Ohio Lineman Greets Friend At Illinois

The Fighting Illini are continuing to hit the state of Ohio in search of top football prospects. Native Ohioan Ron Zook knows how much talent is produced there, far more than the state school can hoard. One of the top lineman in the state is Chase Hounshell. He enjoyed his visit to the Illini last week.

Chase Hounshell is an offensive tackle/defensive end from Lake Catholic High School in Mentor, Ohio. He was impressed on his recent visit to Illinois.

"The visit went great. I was very impressed with everything. I got there about 11:00am, and I was there until about 6:00 or 7:00pm. So I was there for awhile and got to take a tour of everything."

His visit included a discussion of academics, and he got a chance to meet coaches and players.

"I met with the academic advisor and talked about what I want to go into, which is Business and Marketing. I met with all the coaches and with all the offensive linemen.

"All of them came up and introduced themselves. So that was impressive. I watched them work out and saw them do some drills on the field. And then I went to dinner with some of their guys."

The Illini are willing to take Hounshell for either side of the ball.

"I'm being recruited there as an offensive lineman, but they also said they would take me as a defensive end as well. I talked to the defensive line coach, and he said that if I wanted to I could go there as a defensive end."

Hounshell got a chance to meet up with good friend Simon Cvijanovic, a freshman lineman at Illinois, while on his visit.

"I know Simon because we played against each other. I go to Lake Catholic, and he went to Benedictine. We also work out at the same place together, and we live about five minutes away from each other. We've known each other for a couple of years now."

The broad-shouldered, personable young man has great respect for offensive line coach Joe Gilbert, who also recruits his area.

"Coach Gilbert is my primary recruiter. It's really good that he's gonna be my o-line position coach and my recruiting coach. That helps build our relationship better.

"I love Coach Gilbert. I've never met a coach that knows more about football than Coach Gilbert. I've never really talked to him that much about football stuff, but he's helped me out on what I needed to work on and stuff like that.

"I told him a problem I was having with down blocking, and he stood up right there in the football office and helped me on some stuff I needed to work on to get better at it."

Hounshell shared his most important criteria for selecting a college.

"Academics is a big one. Having a diploma is definitely gonna be high on the list. Another is gonna be playing time. That's good for Illinois because they don't have too many weakside tackles. So I should go in there my second year looking ready to play. That's a big advantage for Illinois."

The 6'-5", 250 pounder is popular with colleges and is in the midst of an ambitious visitation schedule.

"I went to Notre Dame after Illinois. I will be at Iowa Tuesday, and then Wednesday I'll be at Wisconsin. That Friday the 25th I'll be at Boston College for the weekend. And then I'll come back and visit West Virginia and Michigan State. All have offered except Notre Dame."

When is he hoping to make a decision on his future schooling?

"My plan right now is to make a decision before my senior season. I'll probably start narrowing down schools after I visit them, probably the end of this month."

With that much competition, is Illinois still in the running for his services?

"For sure."

With a college decision out of the way, Hounshell can focus on what promises to be a great senior season.

"My team's gonna be real good. We have a lot of three-year starters coming back, I think six or seven. We have a bunch of guys that were All-Ohio last year, so I think we have a great shot to win a state title this year if we stay focused."

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