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Notre Dame Football

Scouting the Roster: Greer Martini

June 8, 2017

Player name: Greer Martini

Player position: Buck

Years of eligibility left: 1

Projected rank on the depth chart: Competing to start with Te’Von Coney

Player productivity so far:

2016: 55 tackles 7 TFL 3 sacks 1 PBU

2015: 35 tackles 2.5 TFL 1 sack

What player does best: Even as a freshman, Martini displayed great instincts. For the amount he has played the last few seasons, his tackle totals should be much less. He consistently finds the football.

He excels versus the option and does a terrific job of recognizing what is coming. He also has developed a great feel as a blitzer with his timing and his ability to get skinny though gaps.

Although he wasn’t a natural fit as a Sam in the previous defense, he was an effective player when used there because of his intelligence. His versatility is a definite strength as well. So far he has only worked at Buck in this system, but if they needed him he could fill in at all three linebacker positions.

What player needs to work on: Although his recognition skills allow him to slip blocks and get in a position to make plays, he needs to improve at taking on and shedding blocks. He gets engulfed by lineman at times and really struggled when having to take on tight ends in the run game. He’s a good, but not elite athlete.

Some may say that tackling is an issue for him, but the only game where he struggled was Texas and he was not the only one that did that day. He has never been a full-time starter and must show consistency from game to game to be one.

He’s solid at everything, but can he excel enough to be a highly productive player? The Buck needs to be that in this defense.

Productivity of former ND players and top players in the nation at his position:

Jaylon Smith 2015: 114 tackles 9 TFL 1 sack 5 PBU 6 QB hurries 1 forced fumble

Jaylon Smith 2014: 111 tackles 9 TFL 3.5 sacks 2 PBU 7 QB hurries 1 forced fumble

Ben Boulware Clemson: 116 tackles 11.5 TFL 4 sacks 2 PBU 1 INT 3 forced fumbles

Jayon Brown UCLA: 120 tackles 7 TFL 2.5 sacks 3 INT 6 PBU 1 QB hurry

Roquan Smith Georgia: 95 tackles 5 TFL 1 PBU 3 QB hurries 2 forced fumbles

Jerome Baker Ohio State: 83 tackles 9.5 TFL 3.5 TFL 2 INT

What can we hope for? It probably doesn’t matter if it’s him or Coney, but it would be ideal if one guy separates himself as an elite player this season. If that’s Martini, then the hope would be that the more reps he gets the more impact he can make.

Somewhere between 80-100 tackles would be ideal, but the main thing would be getting into double digits in the tackle for loss department. As you can see with a lot of Will linebackers, it’s pretty rare to see that. Martini can do it, though. Not only because of his strengths as a blitzer, but because his instincts allow him to make plays near the line of scrimmage.

For someone who has never been a full-time starter, he’ll have an opportunity in this defense to become a very productive player.

What is a realistic expectation? He’s a senior and has plenty of experience, but has never been counted on week to week. This will be new for him and he’ll have to step up his game as a captain. He may put up similar numbers to what I suggested we can hope for, but that still might not mean he’ll be the kind of playmaker the team needs at the Buck.

Jaylon Smith was an eraser of mistakes at Will. He made tackles and broke up passes that regular human beings would have no shot at. I’m not sure if anyone can expect to see Martini even make one of those types of plays because he is never going to have the same kind of exceptional physical traits.

A realistic expectation is that Martini will be a constant producer every game. He can be good for 8 tackles and a tackle for loss per game. He just might not ever be a guy who goes beast mode and has 16 tackles, a forced fumble, and a pick six in a single game. Not many are.
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