Notre Dame nose tackle Louis Nix and left tackle Zack Martin will both return to Notre Dame next season and not enter the 2013 NFL Draft, coach Brian Kelly announced. Nix is expected to be a high selection whenever he enters, while Martin can greatly improve his stock by staying.
Nix is returning in part for his mom, who did not get to attend his Senior Day in high school. Nix said his mom wants him to have something to fall back on if football doesn't work out for him. As the anchor of the Irish defensive line, Nix has 5.5 tackles for loss and five pass break-ups this season.
Martin is a three-year starter and the best player along the Irish offensive line. Martin said, "I wanted to play with my little brother (Nick), I wanted to finish it out with (guard Chris) Watt, and ultimately I want to play another year with coach (Harry) Hiestand." Martin, who is projected as a second-round pick, said he knows he will get better with another year of school.
The No. 1 Fighting Irish take on the No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide in the BCS National Championship on Jan. 7.