Justin Brent is excited to begin his junior season of football now that the 2014 Indianapolis wide receiver knows he’ll be playing football at Notre Dame when he completes his career at Speedway High School.
“It feels good knowing that I can go out there and just play and have fun and not have to worry about proving to a coach that I’m worthy,” said the 6-foot-3, 195-pounder, who jumped on an Irish scholarship just days after it was offered.
“I’m already set and I know where I’m going. Now it’s all about having fun and winning games with my teammates.”
Brent isn’t exactly sure if playing in a high school game is going to be different now.
“I really don’t know what it’s like,” he laughed. “I don’t know what to expect. I’m going to try not to worry about it and just go out and have fun.”
But he does accept the fact that he’s likely to get a lot of attention from opposing defenses now that he’s the ‘kid who’s going to Notre Dame.’
“Of course you expect yourself to do good, but I understand that I kind of have a target on my back now,” he said. “The coaches have sat down with me and told me that teams are going to double-team me a lot. I know I’m kind of a decoy now and I might not catch the ball as much, but that’s fine with me. As long as we’re winning and my teammates tell me everything is good, I’m fine with it.”
Brent plans on making the most of the chances he does get.
“When I touch the ball, I’m going to try to take it all of the way,” he said.
Even if Brent doesn’t get as many opportunities on the field as a junior, he still plans on making himself better with what he can do off the field.
“I’m always working on getting faster,” he said. “I’m a big, strong guy, so I’m always in the weight room. I keep doing that and it’s something that’s always given me an advantage. Of course, I’m going to work on getting faster and I feel like I’ve gotten a lot faster.”
Speedway opens up Friday at Lapel High School. Brent had hoped to make a return trip to South Bend for a Notre Dame practice on Saturday, but the Irish have cancelled Saturday’s practice session and the wideout will reschedule.
The second game of the season comes against Scecina Memorial at Lucas Oil Stadium, the home of the Indianapolis Colts, on Aug. 24th.
“Ever since my freshman year we’ve played there,” said Brent. “I’m kind of used to it, but it’s always fun.”
Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chuck Martin told Brent the Irish will be watching.
Brent and his teammates have high hopes for the season.
“We can do a lot of good things,” he said. “I was reading the Indy Star and how they’re predicting us to have a state-caliber team. Everybody’s goal should be winning the big thing, so we’re all about winning games and getting better every day and taking it from there.”