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 IrishSportsDaily.com. “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.