Irish Offer Big for Councell

The Notre Dame coaching staff is still pounding the recruiting trail and one prospect for the 2011 recruiting class that has their attention is Ben Councell A. C. Reynolds High School (Asheville, N.C.) Councell has a scholarship offer from the Irish and he's looking to visit South Bend in June.

Ben Councell (6-foot-5, 210-pounds) has scholarship offers from a number of top ACC schools as well as a couple offers from SEC schools, but it was an offer that he received from Notre Dame a couple weeks ago that has his attention.

"It's Notre Dame," Councell replied when asked about the scholarship offer from the Irish. "When my coach told me that Notre Dame was interested, it took me off guard. I really didn't know they recruited down here, but I guess they recruit all over the nation.

"Coach (Mike) Elston came down and visited about three weeks ago and gave me an offer. It was a big offer. I told him it was definitely the top offer. We've called him a couple of times and kept in contact with him and we plan on coming up in June.

"I don't really know that much about Notre Dame other than the tradition and the academics," he said. "When you think of college football, you think of Notre Dame. It's definitely a big deal. I'm definitely excited about getting a chance to go up there and taking a look at it. It's definitely one of the top offers. I want to go up there and see the facilities, meet some players, meet the coaching staff and see how I fit in and take a good look around. It's just awesome."

Notre Dame is recruiting Councell to play outside linebacker, and it appears that the Irish feel that his size and athletic ability will fit into their new ‘3-4' scheme.

"(Coach Elston and I) talked for a good two hours," Councell explained. "He basically went through the defense that they were going to put in. He showed me what position he could see me playing. He answered all of my questions. Then my dad talked to him for about an hour a couple weeks back.

"We basically run a ‘3-5' in high school right now. They're going to have three linemen with two linebackers filling the gaps and have a linebacker walk up on either side. One of them will rush the quarterback most of the time. The other would either rush or would drop back into coverage and that's more of a spot that he sees me playing at first, before I start gaining weight. Basically that's what I'm playing right now, an outside linebacker, walk-up defensive end."

It's going to be a change going to the next level. They're all going to be the top players from high school. I don't see myself starting as a freshman. They might redshirt me, but maybe as a true freshman I can get on the field and see some playing time. The defense that they're going to be putting in fits my playing type and that's a big thing.

Although Councell is impressed with the Notre Dame offer, he still plans on taking his time with the recruiting process.

"I got two offers this week, Wake Forest and South Carolina," he said. "Offers are still coming in and the advice that I've been getting is not to rush into anything and do anything too drastic. Hopefully I'm going to make a decision before the next football season, maybe sometime in June or July.

"Before I rush into something I want to see all the schools, see where I fit in as a football player and as a person. I'm going to South Carolina this weekend to visit the Gamecocks. We get done with school in the first two weeks of June and then I think I'll head up to Notre Dame the week after that." Top Stories