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April 17, 2012
Justin Brent has started to dip his toe into the waters of major college football recruiting.
Last season the sophomore wide receiver from Speedway High School in Indianapolis put his best foot forward with 40 receptions for 819 yards and 10 touchdowns. Interest from major programs across the country has been flowing in ever since.
Arkansas, Cincinnati, Florida State, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Oregon and Penn State have all checked in. Louisville hosted Brent on his first recruiting visit last week.
“It was really cool,” Brent said. “They made it known they want wide receivers. The film breakdown is a lot different. It was good. I was like taking notes. After I got out of the film room I was taking notes. I was like, ‘Ah, man there’s a lot of stuff that I learned that I can use.’ I can’t wait to get out to the field and starting using it.”
With the spring evaluation period opening up Brent expects several programs to send coaches by Speedway High to express interest. Cincinnati will be in Wednesday to watch a track meet and Louisville is scheduled to return soon.
Most other programs will follow suit with school visits while Brent plans to get back out on the road for himself in the next couple weeks.
“I know Minnesota wants to come see me,” Brent said. “Illinois, we just started talking. I’m supposed to be taking a visit to Notre Dame sooner or later. Sometime probably this week or next week. There’s so many that it’s hard to kind of keep up with it.”
Notre Dame dropped by school previously to check on the 6-foot-3, 193-pound prospect. Now it’s time for Brent to return the interest. There are some things that the Irish bring to mind.
“Definitely tradition,” Brent said. “It’s big. A lot of my friends’ parents are Notre Dame fans. They’re always watching the games on Saturdays. I’m just excited to see what the hype is about. I’m excited to get down there and take more visits too.”
Cincinnati, Illinois and Minnesota are some of the other programs Brent would like to visit but there is another recruitment he has to negotiate as well.
Brent plays both guard positions for the Speedway basketball team and has drawn interest from some mid-major programs. Indiana State is expected to watch an open gym today while IUPUI, Ball State and Georgia State have also expressed interest.??
During his freshman year Brent received a football recruiting questionnaire from Texas A&M but discarded it thinking he would pursue basketball. Now the tables have turned.
“I just left it at home because I was like, ‘I’m not gonna do football,’” Brent said. “My sophomore year the letters started pouring in and I started filling them out. I had a great season. I started to think, ‘Alright, maybe I can do this football thing.’”
Thanks in part to his season last fall Brent is focused mostly on football at this point. What isn’t tremendous size on the basketball court has turned into a major asset on the football field.
There are a few things that have brought coaches into the mix.
“Definitely my height,” Brent said. “And I have really, really good hands. I have the speed. I’m not extremely fast but I’m fast. I run a 4.6 or 4.7 right now. I’m working on getting that even lower. I’m strong too. I’m very strong. I’ve been in the weight room a lot.”