Brent to break through?

Our first of 22 (and counting?) "Eye in the Sky" film reviews for Notre Dame's incoming pledges, each with an emphasis on how the prospect can help head coach Brian Kelly's roster, both in 2014 and beyond.

Ranked 64th overall by and as the nation's No. 11 wide receiver prospect, the 6'1 1/2" 195-pound Brent was one of four incoming freshmen among the 2014 class to pledge his allegiance to Notre Dame in 2012. His meteoric rise from relative unknown at Speedway High School (Speedway, Ind.) culminated in early enrollment at Notre Dame this month.

On campus and under the guidance of strength & conditioning coach Paul Longo, Brent will thus have the advantage of 15 spring practice sessions and more than four months of collegiate conditioning prior to his true freshman season.

Below is a film review of Brent with an eye toward how his skills project to the collegiate level, both next fall and beyond.

Join our Football Forum Discussion Thread on Brent, here.

Strengths: today and tomorrow

Enters the program with a college-ready frame, a trait that helped 2013 freshman James Onwualu earn playing time from the outset last fall…Brent adjusts well to high, difficult throws showing excellent body control…High points the football in a manner similar to current sophomore Will Fuller and suspended senior, DaVaris Daniels….Appears more quick than fast, a personal preference for met at the position as only rare speed translates to the college game. Nonetheless, Brent still has the speed to get into his defender and separate with the ball in the air…Good short space speed and quickness…Runs through arm tackles without losing balance….Seems at home in traffic, both with and without the football, his extensive running back experience as a senior doubtless an aid to his development in this area to date…

Seems ingrained that he compete for the ball in the air and for yards after the catch…Nice field presence on dig and crossing routes for a hybrid RB/WR at the prep level which speaks to his football acumen…Basketball skills are an aid to this athlete on the football field…Brent's sturdy frame should allow him to learn to beat press coverage with college coaching (didn't see any press coverage vs. him on film)…Coordination is impressive for someone with his compact build…Runs a nice slant route which is crucial at the next level to make best use of his size and skill set…Competitive drive shows on film, that's not the case for all players when they're easily the best athlete on the field in high school.

Areas for improvement

Doesn't show long strides on film which is a concern for his top-end speed translating to the collegiate level…Will have to adjust to facing athletic equals from the outset at this level though his frame (should be at 200 pounds entering camp) will allow him to compete and grow into a physical target…Early route running specifics will be a work in progress after so much time spent at RB as a prep star, though he does come out of his break well, keeping a low base…Wouldn't surprise me if he adjusts well to Notre Dame's "concepts" and the inherent communication necessary for each receiver to mesh with his quarterback, but that's not something to expect in Year One.

Road blocks to playing time

How about seven (going on eight) of them? Spring competition includes outside targets Chris Brown, Corey Robinson, slot competitors C.J. Prosise and Torii Hunter, Jr., and versatile sophomores James Onwualu and Will Fuller.

Add to the mix the expected fall camp return of senior DaVaris Daniels and Brent's battle for first season playing time includes a collection of young targets all champing at the bit to join Daniels in next season's rotation.

Notre Dame regularly employed seven game day receivers in 2013, a Kelly-era high (and that was with the constant presence of two veterans in Daniels and T.J. Jones). At least seven, if not eight could earn rotation time in 2014 and Brent's early enrollment will give him a chance to make a lasting impression. But fall playing time is won in August camp. It'll be a dogfight among the receivers with another freshman, Corey Holmes, joining the competition this summer.

Reminiscent Of: Irish junior-to-be C.J. Prosise…Former Buffalo Bills receiver Eric Moulds (click here) in terms of frame and use of his body downfield.

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