Notre Dame got a big boost for next season on Monday when head coach Brian Kelly announced juniors Zack Martin and Louis Nix would return for their senior seasons.
Martin, an offensive lineman, has started every game since 2010. He was named the team's top offensive lineman this season and decided to return despite being projected as a second-round pick in the NFL Draft. Martin's younger bother Nick is a sophomore offensive lineman, and the elder Martin said the opportunity to play with his brother next season was a major reason he decided to return.
"I think he's going to have an opportunity to play next year, and I think that a situation like that only comes once in a lifetime," Martin said, according to CSN Chicago.
Nix made 45 tackles in his first season as a starter along the defensive line. He cited the opportunity to earn his degree as one of the main reasons he decided to return for his senior season. Despite being in his first season as a starter, Nix turned the heads of NFL talent evaluators this season.
While Martin and Nix announced their intentions to return, junior running back Cierre Wood will wait to receive his draft evaluation before making a decision.