After making an early college decision, 2014 Notre Dame linebacker commit Greer Martini is ready to begin his junior season at Woodberry Forest (Va.).
“I think we’re going to be great this year,” said Martini. “We had a couple of key setbacks, but I think we’re going to have a positive season this year.
“Our team goal is obviously to win the Prep League. I think it’d be our fifth year now. I think that’s our main goal.”
Woodberry Forest opens the season Friday against Benedictine, but will have to do so without one of their top players, Heys McMath, who’s no longer enrolled at the school.
“We’ll suffer without him, but we’ll bounce back and we’ll be alright,” said Martini. “I think we’re going to have to play better as a team. That’s always been our thing.
“We may not have the best athletes out there, but we always play as a team. I think that Coach (Clint) Alexander has us more prepared than the other team that we’re playing.”
Woodberry plans to use strategy to make up for any lack of athleticism.
“We’ll do whatever we can to win,” said Martini.
But Woodberry has its share of athletes as well, including the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Martini and former 2013 Notre Dame target and Stanford linebacker commit Doug Randolph.
“I think our biggest strength this year we’ll definitely be our offensive line,” said Martini. “I think we’ll have a great front line. I think we only lost one or two starters from our offensive line.
“Also, with Doug Randolph at outside linebacker and me on the inside, I think we’ll be pretty strong on defense.”
Winning the Prep League is the primary goal, but Martini will be placing a lot of responsibility on himself as a junior.
“For me, my goals this year are to always line up the defense in the right formation and always have our guys where they need to be,” he said. “I just need to be a vocal leader and lead by example also and make a ton of tackles. I really need to be a physical force and make the other teams have to throw the ball.”
Martini knows he’ll be getting extra attention from opponents now that he’s committed to Notre Dame.
“Obviously I’ll have a big target on my back, but I think it’ll be good for me,” he said. “I just have to deal with it and outwork everybody this year.”
Martini also has an eye on his future and is hoping to get back to South Bend this fall.
“My goal is to get up to a game,” he said. “I don’t know what game I’ll go to yet, but I’ll definitely come up in the fall to watch a game.
“I think it’s going to be an awesome experience. Once I get in that stadium and watch them play, it’s going to become more real than it already is. I’m just excited.”
Martini has been in touch with his former teammate and current Irish freshman C.J. Prosise.
“I’ve talked to him a couple of times. When I came up to the camp, he came over. It was like his first few days there and he had already fallen in love. He was excited and he was just telling me about how great it was.”