Grant ready to make his best pitch

Jerian Grant's first-ever trip to Notre Dame's campus back in early September, did the trick for him.

A couple days later, the ESPN top-100 recruit from DeMatha High in Hyattsville, Md., was giving Irish coach Mike Brey his verbal commitment.

This weekend, the 6-foot-5, 175-pound Grant returns to South Bend part of the fold, and he's ready to hang out with his future teammates, and get to know his new home away from home a little better.

"It's going to have a different feel," Grant said. "Just knowing that this is the school I'm going to be at now, and being with the guys that are going to be my teammates next year, I'm looking forward to it.

"I talked to coach Brey a couple days ago, and he said we're going to be able to play in the gym because it got redone, so I'm also looking forward to that."

While in town, Grant is looking forward to doing one other thing.

A little recruiting.

Brey, his staff, players, and might as well say future guards, are hosting several talented recruiting prospects for this weekend's Notre Dame-USC football game.

"Definitely," Grant stated when asked if he's going to be in the ear of all the other recruits in attendance. He'll be joined by Irish pledge and future backcourt mate Eric Atkins, who will be in town on his official visit. "I think I can talk to the guys thinking about coming here, and tell them what I like about Notre Dame, and show them around a little bit myself because I've been down there already."

Grant is coming with two of his younger teammates. Mikael Hopkins is ranked by ESPN as the 10th-best power forward in the class-of-2011, and a top-60 player overall. James Robinson is one of the top up-and-coming guards in the class-of-2012.

"I definitely talk to them about coming to Notre Dame with me and the advantages it has there, and what we can do on the basketball court and staying together and already having that chemistry."

This weekend, Grant will have several other guys to make his pitch to.

Joining Atkins and the DeMatha kids on the Irish campus will be class-of-2011 recruits Markus Crider and Sean Grennan, along with class-of-2012 prospects Austin Burgett, Kevin Ferrell and Gary Harris. Collin Hartman, a standout class-of-2013 player from Cathedral High in Indianapolis, Ind., is one of the state's best rising prospects, and will also be making the trip.

The 6-foot-5 Crider is making his third visit to Notre Dame in the last year, and the second in the past month. Out of Wayne High in Huber Heights, Ohio, Crider is ranked by ESPN as the 27th-best small forward in the junior class. The 6-foot-1 Grennan is out of Toms River, N.J., and is ranked as the 30th-best point guard in his class, and has the ability to play both spots in the backcourt.

Like Robinson, Burgett (Avon, Ind.) and Ferrell (Greenfield, Ind.) are quickly becoming hot commodities in the sophomore class.

One player Notre Dame was hoping to get on campus this weekend, but the trip has to be rescheduled, is with DeMatha High point guard Quinn Cook. Like Hopkins, Cook is a top-60 recruit in the class-of-2011, and the point guard is best friends with Atkins, and hears from Grant everyday.

"I talk to him about being down there with me and Eric, and already having family down there, and telling him it will build on that with all the other guys and coach Brey."

A look around some of the best ESPN affiliate team sites have to offer today. Some of the following links may require a premium subscription to the ESPN affiliate site.

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Maryland (www.insidemdsports.com)

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Memphis (www.memphisroar.com )

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