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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Top 2023 DE Brenan Vernon Planning Return to Notre Dame

April 14, 2021
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Mentor (Ohio) defensive end Brenan Vernon‍ was the first prospect Notre Dame offered in the 2023 recruiting class back in February of 2020. 

The 6-foot-4, 239-pounder has seen his recruitment start to pick up as of late as Vernon has started to dive a little deeper into his recruitment. 

“I’ve heard from Notre Dame a decent amount - Coach (Mike) Elston and Chad Bowden,” said Vernon. “We’ve started picking up on our relationship and communication - so like once a week or a few times a week. We’re just starting to get to know each other right now. Just starting from the ground up.” 

Vernon has been to South Bend as he attended the game against Navy back in 2019. The Ohio native plans to get back to Notre Dame in the coming months as the NCAA is expected to lift the Dead Period that has last over a year.
 
“I definitely do,” Vernon said of returning to South Bend. “I’m planning on visiting Notre Dame and Ohio State this summer. I’m waiting on word from some other schools too. I’ll definitely stop by Notre Dame.” 

The game day environment left an impression on Vernon and is a reason why he wants to get back to Notre Dame. 

“The atmosphere and I love the community,” said Vernon. “It’s not a bigger school. It’s smaller. There’s something about it that I’m starting grasp.”

Ohio State is another program that is firmly in the mix and Vernon has started to build his relationship with defensive line coach Larry Johnson.

“I’ve just started to him recently,” stated Vernon. “We’re going to pick it up. We’re just starting to get to know each other and starting from the ground up.”

Johnson is known for getting kids on campus early to see how they move and coach them up during camps. It’s something Vernon hasn’t been able to do despite the early offer from the Buckeyes. 
 
“It’s been tough because there are so many things I can learn from him,” explained Vernon. “He’s hands-on and a guru. It definitely has been tough to miss on these opportunities.” 

As an Ohio kid, Vernon understands there is an expectation to stay home as Johnson landed Noah Potter, Zach Harrison and Jack Sawyer in recent years, but the Mentor star isn’t overly worried about it to this point.

“I’m just focusing on myself and making sure I’m the player and individual I can be,” Vernon stated. “To be honest, I'm going let the schools take care of themselves. I feel like I’ll know what’s right for myself as I start going out visiting places.” 

In addition to the Buckeyes and Irish, Michigan is a team Vernon has been in contact with, but maybe not as much as the other two.
 
“Ohio State, Notre Dame and Michigan,” Vernon said of the schools he’s in contact with the most. “Michigan is nice and they have great people over there. I have a really nice relationship with them. I haven’t had a talk with them in a while, but Ohio State, Notre Dame and Michigan are the ones trying to keep in contact.” 

Vernon does control the contact at this stage as coaches can’t reach out to him, but he knows that will change in September when those coaches can start to call him. 
 
“I just have to keep reminding myself to stay grounded and keep working,” said Vernon. “It is nice getting that communication with them and knowing they are interested. It is nice because I can do my own thing and not have to worry about it too much.” 

 
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