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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2026 Notre Dame QB Target Brady Hart Continues To Climb The Mountain

April 2, 2024
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It’s not difficult to find a big-time high school athlete who says they’re willing to put in all of the hard work and sacrifices necessary to be the best.

It’s a bit more difficult to find one who proves that virtually every day.

Brady Hart‍ falls into the latter category.

The 2026 Florida quarterback got a later start to playing the position and hitting the national recruiting radar than some of his peers, but he’s caught and is surpassing many of them now. 

“We always talk about climbing the mountain,” says Hart’s father Alex, who was an All-American pitcher at the University of Florida.  “Every day guys get to their junior and senior years and they've run out of time to climb the mountain. No matter how hard you climb, you can't get there. 

“He has done an amazing job of taking it day by day and getting better every single day. Do everything you can control today to get to where you want to go. He does a lot of it on his own.”

Being selfless is a paramount value in the Hart family.

“We live in a world that just takes takes. We have really encouraged all of our kids to give more than they ever take and to give their absolute best effort regardless of what's going on around them,” Alex Hart says. “So many people are so easily swayed by the circumstances going on around them. It's just to develop the desires and the work ethics to be consistent and give your best effort and always place others in front of yourself. Typically, you get to where you want to go. 

“That is kind of the recipe for making it happen. Brady and all of his siblings are like that. He is a really unselfish kid who just works hard.”

Hart is the oldest of four with two younger sisters and a younger brother.

“As parents, we have set some foundation for our kids, but he's a really unique kid in the fact that he has the passion and desire to do it and he doesn't need to be motivated in quite a bit of stuff,” Alex Hart says. 

“My wife and I just really want them involved in things they enjoy. You see the successes, it doesn't typically come from being forced into a sport. Kids today are going to have a lot of success in the things they enjoy. We've just always encouraged them to pursue the things they're passionate about and the success will follow if they put the time and effort into it.”

For Hart, early on, that meant playing basketball and baseball. 

But as he prepared to enter high school, he developed a strong interest in football. 

After one workout, Baylin Trujillo of BTru Quarterback Training and BTru’s Advanced QB Camp, told Hart and his father that if he really wanted to pursue football and was willing to drop baseball to do it, Trujillo could help him become one of the nation’s best signal-callers.

Hart decided that’s what he wanted to do.

“He hated giving up baseball,” his father says. “But he just knew he had a unique opportunity on the football field, so he wanted to pursue that full speed.”

So, Trujillo got to work in helping develop Hart on the gridiron.

“Baylin's awesome,” Alex Hart says. “We are in a smaller town. It's not a huge football community. The high school that Brady goes to is a really established football area, but we are over in a soccer and more beach type areas, so there aren’t a lot of access to coaching and people like Baylin. 

“Baylin was great from the beginning, really set a good foundation for Brady to work from. He's been a big fan of Brady's for a long time and we have appreciated all that he's done and again, believing in Brady from day one and then really giving him a good foundation to work from.”

Trujillo has tutored Hart since eighth grade.

After one year at Melbourne High School, Hart embraced another change, signing up for a 45-minute commute - each way - to attend Cocoa High School.

“It was a unique opportunity he had,” his father says. “I think if he maybe didn't have aspirations to win a national championship and just go play college football, maybe he would've taken a little different thought process on it. But he wants to win a national championship and I think he understands the time and energy it's going to take to do that.”

Cocoa has a rich tradition. It’s where former Notre Dame running back Tarean Folston played and despite an enrollment of barely 1,000 students, is the alma mater of multiple NFL standouts, including C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Jamel Dean and Jawaan Taylor.

“The standard to go play at a place like that is just really high,” Hart’s father says. “It's an unbelievable environment. They just expect success and it's good for the guys to expect that. Just to walk into that culture, it was going to take a new level of dedication that he was ready to dive into. He just wanted to go all in with it. 

“I think that it was a pretty easy decision for him. I think it was a hard decision, but he was just passionate about football in a way that he wasn't passionate about other sports.”

When Hart enrolled, the school had won five state titles already. He’d help them win their sixth in 2023. Despite not starting the season ranked in any national polls, Cocoa finished in the Top 10 and as the Tigers rose, so did Hart’s personal profile. 

By the end of the fall, Hart had offers from schools like Penn State, Virginia Tech, Arkansas and North Carolina.

On Dec. 13th, Notre Dame extended an offer.

“That was really exciting,” his father says. “He had worked really hard, the team had worked really hard. It was a pretty awesome experience to have that kind of happen at the end of the season after a state championship as well.”

Hart’s parents want the college decision to be Brady’s alone, although they’ll obviously provide some guidance, the first being him compiling a list of what is most important to him.

“We talk often of being somewhere that wants you and coaching staffs that want you to be a part of their program and a place where you really want to be regardless of where that's at,” Alex Hart says. “If that's across the country or next door, you've got to want to be there. 

“Notre Dame checks all those boxes when you just look at tradition and just the history and then the culture of a team. Winning a national championship is important for Brady. I think Notre Dame has always had a unique discipline, just that blue-collar, go-to-work type of team, and that is a very attractive thing for Brady. I know that.”

Hart has also had the chance to get to know some of the other prospects Notre Dame is recruiting, including fellow Floridian, Ivan Taylor, a safety committed to the Irish, who Alex Hart describes as a “super high quality kid.”

“It feels like all the guys they're recruiting are just high, high integrity, disciplined, hardworking, humble kids, which I think speaks a lot about their coaching staff,” he continues. 

“We've met Coach Gino (Guidugli), but haven't had a chance to meet Marcus Freeman or any of those guys yet. But I would imagine based on the style of kid that they're recruiting, that probably reflects very similarly to their personalities and what they're looking for, which has been really, really cool.”

Hart will get the chance to meet Freeman and all of the coaches when he visits South Bend on Wednesday. He’s made recent visits to UCF and Penn State as he continues a fact-finding mission that could end up being more than that.

When it comes to choosing a school, Hart and his family will be relying on their faith and God.

“He already knows where Brady is going to go,” his father says. “Trust that God has an amazing plan for him. If there wasn't another offer from this point forward, there are so many guys who would give a lot just to have an offer, let alone be talking and visiting the types of schools. 

“To keep it in perspective, I don't think it's a ton of pressure at all, because he's going to control the things he can control, and God has an amazing plan for him. We're just excited that we get to watch it unfold.”

Hart’s parents are always reminding him of the responsibilities that come with the opportunities he’s been afforded and say he’s done “an amazing job” so far.

“We are super, super proud of him. We just want to encourage him. It's just funny, we're sitting there with these 2026 guys, they still have two seasons of high school football left. They're not there yet. You're thinking three, four years before they even produce anything for a school like Notre Dame. He has just done a great job of being humble in the process, understanding that there is just a really, really long road ahead of him and like I said, climbing that mountain. 

“But yeah, we couldn't be more proud of him in his community and being a leader amongst his friends and just being a good example of his faith. That's obviously a gigantic part of our family and him. We believe in Jesus and are not in any way shy about saying that. He has been an amazing representation of both Jesus and our last name, which makes us very proud.”

 
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