Davie (Fla.) Western defensive tackle Jared Martin was so impressed with his visit to Pittsburgh this past weekend that he has named them his leader. The 6-foot-1, 288-pounder told Rivals.com what impressed him from his visit.
"When we first got there I got a tour of the campus and then I got to see the players in meetings and meet a couple players including H.B. Blades. It was a good experience and I knew of him when he was in high school," he said. "After that, we bused over to the game and took the Panther walk which was crazy. Then I went to the hotel last night and to the athletic facility this morning to sit down with coach Junko and Wannstedt. Coach Junko was just talking about how I fit into their system and how they need to build up the defensive line more. Wannsedt talked to me about how I like the Pittsburgh area and school."
The three-star was very impressed with the game atmosphere too.
"Pittsburgh played as hard as they could, but it just didn't seem like their defensive line could do anything about Notre Dame's offensive line," he said. "If I go there I would possibly be an immediate factor. The game itself the fans were screaming and standing their in the Panther Pit was crazy."
Martin confirmed that visit drew him much closer to committing to Pittsburgh.
"They are far ahead of the pack, I loved the visit and I love the Panthers," he said. "Even though they lost it didn't change my opinion about them at all. Their fans are great and I would give the visit and eight. I like the whole atmosphere and how different it is from South Florida. The only thing that brought it down was that they lost the game, but you can't help that."
The No. 65 defensive tackle in the country has cancelled his next scheduled visit to Minnesota which was supposed to be on September 23rd.
"I cancelled the trip because that was my bye week, but we moved the game to that day because of Hurricane Katrina," he said. "I do plan to take the visit there still. I'm not sure if I'll take all five visits. I may only take two more and if they don't compete with Pitt I'll commit there."
Other schools in the running for visits are Arizona State, Auburn and Georgia.
One other school that Martin was impressed with this past weekend was TCU.
"Who wasn't surprised by that game," he said. "When I heard that they beat Oklahoma who was just in the national championship game I was surprised. It did bring them up a little more for me, but I haven't talked to the coaches from there in a while."
The lineman just kicked off his senior high school football season last week.
"I was playing both ways and I had four tackles," he said. "We had a lot of defensive linemen move in and out throughout the whole game. We shut them down and they only had one first down when our first team was in. We won the game 32-3. I felt like I could have done better, but I was happy with how I played. That game showed me our team can dominate if we want and our team was clicking that whole night."