After several attempts, top Louisville
recruit Dale Martin
finally met face to face with new Cardinals coach Steve Kragthorpe
Thursday night at his Bolingbrook, Illinois home. According to Martin, it was a visit that likely sealed the deal for Louisville.
"It went great," Martin said. "Things are looking good right now with Louisville. Coach Kragthorpe is a really good guy. Right now, I really don't think I'm going to change my mind about Louisville. I really like Louisville."
Kragthorpe finished up his in-home visit with Martin shortly before 9 p.m. CDT and apparently spent considerable effort laying out his plan and explaining how he envisions the 5-11, 195-pound star fitting into his program.
"Coach Kragthorpe talked about his plan and how he wants me to be a part of his program," Martin said. "He answered all the questions that I had about Louisville. Coach Petrino was a great X and O guy and had a great offensive mind, but Coach Kragthorpe is that type of coach that you feel comfortable just sitting down and talking with."
Kragthorpe also told Martin there's a chance he could help the team next season as a true freshman, though the Cardinals coach stopped short of promising him early playing time.
"He said he wants to play the best 11 players, but he can't guarantee me playing time next season. But he does think that I have the ability to come in and play next year, and I like his honesty," Martin said. "I think I will fit in good in his system. He likes to get his running backs out in space and that's where I do my best making plays."
The final step for Martin to solidify his commitment with the Cardinals could be a meeting this weekend with new Louisville running backs coach Tony Alford.
"Coach Alford is coming up Sunday and that's the last step for me," Martin said. "He calls every single day and he seems like a really cool guy and he real energetic. He's a young coach and he actually played ball with my high school coach."
Coming off an impressive 12-1 season that included a Big East title and an Orange Bowl championship, Kragthorpe appears to be laying the foundation for a BCS title run in 2007. Just this week, Kragthorpe has secured commitments from a pair of four-star defenders – LB Willie Williams and CB Woodny Turenne. Martin appears excited about joining the fold.
"They are definitely making a push for a national championship," Martin said. "I'm looking forward to playing for a great team."
While Louisville appears in great shape with Martin, the four-star running back said there's a 50/50 chance he'll still make a visit to California before national signing day. He said he'll likely make the final determination on that visit in the next few days.
After several attempts, top Louisville recruit Dale Martin finally met face to face with new Cardinals coach Steve Kragthorpe Thursday night. Was Kragthorpe's meeting with Martin a success? Did the visit secure the four-star running backs commitment for Louisville? InsideTheVille.com spoke with Martin and has the scoop.
Four-star running back talks about his in-home visit with Louisville's new head coach