Hounshell ready to get started

It's an exciting time for Chase Hounshell: Saturday he made a return trip to Notre Dame for the Blue Gold Game; now this week Hounshell prepares for his final prep contest.

The plan was simple for Chase Hounshell early during the recruiting process. Make his college decision and enroll early at the college of his choice. However, as we all know now. A coaching change at Florida and Brian Kelly's staff working their magic got the Mentor (Ohio) Lake Catholic High School lineman to pledge and sign with Notre Dame.

Last Saturday, Chase made a return visit to Notre Dame for the Blue Gold Game.

"Man was it could up there during the game. I left early on Friday and got up there during the day and just hung out with some of the guys in my class like Conor Hanratty. We all just tried to relax. On Saturday there were a lot of the guys in my class there and it was a great weekend with Notre Dame getting three commitments."

How has life been since signing with the Irish and making his first trip back to campus since his last recruiting trip?

"It has been great. I am starting to realize what it is like to be a player at Notre Dame instead of a recruit. I have been just enjoying my senior year and waiting to move down to Notre Dame and start working."

One thing Chase learned during his spring game visit was the plans the Irish coaches have for him.

"I really did not know what the coaches were going to do with me as when I got there. Was I going to redshirt or play? However, they made it clear that they want me to come in and work on winning a spot and that is what I am getting ready to do."

Part of the being ready process deals with his physical condition. Chase said Irish strength Coach Paul Longo made things clear to all the new guys.

"All the guys in the class had a chance to meet with Coach Longo before the spring game. He told us not to worry about our weight or our strength right now as that is his job and he can make us bigger and stronger when we get there. What he did stress was that we all needed to come in condition to get started and that means we need to run, run, and run some more. That is what I am going to be doing."

One reason for Chase's change to Notre Dame was what Irish players told him when he asked about the schools strength program.

"When I was visiting schools during the recruiting process I would ask players about their strength program and strength coach. A lot of players from the other schools would say they felt weak during the season. All the Notre Dame guys said they felt they were their strongest during the season."

Prior to making the change to Notre Dame, Chase had planned on being an early enrollee. With recruiting classmate Aaron Lynch's strong spring performance, did Chase come away impressed?

"I was very impressed with Aaron and watched him the whole day. He did a great job of leading the defense and in talking with the guys; they all said he has been working his tail off all spring. You can see it has paid off for him and I am very happy for him."

While Chase was learning more about his soon to be new home, he was also getting to know the guys he will be teammates with in the coming years.

"I hung out with a lot of the guys in my class and even some of the early enrollees like Brad Carrico. Brad said he loves it at Notre Dame. I also hung out with some of the guys from the Cleveland, Ohio area and I just cannot wait to get up there and get started.

Chase will finish out his high school career Friday in the annual Ohio North-South game to be played at Ohio State. Irish Eyes will check back with Chase and find out how he did during the game.

IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories