Hounshell Talks About Being Irish

With Florida coaches having visited on Sunday night, it was Notre Dame's turn Monday to try and secure the verbal commitment of Chase Hounshell. Mike Elston and Bob Diaco did their jobs, and the Ohio lineman is now an Irish pledge. Irish Eyes spoke with Hounshell following his commitment.

For Chase Hounshell of Mentor (Ohio) Lake Catholic High School, the recruiting process has shown him just how big the business of college football has become. As one of the top targets of Notre Dame and Florida, the 6-foot-5, 255-pound lineman found both schools giving everything they had to earn his pledge. On Monday, the Irish got the final visit and the final yes in his recruitment.

"It went great," Hounshell, told Irish Eyes following the visit of Mike Elston and Bob Diaco. "Coach Elston and Diaco came and told me how well of a fit I would be in the type of defense they are running and now I plan on going in there and fighting for a spot. I will be playing defensive end and feel I will be a perfect fit with the type of defense they are running."

With fans from two colleges keeping close tabs, the newest member of the Notre Dame recruiting class gave the reasons for his pledge to be Irish.

"The big thing for me was just feeling very comfortable with Notre Dame. I am a big people person, and after thinking about it, you cannot get any better people than those at Notre Dame. The players, coaches, and those on campus are all great."

"I also felt comfortable at Notre Dame and could see myself going there just as a student. I could see myself there getting a degree without having football and that was a big selling point."

Chase has learned several lessons during his recruitment and gave the following advice to any high school prospect just starting to be recruited.

"I would tell them to have patience and to not make any rash decision about any school. I would stress for them not to pick a school because of the coach. There is a big chance the coach recruiting you now, will not be there when you graduate. I learned football recruiting is just a big business and everything happens for a reason. So just go for the school."

How did the Irish get into the final race for Chase?

"It did not really change much until Coach Meyer retired. Then Notre Dame and some other schools came into the picture and I took an official to Notre Dame. The coaches started building a great relationship with me and it all led to today."

As Chase stated, he is a people person and three coaches on the Irish staff played key roles in his decision.

"I am very comfortable with my position coach, Mike Elston. Coach Diaco is a great person and has a great personality. They are both people I feel I can talk about anything to. Coach Kelly, what can you say? He is a great person and great coach. He has got things going and has Notre Dame on the rise."

Looking back at his journey in becoming Irish, Chase now feels a huge burden has been removed from his shoulders.

"Yes, it has been a very long journey and I am just happy to get this off my chest and have everything settled. My parents are happy as clams; however, they would have supported me no matter my decision and would have been happy even if I did not play football."

As for the time leading up to his reporting date.

"I will more than likely report in the summer. I am going to visit Notre Dame this weekend just to see everyone again and to talk with some of the players and early enrollees."

With the final scholarships starting to be filled, Chase Hounshell gives Brian Kelly another top prospect for the Class of 2011 that will help secure the defensive side of the football.

Who will be the next player to pledge Irish? Stay with Irish Eyes to find out.

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