Scott Lets Cat Out Of The Bag

Sitting in class on Monday at Strake Jesuit College Prep in Houston, junior Joey Brooks was texting back and forth with Notre Dame freshman forward Carleton Scott. Brooks, a 6-foot-5 wingman that was just on the Irish campus for an unofficial visit over the weekend, hinted to Scott that he had found his future home.

Scott quickly told the Irish coaching staff.

"He stole my thunder, but I still love him," said Brooks, who played AAU ball with Scott two summers ago. Joey Brooks is the first player to pledge to the Irish's 2009 recruiting class, choosing Notre Dame over Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, Marquette, Oklahoma State, Arizona State, Kansas State and Pennsylvania.

It sounds like a good thing that Scott gave the Irish coaches the heads up, because who knows what could've happened to assistant Gene Cross. Brooks called Cross this morning and told him he was verbally committing, nearly running Cross who was driving off the rode.

As a sophomore, Brooks averaged 17 points, almost 10 rebounds and four assists. He also had a good summer on the AAU circuit, and Notre Dame offered him a scholarship at a Las Vegas tournament in July. Brooks' versatility allows him to play the one, two or three spot on the floor. He can stroke it from the perimeter, or drive to the bucket and throw down a dunk.

"Joey's special, he's very special," Strake Jesuit head coach Wayne Jones told's national recruiting director Dave Telep. "With his commitment to Notre Dame they got a great kid and a great basketball player. He took an unofficial up to Notre Dame last weekend and fell in love with it. He loves Mike Brey and the staff. They didn't pressure him at all and the academics are what he's looking for and Joey's a huge Catholic."

Brooks took in the Navy game and checked out the campus for the first time. He came up with an open mind but not expecting to commit. By Monday in class, he was basically texting Scott that he made a decision.

"I didn't know anything other than what I saw on TV during the football games," Brooks said about back when he was offered. "I knew they had a great football team, I didn't know anything about the school the style of play or the academic opportunities. I just knew what I saw on the football field.

"The first thing that caught my eye was the fan support of Notre Dame, not only football but athletics. The football team is 1-7 but if you didn't know their record, you see the fans and you'd a thought they were 8-0. The fans were rowdy and loud. The campus was really nice, I loved it."

On the visit, Brooks and his mother watched a lot of film with Brey and Cross of last season's Irish team, and they showed him how he would fit into their system.

"The thing about that is, when coach Brey recruits players, he said he looks for a high basketball IQ and overall versatility. He told me and my mom that I was a perfect fit for the Notre Dame program. I can play positions one, two and three. He said my basketball IQ is high and I can do a lot of things on the court, and that translates into a lot of minutes."

Brooks plans to come up unofficially for a game this season with his father, who played for a small college in Florida and hasn't seen the campus yet. Some time in the future, he will also take an official visit.

Having Scott, who is from San Antonio on the Irish team helped a lot. Brooks is also looking forward to playing in the Big East and against good friend Erik Williams, a 2009 Marquette verbal commit.

"That was a major factor because he was one of my summer teammates, and he's actually one of my best friends," Brooks said. "The Big East in itself is probably one of the top if not the best conferences in the country. The chance to play there is huge."

While the Notre Dame coaches might have been prepared for Brooks verbal commitment, his classmates were caught off guard. Attending an all Jesuit High School, a lot of his peers often dream of attending Notre Dame.

"All hell broke loose and everyone was trying to figure out what was going on," Brooks said. He has a 3.0 GPA.

"I could tell they were envious a little bit. They were all really happy and supportive of me." Top Stories