Last year Notre Dame was able to pry OT Tate Nichols away from Stanford late in the recruiting and it looks like they have a chance to flip another lineman to Notre Dame this year – Kirtland, Ohio offensive tackle Chase Hounshell.
According to the News Herald of Northern Ohio, Hounshell decided against enrolling early at Florida but is still considering the Gators in addition to Notre Dame.
“I just don’t want to rush the most important decision of my life,” Hounshell said. “I was supposed to be moving down Wednesday, but it looks like I’ll be going back to school.”
“Right now, it’s between Notre Dame and Florida,” Hounshell said. “I will be waiting until signing day to make my final decision.”
Hounshell had originally committed to Florida while Urban Meyer was still the coach of the Gators, but once Meyer decided to step down, Hounshell began to rethink that commitment. Interestingly enough, Brian Kelly and staff could end up facing a familiar face on the recruiting trail already with former Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis stepping in as offensive coordinator for Florida under new head coach Will Muschamp.
Working in Notre Dame’s favor here is the fact that Hounshell had already taken his official visit to Florida before a new coaching staff was in place making it a little more difficult for the Florida coaches – especially Weis who has not been recruiting anyone during his one year return to the NFL – to build a relationship with Hounshell with just under a month until Signing Day.
This is great news for the Irish. Hounshell is a versatile lineman who could play on either the offensive or defensive line. With just four offensive linemen in the last two classes, picking up a talented lineman like Hounshell would be a huge get for Notre Dame in the class of 2011.
Kelly has had pretty good success recruiting the state of Ohio since taking over at Notre Dame. Hopefully that success continues with Hounshell.