Brown and Brandon Newman had been texting or talking on a daily basis for two weeks at that point. Brown responded to Newman's question with, I'm going to text you to call me in a few minutes after coach (Charlie) Weis gets out of a meeting. When he finally did make that call, Newman was getting his second offer, the first coming back in November from Kentucky.
"Coach Weis told me I fit perfectly in their program, and that I reminded him of an NFL caliber nose guard, and that's when he said I want to offer you a scholarship to Notre Dame," Newman said.
"I was pretty much floored. I was speechless. I thanked him for the unbelievable offer, and we made sure I have to make a trip up there as soon as possible so I can see the facilities and meet the rest of the coaching staff. I told him it was an honor to get an offer from a school with so much tradition and respect as Notre Dame."
The Pleasure Ridge Park standout had 68 total tackles, 22 coming for loss with four forced fumbles and one blocked punt. He was named first-team all-district on both sides of the ball (also plays offensive tackle), and was named second-team all-state.
Head coach Chris Wolfe tells the same story over and over about when he realized just how talented Newman really was.
"Last spring, when he was 15, we were doing our max liftoff, and he parallel squatted 600 pounds at fifteen, bench pressed 350, and power cleaned 325," Wolfe said with a laugh. "Those numbers are hard to imagine, just so advanced for his age. He ran a 5.0 flat 40 as a 15-year old at 290 pounds. Now he is (6-foot-2) 310, and faster than he was last year."
In between being a class officer, National Honors Society meetings, and Beta Club activities, Newman and his 3.9 GPA, volunteers with a lot of local youths in the neighborhood football and basketball leagues. With that and track practice, he still found the time to get a velocity-strength program under his belt, improving his speed and lateral quickness. His 40-yard dash is now 4.9, and his shuttle is 4.8.
"He is the type of kid that, the more people that become interested, the more scholarship offers he gets, the harder he works," Wolfe said. Louisville, Alabama, Miami, Michigan and Michigan State have been in regular contact lately. "He has that drive in the classroom and athletically to be the best he can. That's what makes him a hot commodity, because he is virtually a can't miss with that attitude. What's not to like about him, because he has everything you look for in a prospect, the character, the academics, the leadership qualities and of course the athletic ability."
It was that athletic ability that put Brown in touch. Pleasure Ridge Park runs a 3-4 defense. The Notre Dame defense will be switching to 3-4 personnel this fall.
Wolfe had a message for Newman to get in touch with Brown a couple weeks ago. Newman had brought up to Wolfe that he hoped Notre Dame would eventually become interested and here was the first major sign.
"We hit it off and we exchanged numbers," Newman said. "We've texted and talked pretty heavily ever since.
"He said I'd fit perfectly in their defense, it wouldn't be too big a stretch from what we run here at Pleasure Ridge. He told me he is trying to get a number one caliber defense in, and get a 12th national title by the time I come in and graduate. He wants me to be a part of that."
Other than that first talk, Newman and Brown have talked just about daily life, and not football. What classes he had that day, how practice was and things like that.
"He makes me feel comfortable talking to him without yet meeting him face to face," Newman said.
That should change when Notre Dame starts spring practice. Newman, who has only had the time to see the Louisville and Kentucky campuses, hopes to be able to make it up to South Bend when both his parents are available. His father lives in Detroit.
"My family influences me a lot, and I'm going to talk to my Mom and Dad about the decision," he explained. "It's not a matter of time, it's a matter of when I feel comfortable in my heart, and if this college is the place I want to go."
Newman will have plenty to go over with his parents when his college decision is all said and done.
Brown got on the phone after Weis and Newman wrapped up their conversation.
"He said I told you your day was going to get better," Newman said. "I just laughed and said I guess I shouldn't have doubted you. It's a big a honor to get an offer from a prestigious school such as Notre Dame."