Irish assistant coach Sean Kearney was originally the one recruiting Tyler Zeller, but with all the summer success he has had on the AAU circuit, Brey has kind of taken over the reigns.
"Coach Brey texts me more often than he did earlier," said Zeller, who also lists North Carolina, Kansas, Kentucky, Indiana, Purdue, Iowa, Iowa State and Tennessee as his favorites in no particular order. Most of those programs have their head coach doing the recruiting. "Just the regular how are you doings, what's going on.
"Coach Brey tells me they need a big guy down low. They want me to run the floor, be a guy that can play inside and outside too. Most of the time they want me to play like a big guy, but with the way they play you have to be able to step out and shoot."
Last season for Washington High, Zeller averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds, earning a few scholarship offers. Interest really started to go crazy once the AAU schedule began. Zeller's stock has arguably risen higher than any other big man in his class, helping the Indiana Elite win a few tournaments including the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions where he was named MVP.
Zeller's extra hard work and determination has paid off from the get go this summer, and standout performances at tournaments in Arkansas and Texas back in April led to nine scholarship offers in in three days. Once overshadowed by four-star player DeAndre Liggins, Ohio State commit Walter Offutt, Arizona bound Emmanuel Negedu, and three-star point guard Lewis Jackson on the Indiana Elite team, Zeller has become a marked man, giving the team another talented scorer.
"Nobody really knew who I was," Zeller stated. "With my AAU team, the other team always knew everyone else. I just try to go out and play as hard as I can every game. It's nice being this well known, but other times it's not. When you go somewhere and everyone knows you, you can't sneak up and score 20 points as easily as it was when they didn't know who I was.
"With this group we really don't have a go-to person. We play as a team, find the open man and hit him. We play basketball as a team."
That's how Notre Dame plays, making Zeller a perfect fit in South Bend.
Zeller, who's latest award-winning performance was this past weekend at the NBPA Top 100 camp in Charlottesville, Va., has been stuck on nine favorite schools for awhile.
"I haven't been working real hard on it that much, I've been so busy," Zeller said of trimming his list of schools. "I will be into it a lot more this coming month and hopefully have it down to five or less by the end of July."
Assisting Brey with the recruiting a little bit has been Zeller's older brother Luke, who will be a junior on the Irish team this coming season. Luke Zeller was home for some of the summer and the two hung out and played quite a bit together.
"He kind of recruits but not really," Zeller said. "We're just buddies around each other. The way he kind of recruits is he hints at it sometimes.
"All the schools are pretty even right now."
Zeller isn't the only big-time prospect that has recently listed the Irish among his favorites. Shooting guards Matthew Humphrey (four star) of Chicago, and Iman Shumpert (five star) of Oak Park, Ill., have also named Notre Dame as one of their leaders according to Scout.com.