Georgia Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart made a splashy entrance at Holy Trinity High School on Friday, arriving by helicopter. The school is home to the top-rated high school football prospect in New York, Josiah Brown. NewsdayTV’s Cecilia Dowd reports. Credit: Newsday/Howard Schnapp

The black dot in the sky grew larger, helicopter blades roared above and Josiah Brown thought, “Wow, this is really happening.”

Coaches from Penn State and Notre Dame already have visited Holy Trinity High School to recruit Brown, who is among the top-rated high school Class of 2024 football prospects in New York. However, neither of those schools had won consecutive national championships or arrived at Brown’s high school football field in a helicopter.

On Friday morning, University of Georgia football coach Kirby Smart did just that.

Less than a month after his Bulldogs beat TCU, 65-7, in the national championship game to complete a 15-0 season, Smart warmed those around him after landing in Hicksville.

“Can I borrow anybody’s coat?” Smart joked as he walked with Holy Trinity coach Kahmal Roy from the football field to the school.

Brown, a junior who holds a scholarship offer to Georgia and 20 other Division I FBS college football programs, is the only player in the state with an offer from Georgia.

“It means a lot,” Brown said. “They were the best team in college football and came down to a small town on Long Island to see the school.”

Because of NCAA recruiting regulations, Smart and Brown did not interact with one another and Smart did not comment publicly. Instead, Smart and Roy spoke privately about their lives and coaching experiences.

Georgia football coach Kirby Smart, right, walks with Holy Trinity...

Georgia football coach Kirby Smart, right, walks with Holy Trinity head coach Kahmal Roy as he is visiting Holy Trinity High School on Friday, Jan. 27, 2023 in Hicksville. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Roy said Smart joked about Holy Trinity winning back-to-back titles in the CHSFL, as his Bulldogs have done in college football. Roy, who played wide receiver at Hofstra and coached the position at his alma mater from 2007-09, said he knows when coaches are genuine.

“Sometimes you kind of put a halo over people’s heads and kind of shine them out,” Roy said. “But the fact of the matter is, [Smart’s] a very humble, well-spoken, down-to-earth guy.”

Roy said Georgia is recruiting Brown as an athlete, but he thinks they want him to contribute offensively.

Brown, who plays wide receiver and defensive back, said he wants to play wide receiver in college.

“One thing that most folks don’t know about Josiah is that he works tirelessly,” Roy said. “He’s the kid who criticizes himself a little bit more than everyone else. His offseason is dedicated to getting better at things that he thinks he can improve on.”

Brown said he would be traveling to Georgia on Friday night to visit the school’s campus in Athens. He planned to stay the weekend but doesn’t know when he’ll commit to a college program.

Brown, who has another season of high school football remaining, is the No. 136 overall prospect in the country, according to the 247 Sports composite rankings. His recruitment is open.

“I want to know my heart is fully somewhere to make that right decision,” Brown said.

Smart’s helicopter lifted off from the Holy Trinity turf within the same hour it landed, but the impact of his visit will last much longer than it takes an aircraft to disappear into a blue sky.

“We want to create as many of these great experiences for our kids as possible,” Roy said. “[Smart’s visit] is something that’s fairly significant to what we’re trying to accomplish here on Long Island, especially at Holy Trinity High School.”

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