Justin Brent finally had the chance to see a regular season game in Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday.
“It was crazy,” the 2014 Indianapolis wide receiver said of the Irish’s triple-overtime win over Pittsburgh. “I think I picked the right one to come to.”
Brent picked up an offer from the Irish during a campus visit this summer and committed to Notre Dame only days later, but hadn’t been back to South Bend since.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pounder from Speedway High School tried to get to the Irish’s final Saturday practice before heading to Dublin in August, but Notre Dame cancelled the practice. Brent planned on being at every Irish home game this season, but circumstances – including a couple of Friday night games being moved to Saturday afternoon because of weather – prevented him from doing so until this weekend.
“It was awesome,” said Brent. “They welcomed me and they were acknowledging me to other recruits as a commit; stuff that I saw when I wasn’t a commit. It was just pretty awesome to get there and get that treatment.”
And the game was awesome too, at least in the end.
“I thought when they missed that extra point, it was pretty much over,” admitted Brent. “I talked to some of the guys in the locker room, they were scared too.”
The mood wasn’t one of complete joy in the Irish locker room afterward.
“It was more of a sigh of relief,” said Brent. “Talking to everybody; even talking to (Manti) Te’o and everyone, it was just a sigh of relief. He was a good guy. I got to talk to Everett (Golson) and got his number, so it was cool.”
Brent was excited to talk with Golson, who will one day be his quarterback.
“It was crazy because when I walked up to him, he knew who I was,” laughed Brent of Golson. “I was like, ‘Wow.’ He told me to get his number. He said, ‘We can’t wait to have you up there.’ He said, ‘We need you,’ It’s pretty cool to have him already wanting me.”
Brent was at the Irish’s spring game in April, but the atmosphere on Saturday was completely different.
“Seeing 80,000 people and knowing that you’re going to be playing there is ridiculous,” he said. “It’s unbelievable. It’s something I look forward to. Some people get scared and some people shy away from it or get nervous. I get excited for that more than nervous.”
The crowd went crazy when the Irish finally escaped with a victory.
“They were wilding,’ laughed Brent. “They started rushing the field, security tried to stop some people, but couldn’t stop everybody. It was awesome.”
Brent spent most of the day talking with 2013 Irish commits Steve Elmer and Jaylon Smith. He caught up with Notre Dame offensive coordinator and the other coaches afterward.
“I got to meet Coach Martin’s wife and everybody and just introduced me to the family and everything, so it was awesome.”