well we’re going to be Linebacker Prep,” Alexander said. “We’ve had an
all-state one every year. I think Greer’s going to end up being 6-3,
240 running close to 4.6 and will be a sideline-to-sideline guy. He
just has all the parts.”
Martini’s skills can be seen on film, but Alexander said one of the
most impressive games he played last season came when he was fighting
through sickness. The game was against Paul IV Catholic and Alexander
could sense something was up but only got an answer after the game.
“I saw him after the game, and it was hot. It was probably 86 degrees
and he’s sitting on his mom and dad’s tailgate with a blanket around
him shaking because he’s got the chills so bad,” Alexander said. “I
asked his dad, I said, ‘What’s going on?’ He said, ‘Oh, he’s really
sick. He’s been sick for two days.’ Never said a word about it.”
It’s that dedication that Alexander sees out of Martini on a
consistent basis. Outside of his kitchen window, Alexander can see
Martini showing up 45 minutes early every night for study hall to get
a head start on his homework.
Because of his focus on academics, Martini had a small group of
schools he was looking at before his recruitment had really started —
schools like Virginia, Notre Dame, Penn State, Michigan and Stanford.
Martini made visits to Penn State and Michigan, but Alexander said the
Irish had a leg up on other schools because they came to see Martini
practice this spring and were willing to offer after he camped at
Notre Dame this summer. That was all Martini needed to make a
“He doesn’t love the recruiting process,” Alexander said. “There are
some kids that are fishing for offers and want to throw themselves in
front of the camera every two seconds. That’s just not the kind of kid
he is. He’s really humble, so when he found what he thought was a
perfect fit at Notre Dame, he was ready to be done.”
Kinlaw has leg surgery
The Press of Atlantic City reported Thursday that Notre Dame
cornerback commit Rashad Kinlaw recently underwent surgery on his
Kinlaw, a 6-2, 184-pound senior-to-be from Galloway, N.J., injured the
leg on June 30 playing in the first tournament game in the IFAF U-19
World Championship in Austin, Texas for the United States team against
Absegami High head coach Dennis Scuderi Jr. told the Press of Atlantic
City that Kinlaw is out indefinitely after a screw was inserted in his
leg during last week’s surgery.
“It could be as long as the season, but it could be as short as a
couple games,” Scuderi told the paper. “There’s such a broad range in
there when he could be back, if at all, and I don’t want to put any
pressure on him to feel like he has to come back.”
Scuderi told the Press of Atlantic City that the screw is scheduled to
be removed in mid-August and Kinlaw should be able to start
rehabilitation by late August.
Kinlaw missed the last four games last season with an injury to the
same leg. Absegami opens its season on Sept. 7. Both Scuderi and
Kinlaw told the paper that the injury shouldn’t affect his future with
More visitors this weekend
Concord, Calif., defensive end Austin Hooper told the Tribune he would
be visiting Notre Dame for three days this weekend. Hooper, a
senior-to-be at De La Salle High, said he was leaving California on
Thursday and visiting the Irish the rest of the weekend.
The 6-foot-5, 240-pound Hooper could fill the role of a hybrid outside
linebacker and defensive end in the 3-4 Irish defense.
A three-star prospect, Hooper is ranked as the No. 28 weakside
defensive end by Rivals.com and the No. 29 strongside defensive end by
Hooper’s offer list is heavy on Pac-12 programs and includes Oregon,
California and Washington.
Class of 2014 offensive lineman K.C. McDermott is also expected to
visit campus this weekend, said 247Sports.com national recruiting
writer Steve Wiltfong.
McDermott, a 6-6, 275 pound offensive tackle for Palm Beach (Fla.)
Central High, ranks as the No. 6 player at his position in the 2014
class according to 247Sports.
McDermott already holds over 10 offers including ones from Miami, Ohio
State, Auburn, Florida and Michigan.
Hargreaves picks Florida
Five-star cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III announced a verbal
commitment to Florida on Thursday.
Hargreaves, from Tampa, Fla., named Notre Dame to his top five last
Friday following a recent campus visit but decided to choose the
Gators. Hargreaves is considered one of the top corners in the 2013