Hounshell switches commitment to Notre Dame

By Adam Silverstein
January 17, 2011

Though he never officially decommitted from the Florida Gators in early January, three-star offensive lineman recruit Chase Hounshell (Kirkland, OH) chose not to enroll early at the University of Florida as he had originally planned in order to delay his final decision so he could gather more information. Monday evening Hounshell switched his commitment from the Gators to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the same day coaches from that school paid him an in-home visit.

Florida head coach Will Muschamp, offensive line coach Frank Verducci and tight ends coach Brian White visited Hounshell on Sunday and came away with an agreement from the young man that he would visit UF this upcoming weekend in order to reaffirm his commitment. Meeting with Notre Dame less than 24 hours later appears to have canceled those plans as well.

“I committed to the University of Notre Dame,” Hounshell announced on his personal Twitter account. “[I] want to thank Gator Country for all your support. You guys are the best, but I had to do what’s best for me.”

According to 247 Sports, he will switch to defensive end for the Fighting Irish.

When he agreed to join the team on Aug. 11, Hounshell was the Gators 13th commitment. Since head coach Urban Meyer (and in this case offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Steve Addazio) left the program, he is Florida’s third decommitment. The others include four-stars cornerback Nick Waisome (Florida State) and linebacker Ryan Shazier (Ohio State). Four-star defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan (Clemson) decommitted from UF on Nov. 29

The Gators now have 15 commitments for the 2011 recruiting cycle, seven of whom enrolled in January for the spring semester.


  1. g8ter27 says:

    I was never impressedwith this kid from the beginning butI hate what i am seeing and am a bit worried about the reoccurring patter: Kid meets coaches, kid decommits from UF. I get this kid wanting to sty close to home but still concerned.

  2. Gatorbuc15 says:

    OK, see ya later Hounshell. Whatever.

  3. buck gator says:

    Oh well. At least we know the ones who come really want to be Gators. Always concerned about a kid who seems to waver so much. Don’t blame him for changing his mind with coaching change, but wonder why someone would tell coaches something one day, then do opposite the next day (if he really did say he was going to visit).
    Let’s get a solid group on campus, get em coached up, and start laying foundation for a great class next year!

  4. Gatorgrad79 says:

    This recurring pattern leaves me very uncomfortable (not to mention unhappy). I can understand a kid not wanting to go over 1400 miles away where his family cannot see him play on a regular basis, but I sure hope we do better with the in-state prospects.

  5. JChang says:

    Considering he called us “gator country” I’m not too disappointed he’s gone. We’re the Gator Nation! Duhhhh! Lol

  6. SaraGator says:

    It looks like he’s being promised early playing time.

    Coach Boom said he’s not going to worry about the ones that don’t want to be a Gator. Neither should we.

    Good luck, Chase. Hope it works out for you.

  7. Wingtee says:

    You could see that coming when he didntt enroll early. Goes along with the rest of the great news we hve been getting. I guess we just take our ass bearing andover on. Welcome
    to the world of the Ipwa State , Kansas , and Kentucky football this year.

  8. Razzlegator says:

    Gator Country? What’s this kid’s name again. Probably the last time we hear about him.

  9. zurbo says:

    muschamp needs to pick it up!

  10. Gio Showtime says:

    THANK GOD!! Muschamp is now 4-0 in my book! Keeping Brantley and JJ while making sure Hounshell and Hill left. Muschamp is not stupid. He knows that Hill is a locker room cancer and that Hounshell is not a great (not even decent, mediocre at best) talent. I’m celebrating this decommitment on Wednesday at Grog. Feel free to join!

  11. David says:

    This kid is an idiot. He also was promised to switch from OL to DE, which is funny since ND just got the commits of two elite DEs. Whatever! When was the last time someone from ND became an elite plater in the NFL? 10 yrs ago?

  12. Daniel M. says:

    When I was a little kid I had a rug in my bedroom that said “This is Gator Country.”

    Does anybody think that four years from now we’ll be saying,” I still can’t believe Hounshell could have been doing this for the Gators?”

    Hounshell? Meh!

    Good luck kid, you’ll be kicking the crap out of bottom feeders like UM in no time.

  13. Joe says:

    Timing seems strange. After visiting will Muschamp, Verducci and White he decides to switch from O to D and go to ND. Sounds like what he heard wasn’t exactly the same stuff Addiazo was feeding him. Sometimes the truth hurts.

  14. ncgator says:

    Wingtee: Can you possibly use spellcheck

  15. Mr2Bits says:

    @Gio Showtime : I have been following recruiting VERY closely this year and I am on board with you. General consensus from our staff and fans is that he needed us allot more than we need him. A 240lb OL doesn’t really go a long way and there is no way he breaks the starting roster for our D line. Whether it be OB or Golden Domers you will not hear this kids name again. At least he has a shot playing n ND as he would have been a career backup here due to his size.

    @Wingtree : Dude….chill out. You are so damn negative with everything right now. The decommits or no commits like Pagan, Waisome and Hounshell are planned and known of by the staff. These are not losses at all. Some news for you according to insiders, we picked up a huge ILB recruit this past weekend. It hasn’t been announced but some think it may be Maggit. That being said, our pro staff is out making waves and you will see a top 10 possibly top 5 class come signing day. We are filling areas that we need players and that fit our style of play. Have a strong drink and take a step back from the D2 school comparisons and jaded outlook on everything.

