Braxston Cave had the attention of some of the top football programs in the country, but when he arrived on the Notre Dame campus Sunday morning, there wasn't any doubt in his mind that he wanted to be a part of the Irish program.
"When I came in [Sunday morning], all the coaches greeted me," Cave explained of his arrival at the Notre Dame football offices. "I kind of hung out and talked to them, and then I went into coach Weis' office with my parents. I just explained to coach Weis that it was my dream to play here. I said to him, ‘You've given me that opportunity and I'm not going to let it slip by.'"
"What are you telling me?" Weis asked.
At that point Cave confirmed that Notre Dame was his college choice, "I'm committing. I'm in," he said.
"That's what I want to hear," Weis responded.
The Notre Dame head coach happily accepted Braxston as the second oral commitment for Notre Dame's 2008. A short time later Notre Dame would add its third commitment when Weis met with wide receiver John Goodman from Fort Wayne Dwenger (Ind.)
Like Goodman, Cave had a scholarship offer from the University of Michigan, and although the Wolverine program is one of the best in the country, in the end it was an easy decision for Cave.
"I've been a Notre Dame fan since the day I was born," Braxston explained. "I was named inside of Notre Dame stadium. I was named after Braxston Banks (fullback, '86-'88). When my mom was pregnant with me, my parents went to the Blue-Gold game. My mom wasn't sure what she wanted to name me, but she knew that she wanted a name that stared with ‘B', because my sister's names are Brooke and Brittney. I guess Braxston Banks had an awesome game, and afterward as the players were coming of the field my sister Brittney called Braxston over to the stands and told him that my mom was going to name her baby after him. That's how I got my name."
"I hinted toward my parents that I might commit before I went to bed Saturday night," Cave continued. "Then [Sunday] morning I told them that I had my mind made up, and that I had made my decision. My dad said, ‘If that's where your heart is, and that's what you want to do, then go for it. There's no reason to waste your time or anyone else's time if deep down in your heart that's where you want to go.' All along my mom has been a huge supporter of Notre Dame, so I guess I kind of fulfilled her dream as well."
For Cave, the opportunity to run down the tunnel at Notre Dame will be something that he not only dreamt of doing as child, but he also made it one of his life's goals.
"I guess to become who you want to be, you have to have a vision and a dream," Braxston said. "That's what pushes you and makes you work hard. You have to have goals. If you don't have a goal in life, then there's no purpose. You have to go along with a goal in your mind that you have to fulfill. From the day I first realized that I had the opportunity, until the day that I do get the chance to make an impact [at Notre Dame], I'm going to push myself.
"This is going to be my team. This is going to be the team that I'm going to be on, and this is the team that I'm going to be remembered as being a part of. I want to be the best that I can be, and I want to get all the great players to help me fulfill my dream of being a great player and to play for a great football team at Notre Dame."