Everything about his time on campus cleared that bar. Brunson, a three-star linebacker from Columbia, S.C., raved about the experience after watching the Irish take a 38-3 win over Texas in their season opener.
“They were really welcoming,” said Brunson, a Louisville commitment. “They were welcoming, to say the least. The facilities were A1. They were some of the best facilities I’ve seen. Campus was nice. The part that we got to see was nice. It was just really nice overall.”
Brunson made the trek from South Carolina with his family.
Before the game started, they toured campus and touched base with the staff. They watched warmups from the sideline then Brunson zeroed in on linebacker play between All-American Jaylon Smith and middle linebacker Joe Schmidt.
“They get to the ball,” Brunson said. “They get after it. They were aggressive at the point of contact. I watched Jaylon Smith and Joe Schmidt, saw those guys fly around and make plays. The defensive line was really tough. It was good overall game in my opinion.”
Brunson has been keeping tabs on Smith over the last couple years.
“I’ve been a fan of his for a minute,” Brunson said. “I know for a fact he studies a lot. He knows what he’s supposed to do in terms of playing and his alignments and things. He’s definitely a student of the game and that’s what I really like about him and watching him play.”
Director of player personnel Dave Peloquin checked in during the visit as well. The staff plans to evaluate Brunson after next week’s game and decide on a plan moving forward.
Brunson is optimistic about what he’s put on film, starting with the first game.
“I had a forced fumble but that whole game they ran the ball away from me,” Brunson said. “I was chasing plays down from the back side. Our outside backers and corners made a lot of tackles that game. The second game, really my point of contact has gotten a lot harder and driving through tackles. Just being in better position, making really good fits and stuff. I hope they can see I can definitely grow from where I’m at and they can mold me into an even better player.”
Brunson will take more visits, with plans to see Louisville in mid-October and take in some South Carolina games along the way. Landing an offer from Notre Dame could change the schedule.
“I would definitely take an official,” Brunson said. “But I don’t know anything about where I’m gonna end up at until after the season. Right now I’m going to Louisville. I don’t know yet because it’s still early.”