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Councell makes a dozen for Irish recruiting

Jun 28, 2010, 12:34 PM EDT

Notre Dame landed another defensive player that fits the mold, adding North Carolina linebacker Ben Councell to the 2011 recruiting class. Councell visited the Irish last week before committing to the Irish last night.

“I made a visit to most of the schools I was thinking about, and after I visited Notre Dame I wanted to think on it for a week and make sure it wasn’t just the hype I was feeling,” Councell told “After thinking on it more, it was the right fit for me.”

Councell had a slew of offers from schools in the Southeast, including Georgia Tech, South Carolina and North Carolina. He’s got prototypical size for a 3-4 outside linebacker in Bob Diaco’s system, and has very good wheels that’ll likely have him dropping to cover as well as come off the edge.

Councell’s far from a slouch recruit, but he doesn’t bring national name recognition or five-star pedigree. But watching some game tape, you can see he’s a big body that moves quickly and makes tackles, things that were lacking with Irish defenders last year. This is a text book “Big Skill” recruit that Kelly and his staff target, and a sign that this coaching staff considers physical fit a key ingredient when offering prospects.

There are reports that Councell is a legit speed guy, with times mentioned in the 4.4s, which would make a six-foot-five linebacker that runs like a deer something Irish fans can get excited about. Even if those times are likely inflated, that’s precisely the type of linebacker that is needed on the edges of this defense, making this another important commitment for the Irish.

  1. Irish38 - Jun 28, 2010 at 3:16 PM

    I remember when my hometown newspaper (Akron Beacon Journal) didn’t believe that at 6’0″ 220lbs back in 1968 that I ran a 4.5 40 yard dash. They printed the preseason story of my high school team, Archbishop Hoban, and put 4.7 when it came to my speed. You can be sure that if the coach says he runs a legit 4.4 that, regardless, he’s fast! Fast enough to play outside linebacker for sure as I was back in the early 70’s at Notre Dame. Athletes have gotten bigger and faster for sure. Why is it that a white guy’s speed is always in question when he can run? Another media bias?

  2. TLNDMA - Jun 28, 2010 at 10:36 PM

    I find it both refreshing and exciting to watch BK recruit. Though some have pooh poohed the RKG formula, Kelly seems to believe in it totally.
    Ben Council is a pefect example. Though not 4 or 5 star recruit, Kelly and staff have identified him as a player that will excel in their system. The goal seems to be to build a team that will win on saturdays, not to rank high on the recruiting lists in february. Sure they want to get the best players they can but, they seem to trust their own eyes rather than ‘superpreps’. This approach takes more work and study but, the payoff should be greater.

  3. terry - Jun 28, 2010 at 11:16 PM

    tlndma – good point. Kelly has won wherever he has been. He was 12-0 last season with 2 and 3 star players. They got blown out in the Sugar Bowl granted but they were playing a team with clearly superior athletes and Florida was angry about getting blown out by Alabama in the SEC championship game and Cincy was demoralized after Kelly had left. There is no ‘good’ way to go from one university up to another.
    If there is anyone out there who would care to suggest how better it (the transition) could have been handled please speak up.
    The final question is this – is Kelly ready for the big time? I think so. 10-2 this season and they will BEAT SOUTHERN CAL IN LOS ANGELES with all the stars and sycophants and wannabes on the USC sideline watching. And it is fitting that the streak should end in LA BEFORE the sanctions kick in next year and USC has an excuse.

  4. Art Vandelay - Jun 28, 2010 at 11:54 PM

    @Irish38 believe a guy as big as Councell could run in the 4.4’s and I can’t wait to see it. That’s a lot of power moving pretty fast and I know I wouldn’t want to be in the way. Good recruiting by Kelly and Co. I agree w/terry in wondering if Kelly is ready for the big stage…its one intangible that I’m worried about. Other than that, he seems to be doing everything else right.

  5. kct - Jun 29, 2010 at 1:13 PM

    The history…the power…the greatness! That was once…the irish.

  6. Hawk - Jun 29, 2010 at 3:01 PM

    @kct – It once was a great Catholic University too. Not anymore.

  7. Keith Arnold - Jun 29, 2010 at 3:25 PM

    Hawk — Careful, bud. Not going to let this thread turn into a political mess.

  8. terry - Jun 29, 2010 at 4:49 PM

    Hawk – If u wanna get into a religious/political argument please go somewhere else – I’m sure there is no lack of places for you.

  9. John Galt - Jun 30, 2010 at 12:17 AM

    RKG’s BS if they cant pull in the big boys this is going to be Wiess Era all over again. Texas is filled to the hilt with 4 and 5 star players.
    And ND is a chocolate Mess when it comes to its Catholic Foundation.

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