Two members of Notre Dame's 2014 recruiting class got an early jump on the college experience.
Wide receiver Justin Brent and defensive end Andrew Trumbetti enrolled early at Notre Dame, having joined the football program and begun classes on Jan. 14.
The duo represent the first impact made at Notre Dame by the class that goes by the Twitter hashtag #GoldenArmy14. With Brent and Trumbetti being the only early enrollees for the Irish this season, it marks the fewest number of early enrollees since the university began allowing that process in 2006.
Because spring practices don't begin until mid-March, it'd be the appropriate time to get to know these two newest faces on the Irish's roster.
Justin Brent, WR
Separating Brent from Notre Dame is a scenic drive down U.S. 31 (I'm kidding about the scenic part) to his hometown of Indianapolis.
The 6'3", 200-pound receiver attended Speedway High School near—you guessed it—the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A 4-star prospect per 247sports.com, Brent was also rated as the top player from the state of Indiana in the 2014 class.
Already possessing a college-ready frame, Brent could, potentially, grow into a Michael Floyd-esque player should he add a tad more weight. For those who need a frame of reference, Floyd measured out at 6'3" and 224 pounds while playing at Notre Dame from 2008 to 2011.
That size combined with his natural athletic ability was enough to make a lasting impression on college scouts at The Opening camp in Beaverton, Ore., over the summer.
Barton Simmons of 247sports.com noted Brent's impressive performance.
One of the biggest 'stock up' performances of the entire event, Brent has a big frame, and good ball skills but he also showed an understanding for route-running, depth and timing and received strong praise from offensive coaches throughout the week.
After running through the summer camp circuit, Brent returned to Indianapolis for the high school season with his Speedway team.
The Sparkplugs finished with an overall record of 8-4, which included a Sectional 37 Championship game loss at Indianapolis Ritter High School. Because Speedway lacked an effective passer capable of highlighting Brent's explosive receiving skills, he spent the majority of the high school season playing running back.
For those worried that he may not excel at Notre Dame because of that position snafu, remember that former Notre Dame receiver and current Seattle Seahawk Golden Tate primarily played running back at Knoxville (Tenn.) High School.
Whether Brent will be as productive as Tate remains to be seen, though he possesses the physical tools necessary to do so.
Andrew Trumbetti, DE
It has been a whirlwind of a past few weeks for Trumbetti.
The 4-star prospect (per 247sports.com) played in the Under Armour All-American Game in St. Petersburg, Fla., during the first week of January before returning to his home in Demarest, N.J., to pack and prepare for his move to South Bend, Ind.
Trumbetti's decision to enroll early at Notre Dame was sparked by a desire to play immediately for the Irish, as reported by J.C. Baumuller of NorthJersey.com.
I think it's the right decision for me. I want to play early and I want to get bigger and stronger. I am not going to redshirt, so I believe this is the right thing.
The 6'5", 250-pound defensive end certainly does have work to do in the weight room if he truly desires to earn reps along the Irish's defensive line in the fall. At 250 pounds, he would be in the same weight class as Notre Dame's middle linebackers.
Regardless of the front defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder so chooses to employ, Trumbetti will need to up his weight to at least 265 by August to make an impact. The good news for the freshman is that he possesses the speed necessary coming off the edge to become a feared pass-rusher in the seasons to come.
Notre Dame was quick to recognize his abilities, earning a commitment from Trumbetti early in the recruiting process on Mar. 23.
Trumbetti also boasted offers from Boston College, Clemson, Connecticut, Florida, Florida State, Maryland, Miami, Michigan State, Penn State, Purdue, Rutgers, Stanford and Virginia.
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