During his visits, Brandon Newman (6-foot-1, 300 pounds) has bonded with several players that already have plans to attend Notre Dame. This weekend he'll have another chance to join them as he heads to South Bend for his third unofficial visit to Notre Dame.
"I just talked to coach Weis. We talked about the dates that I was coming up and we were just making sure everything was in place," Newman responded when asked about his plans to visit Notre Dame. "I'll be coming up Friday after school with my mom and my head coach. Coach Brown said that they have the itinerary ready, so it looks like we're good to go.
"I've stayed in touch with Braxston Cave, Sean Cwynar and Darius Fleming. Those are the three main guys that I text with. I met them one my first trip the weekend Anthony McDonald committed. I kind of clicked with those guys and we've been talking ever since. I spoke with some players that at the spring game, and they seemed liked pretty good guys too.
"One thing that I've mentioned to other people is that, Notre Dame has early commitments from guys that I've become friends with," Newman said. "They're good guys and I think our heads are in the same place. They're all about the team. They don't worry about what they can achieve personally. They think about the defense first, or the offense first."
Brandon not only feels comfortable with the Notre Dame players, but he is also comfortable with the Irish coaches and the Notre Dame campus.
"I don't need to learn anything more from coach Weis, coach Brown or coach Oliver," Newman explained. "I know them fairly well. I talk to coach Brown all the time and we talk about things outside of football and the recruiting process. He and I are close on a personal level. In fact, I have a close relationship with all of the coaches.
"I want to get a chance to see the dorms, but I've seen just about everything else that I need to see on campus. I figured this would also be a perfect opportunity for my mom to meet with Dr. Saracino."
Notre Dame has made Newman a priority, and there are other programs in the mix, but Brandon is happy with his existing scholarship offers.
"Coach Harbaugh came to my school to visit me," Newman said. "I've been to Louisville and Kentucky. I don't really have any other visits planned other than my trip to Notre Dame.
"Coach Saban said that there's an offer in the works from Alabama, but I'm only looking at the schools that are looking at me. I'm not going to try and perform to get an offer, when I have options that I like. Tennessee has an invite only camp that I was considering on going to, and they base their offers on that camp. I don't think I want to perform to just get another option. I'll probably only visit the schools that have offered me so far.
"Everyone gets letters. One of my first letters was from a big-time program, but I haven't talked to them since," Newman said. "Letters are letters, unless you get to talk to the coaches and get into a personal relationship it doesn't matter. That's what I'm getting out of the recruiting process.
"My coach feels that every offer should be based on film and not who else has offered. Notre Dame offered when the only other offer I had was from Kentucky. They weren't interested in who else had offered me. They were interested in a player and what they wanted… and what they wanted was me.
"Everyone has their angle when it comes to recruiting different people," he explained. "When I was visiting Notre Dame, they didn't want me to be just another player on the roster. They want me to come in and make an impact, and that's what I want. I don't want to just be another player on the roster. I want to make an impact and do something special with my teammates. That's why Notre Dame is recruiting me, because they want me to play the nose in the defense that they just installed. That's something that I'm comfortable with, because I've been playing that position in high school."
The expectations from many Notre Dame fans is that Brandon will tell coach Weis that he wants to be a part of this recruiting class. Brandon isn't certain whether a decision will be made, but he does know that he'll do it on his terms.
"I talked to coach Weis and coach Brown about [the timing of my commitment]," Newman explained. "I do want to make a commitment by the end of summer. My senior year is coming up and I want to put all the recruiting stuff aside until I get there. I'm still in high school and I want to win the state championship with my team. I want to put a lot of effort into bettering myself while I'm in high school.
"I'm leaning toward committing early summer. The thing about me is that some people say to just go ahead and verbal just to verbal. I feel that I'm more mature than that. I feel that a verbal commitment is more than that. You're committing to a team and I'm not going to back out. I know when I make my commitment that it's gong to be solid.
"[The Notre Dame coaches] told me that they've had defensive tackles commit, and that the spot may get filled soon," Newman said. "As much as this is about college football and family and being comfortable, its a business and they're going to do what they need to do.
"They proved it with the last tight end commitment (Joseph Fauria). Brandon Moore no longer had Notre Dame as an option, because they had tight ends filled. We've talked about that multiple times. Coach Weis has said that if it gets to the point where the spots were getting filled, that he'd call me and tell me. He wasn't making it a now or never situation, but it will be at some point.
"I know that I'm more than comfortable with Notre Dame and for multiple reasons," he said. "But the reason Jerome Bettis went to Notre Dame, isn't the same reason that I'm considering Notre Dame…its different reasons.
"I'm not selfish with my brothers and sisters or friends, but this is going to be a situation where I'm going to be very selfish. I'm going to make the decision for me and no one else. This is a lifetime decision."