Notre Dame 2012 Top 25 countdown: No. 5

Today brings us Notre Dame's best offensive lineman.

No. 5: Zack Martin, LT

Making the case: Martin has been Notre Dame's best offensive lineman the past three years, and he will have a chance to do it a fourth straight year in 2013, as he will return for a fifth season after passing up a chance to enter the NFL draft where some project that he could have been taken as high as the second round. Likely to become a two-time captain next season, Martin directed a line that in 2012 paved the way for a pair of 700-yard rushers, seven different 200-yard rushing games and allowed just 11 sacks total over the final 11 games of the season. Martin has started all 39 games the past three seasons and will have a chance to play alongside younger brother Nick in 2013.

Preseason ranking: 7

The countdown

No. 6 Theo Riddick, RB

No. 7 Braxston Cave, C

No. 8 Kapron Lewis-Moore, DE

No. 9 Zeke Motta, S

No. 10 Prince Shembo, LB

No. 11 Danny Spond, LB

No. 12 T.J. Jones, WR

No. 13 Everett Golson, QB

No. 14 Cierre Wood, RB

No. 15 Bennett Jackson, CB

No. 16 Tommy Rees, QB

No. 17 DaVaris Daniels, WR

No. 18 Chris Watt, LG

No. 19 George Atkinson III, RB

No. 20 Dan Fox, LB

No. 21 Matthias Farley, S

No. 22 KeiVarae Russell, CB

No. 23 Robby Toma, WR

No. 24 Kyle Brindza, K

No. 25 Chris Brown, WR