Amon-Ra St. Brown wanted to show the Notre Dame staff he could make an early impact.
Irish Invasion gave the junior wide receiver from Santa Ana, Calif., an opportunity to do so in front of not only the coaches but also dozens of other recruits. St. Brown came out of his one-on-one reps victorious more often than not, catching several touchdowns along the way.
“I think I gave them the impression that I can play,” St. Brown said. “If I go there, I can play early on. That's my goal to play as a freshman. I thought the camp overall was run pretty well. I liked how they didn’t do combine, 40-yard dash or vertical jump or anything like that. They went right to drills. I really liked that.”
Wide receivers coach Mike Denbrock gave St. Brown plenty of praise for his performance. And that came after Denbrock talked with the 6-foot-1, 190-pound prospect about where his skill set could fit into the program.
St. Brown came into the visit plenty familiar with Notre Dame. Oldest brother Equanimeous is entering his sophomore year in South Bend while Osiris will be a senior at Mater Dei.
Denbrock has been recruiting the family for years.
“My dad really likes Denbrock,” Amon-Ra said. “He thinks he’s really hard. My dad loves that. He loves people that are stern. Me and Osiris really like him too. We think he’s a great coach and really teaches you and wants to teach you.”
This time around Denbrock talked with the youngest St. Brown more in-depth about the possibilities in South Bend. St. Brown did more research in his own right, hanging out with some players and prospects outside those that are blood related.
“Denbrock pulled me in and told me where he thought I would fit in the offense,” Amon-Ra said. “He sees me more as a guy that could play inside and outside, then possibly jet sweeps, sending me on swing routes and wheel routes. He sees me as a dynamic player in the offense. Then hanging out with my brother and all the other players was really cool. That made me feel good about Notre Dame.”
Amon-Ra listed Notre Dame as a leader alongside Alabama, UCLA and USC.
Other scholarship offers are in from Arizona State, Boise State, Cal, Michigan State, Northwestern, Stanford, Utah, Washington and Washington State, among others. Notre Dame probably holds the familiarity edge.
“That was my third time there so I already knew what to expect with the stadium and all the other stuff the tour guides tell you about,” he said. “But hanging out with my brother this time, him going there, and meeting some players, it was a really good atmosphere. It was pretty chilled down but they know how to get to business. I really liked it.”
Right now the St. Browns are starting to look at their schedule in hopes of visiting Notre Dame for at least one game in the fall. They’re already planning to be at USC when the Trojans host the Irish.
Alabama could get a visit to round out the summer.
“I’m still trying to soak it all in and visit as many schools as I can before my senior year,” Amon-Ra said. “At the end of the day, I wanna go somewhere I can play as a freshman. I wanna go to the NFL, so playing as a freshman is huge to me. I wanna find the right place where the roster isn’t too senior heavy and I’ll get a chance as a freshman.”