Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2020 LB Martavius French Hoping For Notre Dame Offer

January 18, 2019

2020 Whitehaven (Tenn.) linebacker Martavius French‍ wasn’t at school earlier this week when Notre Dame defensive coordinator Clark Lea stopped to check on him. 

Granted, Lea wouldn’t have been able to talk with him regardless because of NCAA rules, but French didn’t know the Irish would send the defensive coordinator to check in.

“My Coach sent me a text he was there and I was mad I wasn’t at school,” French told Irish Sports Daily. “That’s a great feeling. I knew Notre Dame was coming, but I didn’t know it was going to be the defensive coordinator. I wish I had gotten an offer, so I could get up for an official visit in the fall.” 

The 6-foot-2, 235-pounder wasn’t at school and he had a good reason. French was on an Honor’s field trip, which is always a good thing when it comes to Notre Dame recruiting. 

“The first few years of high school, I had decent grades,” stated French. “This year, I got on my grind in school and it’s been paying off for me. My GPA boosted pretty high.” 

If Whitehaven sounds familiar, it’s because it should. 

Notre Dame cornerback Donte Vaughn is a product of the program and French was able to work with the Irish senior before he moved to linebacker. 

“I used to be a DB and Donte Vaughn was working with me,” explained French. “I gained too much weight and became a linebacker. 

“I haven’t asked him about Notre Dame because I didn’t know I was going to be recruited this hard. Last year, I thought I was going to be a small recruit.” 

French holds 12 offers from the likes of Arkansas, Cincinnati, Florida, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Purdue and Tennessee, but more are likely on the way. 

“It’s fun to have an opportunity to play at these schools,” French said. “Growing up as a kid, you always wanted to play at these schools. I’m grateful every day I have the opportunity to do that.” 

Regarding visits, French has seen several schools already and will see more in the coming months. 

“We do a circuit trip and last summer we went to Clemson, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt,” stated French. “This spring, we’re going to do one and I know we’re visiting Oklahoma. I’m not sure what we’re doing this summer.” 

When it comes to his strengths and weaknesses, French feels he was made for the linebacker position but knows his game still has room to grow. 

“I’m a good open field tackler,” French explained. “I read the ball fast. I’m not someone who is one of the fastest linebackers, but I have great instincts and I know where the ball is going.

“I need to work on getting my pad level a little lower and better feet. If I had better footwork, I could probably add a little more speed.” 

Notre Dame will likely be selective with linebacker offers in 2020 as they are bringing in a big 2019 class, but if the Irish do offer French, it would be one he would give a hard look. 

“It’d be a huge offer knowing they just came from the College Football Playoff,” said French. “It would be a top four team coming after me. That’s a huge thing. I would try to build a relationship with Coach Lea and see what I could do up at Notre Dame.” 

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