Notre Dame has accounted for a series of firsts in the recruitment of junior wide receiver Justin Brent.
The Irish coaching staff was the first to show up at Speedway High School just outside of Indianapolis and show interest in Brent. A trip to South Bend for the Blue-Gold Game in April was his first visit with a college football game atmosphere. While on the visit, he was asked to sign autographs for the first time on a college campus.
So when Brent was asked to return to Notre Dame with his mother, sister and a coach, he had a feeling another first was on the way.
Following a three-hour tour of campus on Friday, Brent was offered a scholarship from Notre Dame. Brent said offensive coordinator Chuck Martin arranged the visit with him and informed him of the offer.
“They’re first for a lot,” Brent said. “It’s something you really don’t forget.”
Brent knew he made a good impression with the coaching staff after receiving praise from Martin when he performed at a one-day camp at Notre Dame in late June.
The 6-foot-3, 189-pound wide receiver said he didn’t drop any passes during drills and showed his ability to make catches over defenders. As a sophomore, Brent caught 40 passes for 819 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Class 2-A Sparkplugs.
Brent is being recruited by a number of Big Ten schools, but the Notre Dame coaching staff was the first to make an offer. Brent said he expects schools such as Ohio State, Michigan, Northwestern and Louisville to possibly offer in the future.
Heading back home after receiving the offer, Brent was giddy with excitement.
“It was hot outside and I didn’t even notice because I was so in awe of everything that was going on, all the things I was seeing, and all the tradition behind everything,” Brent said. “It was amazing. I loved every bit of it. My little sister’s 5 years old and she even loved it.”
One connection Brent has to Notre Dame is 2013 wide receiver commit James Onwualu. The two met each other at a camp and have since kept in contact.
“We’ve gotten really close,” Brent said. “We follow each other on Twitter and we stay in touch. He’s definitely one of the main people I associate with Notre Dame right now.”
A college decision could be a long way away, but Brent said proximity to home will play a big factor. He’d like to be able to play at a school where his mother could watch him play in person. Brent’s also focusing on academics at potential schools. He’s currently thinking about a career in business management or broadcasting.
Brent’s last factor is more of a feeling than a statistic.
“Just a place where you’re wanted,” Brent said. “A place you fit in, you like, and feel comfortable every day.”
With the Irish extending a scholarship offer, Brent will have plenty of time to decide if all those firsts will equal a final destination.
Snodgrass holds ND offer
Class of 2014 wide receiver Thaddeus Snodgrass already holds seven D-I offers, but the one he received from the Notre Dame coaching staff has been the highlight of his recruiting process.
Snodgrass was invited into head coach Brian Kelly’s office following a one-day camp in late June when the offer was extended. Snodgrass said receiving the Irish offer just felt better than his previous experiences.
“When I got the Notre Dame offer and all the coaches were in the office, we were all smiling,” Snodgrass said.
The 6-1, 180-pound wide receiver at Springfield (Ohio) High has also been offered by Ohio State, Michigan State, Purdue, Toledo, Ohio and Akron.
Snodgrass said graduation rate and playing time will be two big factors in his eventual college decision.
Last season, Snodgrass only played in three games as a sophomore because of a broken collarbone, but managed 128 receiving yards and one touchdown in those games. He reported not dropping any passes at Notre Dame’s one-day camp and a 4.4-second time in the 40-yard dash.
Snodgrass, who is being recruited by defensive line coach Mike Elston, said he plans to make a visit this fall for a Notre Dame game.
Bivin to play for gold
After wins over American Samoa (27-6) and Austria (70-7), the United States U-19 National Team will play Canada in the title game Saturday at 9 p.m. EDT at Burger Stadium in Austin, Texas.
Notre Dame offensive lineman commit Hunter Bivin is a captain of the team. Cornerback commit Rashad Kinlaw remains sidelined with an ankle injury suffered in the game against American Samoa.
The championship game can be streamed online at
Staff writer Tyler James: