Is Chase Hounshell Still A Gator?

With Brian Kelly making a visit to his home, Florida verbal pledge Chase Hounshell looks to be a signing day decision. Irish Eyes spoke with Hounshell about his Florida commitment and his interest in Notre Dame.

With about a month before National Signing Day, Mentor (Ohio) Lake Catholic lineman Chase Hounshell finds himself weighing all of his options.

Hounshell, who gave his verbal pledge to Florida in mid August, has seen Urban Meyer retire, Will Muschamp named the Gators new head coach, and several changes to the programs staff the past couple of weeks to make him look hard at his pledge.

With Notre Dame now in the picture, the 6-foot-5, 250-pound two-way lineman has made a change of plans.

"I'm still 100% committed to Florida," Hounshell said by phone Wednesday night. "I was to graduate early and report to Florida, but on Monday, I decided to slow things down and take some more time in making my decision."

While Chase made sure to point out his commitment to Florida, a visit by Brian Kelly and Dave Warinner to his home on Wednesday left a lasting impression.

"Coach Kelly and the offensive line coach came to the house today and it was a great visit. They answered all my questions and stressed how they wanted me at Notre Dame."

While it seemed just a short time ago Chase was solid to the Gators, the change at head coach opened him up for an official visit with the Irish. That visit showed him several things he did not know about Notre Dame.

"When I took my official visit to Notre Dame I had a chance to sit down and talk with Coach Elston, Coach Kelly and some of the other coaches. That is when they gave me my official letter with my offer. They talked about how bad they want me at Notre Dame. One thing that opened my eyes when I took my visit was that I found Notre Dame has some great people and great coaches. It is a great school and it looks like this will be the hardest decision of my life."

One subject that has come up with the recruiting of Hounshell is what position he will play in college. Florida is talking offensive tackle, while Notre Dame is saying they see him as a defensive end. Will this have any effect in his decision-making?

"Right now I do not have a preference. My body is now more of a defensive end than an offensive lineman, but I know I can always grow into an offensive lineman as I could put thirty pounds on in no time."

As for Florida, Chase made it clear his official visit with the Gators was good.

"When I took my official visit last month, I sat down with Coach Muschamp and got things cleared up."

As for what may be the deciding factor, the Ohio native knows college football is a business and return visits to both programs are ahead.

"My mom and dad told me to take my time about the whole thing and take a step back. I'm going to take football out of the equation and look at where I would like to go as a student. College football is just one huge business and colleges are looking at us as investments, every school wants to make the right investments. Even when I sign, there are going to be changes at the school I pick during my time there."

With relationships already built with some of the members of Florida's class, Chase has also reached out to some of the Irish pledges.

"I've talked with Brad Carrico before and I'm talking with some of the other players I shadowed during my visit. I'm going to start to talk with other Notre Dame commitments to see if I fit in with them."

When will Chase let Gator and Irish fans know of his final decision?

"I'll be taking visits (unofficial) to both schools this month, then I will make my decision on signing day."


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