Chase Hounshell joins Irish recruiting class

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Another day, another commitment to the Irish’s 2011 Irish recruiting class. This time, Notre Dame reels in another big body, two-way prospect Chase Hounshell, who will add even more depth to the defensive end position.

Hounshell hasn’t been on the Irish’s recruiting radar for that long and was set to early enroll at Florida until Urban Meyer suddenly stepped down from the post. But Meyer’s retirement opened the door to other schools and defensive line coach Mike Elston and defensive coordinator Bob Diaco’s visit to Hounshell’s Ohio house this afternoon sealed the deal, with the commitment coming just a day after new Florida coach Will Muschamp and offensive line coach Frank Verducci paid Hounshell a visit.

Even with Aaron Lynch, Stephon Tuitt, Brad Carrico and Tony Springmann all slated to enter as prototype 3-4 defensive ends, the Irish coaching staff was willing to pull the trigger on Hounshell at defensive end, something that Florida might not have been willing to do, with Muschamp’s visit with Verducci and tight ends coach Brian White possibly signaling their preference for Hounshell along the offensive line. While most recruitniks following the Irish thought Hounshell was destined for the offensive line, he was Ohio’s D-II Defensive Player of the Year, first-team All-Ohio, and the state’s Old Spice Player of the Year, lending plenty of evidence that he could be a difference maker at a position awfully thin behind starters Kapron Lewis-Moore and Ethan Johnson.

With the Irish missing on running back Amir Carlisle, there seems to be only two more players that the Irish are truly in on, with defensive end Troy Niklas and running back Savon Huggins still considering the Irish. With 23 recruits currently in the class, the bus is pretty much as capacity, though I think Notre Dame would take a shot at Huggins, especially with the lack of depth at running back on the roster after Armando Allen and Robert Hughes graduate.

Hounshell may only be a three-star recruit, but the offers from Florida, Iowa and Wisconsin are enough to show you that he’s got some serious potential. He’s passed up on enrolling early and will join the rest of the freshman class in South Bend this summer.