Junior center Nick Martin had to wait his turn to crack into a starting role on the Notre Dame offensive line. That's because he was behind Granger native, Braxston Cave. Cave is now with the Browns and Martin is ready to step up for the Irish.
Nick, who is the younger brother of Notre Dame tackle Zack Martin, saw action in all 13 games last year. However, most of those appearances were on special teams.
This year he has caught the eye of coaches in camp.
"I look at Nick Martin and he doesn't seem like a first year starter," Irish head coach Brian Kelly says. "The way he handles himself, it just seems like he has been in there for a couple years. It is really quite impressive."
While he is a first year starter, Martin has already spent two years with the Irish. That experience has helped the offensive line transition smoothly into 2013.
"We are one," Nick says. "We are pretty cohesive at the offensive line. We work together. We talk a lot, coach always says 'see everything out of one set of eyes.' So we try to stay on the same page and communicate a lot."
Another reason coach Kelly feels confident in his new center is because BK gets to see him go up against one of the best nose guards every day in Louis Nix.
"[Nick] holds his own. He goes against great competition. Even when he goes up against Kona [Schwenke] he is challenged every day and just holds up very well," Kelly said.
Kelly didn't stop the high praise there, "He knows the offense very well. He's not a guy that makes mistakes. He is extremely conscientious. Very fit, can play every play. And he plays to the echo of the whistle."
While having your coach think that highly of you is great, Nick stays grounded. He knows that having the chance to play alongside your brother at a school like Notre Dame isn't something everyone gets to experience.
"It is a special think to be able to play at this level with a brother. We are really close. Its a big reason why I came here. To actually be able to get on the field with him will be pretty surreal."
Nick and Zack will get to experience that surreal moment August 31st when the Irish take on Temple at Notre Dame Stadium.