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What to watch for this weekend

10/27/2011

Any Notre Dame commitments

Fans usually want immediate results after a big recruiting weekend, especially one as big as Notre Dame’s this past weekend against USC. However, that rarely is the case, especially when it comes to the elite uncommitted prospects.

What the weekend usually does is put a school in a great position to close on a player later in the recruiting season with an in-home visit or a couple more phone calls.

Notre Dame could see a quick turnaround in a few prospects, though. Four-star receiver Jordan Payton (West Lakes Village, Calif./Oaks Christian) is slated to decide soon, and Notre Dame is now in his top two with Michigan. Three-star receiver Chris Brown (Hanahan, S.C./Hanahan) also seems to have firmed up his commitment with the Irish after wavering a little bit.

The real fruits of Notre Dame’s labor won’t be seen until January most likely.

Martin on the Taft sideline for last time?

When Mike Martin, a former Cincinnati Bengals receiver, came to Cincinnati Taft a decade ago, the Senators didn’t have enough men to field a team. Martin said being a football player “wasn’t cool” at Taft. He helped turn around a program that had to cancel its season only a few years before his arrival, and he led Taft to its first playoff appearance ever last year.

Monday night, Martin announced he would step down as Taft coach at the end of the season. The Senators’ regular-season finale is Friday, and as of now they are on the outside looking in at the playoffs. They have a chance at securing the final spot with a win and some help, but Friday could be the last time Martin patrols the Taft sideline.

Two of Martin’s players, Adolphus Washington and Dwayne Stanford II, will go on to play BCS-level football next fall.

Marshall carrying an extra load

ESPNU 150 Watch List athlete Jalin Marshall (Middletown, Ohio/Middletown) will have to shoulder more of the offensive burden for a second straight week Friday against Cincinnati Princeton.

Middletown coach Troy Everhart said fullback EJ Junior will rest a second straight week to make sure he’s fully rested for the playoffs. That means Marshall, a dynamic athlete who starts at quarterback for Middletown, will be counted on to lead a team in line to clinch a No. 1 seed in the regional playoffs.

Can Ohio State start making up some recruiting ground?

It’s been a rough year on the recruiting trail for the Buckeyes, as most of their commits are all from Central Ohio or grew up Buckeyes fans. The Buckeyes can start making a turnaround this weekend, though, when they host a number of top senior and junior prospects.

Adolphus Washington and Dwayne Stanford, two of the school’s top remaining targets, will be attending. Bri’onte Dunn, who is wavering a little bit, will be in attendance, as will a couple of other key commits.

Some top 2013 talent will also be at the game. Cam Burrows, Tim Kimbrough, De’Niro Laster, Jalin Marshall and Jaylon Smith, whose brother plays for the Buckeyes, are all expected to attend.

Key prospects going head-to-head in Indiana semifinals

The Indiana high school state playoffs are already underway, and sectional semifinals begin Friday night. A couple of key matchups of not just great teams but great players will be going up against each other this weekend in Indiana.

Lawrence Central (Indianapolis) junior offensive tackle Timothy Gardner will have his hands full all night as he has to go up against Carmel defensive ends Langston Newton (Kentucky commit) and Shawn Heffern (Indiana commit).

Brownsburg junior Chase Dutra will square off with Ben Davis (Indianapolis) defensive back Antonio Allen.

And Pike (Indianapolis), after a horrible start to the season, sits at 5-5 and will meet Avon. Pike’s Aloyis Gray (Purdue commit) has been benched at quarterback, and that helped spark the turnaround. Avon will count on star junior defensive end Elijah Daniel to corral the new-look Pike offense.

Avon’s two-star running back Charles Davis Jr. will have his hands full with Division I defensive lineman Pierre Aka (Iowa State commit) and junior David Kenney III.