Notre Dame never stopped recruiting four-star defensive end Hunter Echols, even after the 6-foot-4, 232-pounder from Cathedral High School in Los Angeles committed to UCLA in February.
That persistence will pay off as Echols plans to attend the Irish Invasion in June. He will spend five days in South Bend.
“I think I'll hang out with the players on Friday and Saturday,” Echols said. “One of those days is the camp and then I'll go back with the players. I'll have like my tour one of the days on Saturday or Sunday. I haven't got my schedule yet but it's something like that.”
Irish assistants Mike Denbrock and Keith Gilmore have remained in close contact with Echols and both visited Cathedral High in recent weeks.
Echols spoke with Denbrock on Sunday.
“They told me to keep my eyes open and give them a chance,” Echols said. “I'm giving them a fair shot. I like what Notre Dame is doing with their guys like Jaylon Smith and Manti Te'o and a lot of defensive players. I'm giving them a shot because it's a top university in the world. Having a Notre Dame degree carries a lot of weight and it has one of the greatest alumni bases in the world. It's a Catholic school and I go to a Catholic school. I think I could be a great fit if I went there so that's why I'm looking at Notre Dame.”
Echols also plans to visit Michigan and Oklahoma this summer.
This fall, he plans to use all of his official visits.
“My official visits will be like Nebraska, Miami and I might go back up to Oklahoma for an official,” he said. “I'm going to go to Notre Dame, Alabama, and that's it.”
Notre Dame is recruiting Echols as an outside pass rusher, a position he feels perfectly suited to play.
“I'm a long, athletic defensive end who is very quick off the ball,” he said. “I have a lot of game speed. I have a very high football IQ and long arms to shed blocks. I know more than one pass rush move so I'm not just looking at one move. “
Echols, whose father played football at Illinois State, earned an invitation to The Opening Finals in Oregon later this summer.
“I want to go up and compete with the best of them,” he said. “I want to see how I fare against the top competition in the country and prove I'm one of the best defensive ends in the country.”
Scout.com ranks Echols as the 148th best player and 12th best defensive end in the country.
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