Brett Nagel (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) is certainly a different type of athlete than his brother Aaron, but he has just as much upside. Brett's flexibility is almost as appealing to college coaches as his athleticism. During his high school career he's played nearly every position on the field for Lemont head coach Eric Michaelsen.
"My sophomore year I played defensive end and last year I played safety," Nagel responded when asked which positions he played. "I didn't play defense the first three games of the year, because I was the only quarterback. Our back-up quarterback was Aaron, and our coaches didn't want me to get hurt, so they stuck me back at safety."
With his versatility Nagel could play several positions in college. The Irish initially were interested in Brett as a tight end prospect, but with the changes on the defensive side of the ball, they think he could be a very good outside linebacker.
"I spoke with coach Ianello about it and he told me that they're going to recruit me as an outside linebacker instead of a tight end," Brett said of his experience at the first Notre Dame junior day. "That's the first time coach Ianello mentioned that they were going to recruit me as a linebacker. I went with the linebackers [when we met with our position coach].
"I like linebacker as much as any of the other positions that I'm getting recruited to play. I think they are going to move Aaron to inside linebacker. It would be great to play alongside my brother, with him playing inside and me playing outside. I don't know if that has ever happened at Notre Dame, but that would be cool.
"I don't know where they are in terms of offering me a scholarship," Nagel explained. "I went to their camp last year as a tight end, so now that they're recruiting me as a defensive end. I guess that really didn't help my stock too much. I'm going down there for the junior day March 4. If I don't get an offer I might go to a one-day camp , but I'm not sure yet."
Brett has early scholarship offers from Northwestern, Purdue and Vanderbilt. He's getting attention from Colorado, Stanford, Ole Miss as well as all the Big Ten programs.
"Purdue offered me at linebacker and Vanderbilt wants me to play linebacker also," Nagel said. "Some of the other schools that I've talked to like me at linebacker as well. Michigan hasn't offered me, but they're recruiting me as a linebacker. I was going to go to their junior day, but I couldn't make it. I went to Michigan State last Friday, and they're recruiting me as an outside linebacker as well. They said that some of the other coaches need to watch my tape, but they thought they might offer me. I went down to Illinois for a junior day. They haven't offered me yet, but that might be coming soon. Minnesota said they'd offered me if I came up there for a visit. Colorado is sending me a lot of stuff. They want me to play linebacker too.
"I'd really like to commit before my season. I'm not sure when though. I may wait a little and go to a couple camps. I might go to the Michigan camp and the Notre Dame camp. It really depends on who I have offers from."
Last season Nagel had 13 touchdowns and threw for nine more. He also intercepted four passes from his safety position.