  16. g8rgr8 says:

    Waisome got promised playing time at FSU….Meyer said jenkins was going pro and Muschamp said would talk Jenkins into staying… I will take jenkins over waisome ANYDAY! Shazier has the speed but not the siize (yet) for SEC play and would need to redshirt and we need help NOW @ Line backer… Muschamp does NOT want to recruit “guaranteed redshirts” that is not what you have to do at a program like Florida… Pagan is a little bit confusing. But I bet Muschamp has a plan for Powell or someone else! We all need to relax and ignore people like wingtee!

  17. gator347 says:

    Does not lack of Honor or Character bother any of ya’ll?

    I am more concerned with your “word” not standing for anything and that includes coaches. Does lying even matter anymore?

    This is Catholic School kid too. Gee, the Nuns & Brothers are really slipping.

  18. Mr2Bits says:

    @Joe :Don’t forget the same thing happened with Muschamp and Waisom. Spent a day together, next day his commitment switched. Not that I’m a fly on the wall but you can see that plates full of BS aren’t being served to these kids. They are either being told they unfortunately don’t fit in the scheme we plan to run and should go elsewhere or it is going to be very difficult for them to start and the kid doesn’t like it. Either way, these changes are not a surprise to our staff.

    Another rumor floating around is that the staff asked Hounshell to move on to free up his scholarship for another recruit Boom and company want. I can easily see this as this was an Urban/Dazz recruit which never really fit the mold.

    • Florida has 15 commitments and had a ton of guys graduating – they’re not in need of scholarships. And their not wasting the time of three coaches to go visit the kid and tell him to look elsewhere.

  19. John S says:

    This is pretty strange, the fact we sent 3 coaches to meet with him indicates we wanted him.

    We have a lot of scholarships to fill in 2 weeks. Hopefully we know what we’re doing.

  20. Swampbabe says:

    More great news on the recruiting front. Don’t look now but this is what free fall feels like. Commits bouncing for Clemson and Notre Dame, programs that haven’t been relevant in years. FSU wining the state and count em…SIX S.E.C teams ranked ahead of us in recruiting. Wow, sure glad we have this NFL coaching staff. Maybe some of them have years of eiligibility left, cause we’re gonna need somebody to PLAY FREAKIN FOOTBALL! NSD is two plus weeks away and we’re still doing damage control. Take the orange and blue glasses off guys. We’re in real trouble here.

  21. Mr2Bits says:

    @Swampbabe : I give up. You do realize that a northern 3 star player is really a Florida 2-star right? We will be ok and a top 20 class is not what free-fall feels like. You people are ridiculous.

    @Adam : I know how many scholarships we have left to “fill” but from the mouth of recruits like Shaun Ward, we are not planning on filling all those and carrying them over to next year or we do not have any more to offer.

    I don’t find it a coincidence that we send a coaches and the kid immediately decommits. The number of coaches doesn’t mean anything as they are out flying across the country visiting recruits. Don’t you think that maybe the purpose of Muschamp’s and Verducci’s visit yesterday was to politely tell Hounshell that he no longer had a scholarship offer? Or perhaps it was to tell him that their o-line system would be different and, while he still was welcome to come to UF on scholarship, he was not the prototypical type of lineman they are looking for and the learning curve will be a little steep for him.

    I mean, the kid was all UF even after meyer and daz were gone.

    Why else would a kid decommit from a team immediately after that team’s head coach visits him at his home? that just makes no sense – it never happens.

    On a side note, per Bleacher report have you also heard that Wilder is now rethinking his commitment and may be UF bound when all is said and done?

    • Mr2Bits-

      1) It’s also not a coincidence that he will be playing defensive end for Notre Dame, not offensive line.
      2) Believing anything you read on Bleacher Report (or citing it here) deserves a punishment. That is not a news site…it is people without any access or talent writing whatever they want. You are officially banned from commenting here for 2 hours (just kidding … but please don’t mention BR in anything other than joking terms again haha).

  22. g8rgr8 says:

    @Swampbabe…. go away this is common , when the mindset of the coaching staff changes as much as ours has this year… @Adam I expect more from u. You don’t know what the agenda was going to a high school football hotbed like ohio… You don’t really think they went all the way to ohio to see only Hounschell… I would assume our staff was multitasking…. if we get a big recruit from ohio on NSD (which there is still a few left), then we will know…. Time will tell… I have confidence in one person and that is Jeremy Foley… We have won 3 national championship with him at the helm, he will not let us fall for more than 1-2 seasons. 2010 meyer 2011 muschamp… he has to win by 2012 or he will be out…. GO GATORS and keep up the good work adam and please tell me your thoughts…

    • g8rgr8- You “expect more” from me? Are you being serious with that? No, they did not go all the way to Ohio just to see him (I would assume), but they also didn’t spend hours in his house telling him that he was no longer welcome at Florida. There are easier and more effective ways to pull scholarships than wasting time that is needed to hold onto other kids and bring new kids into the program sitting in someone’s house talking to them for a long period of time.

  23. Aligator says:

    Sounds to me like it is a good thing. These guys are changing directions a bit and working through what they want and need. We will have a top ten class and we will get a few surprises before it is over with. what will work is what we see happening with who we have, we may just win that NC in year 2 or 3 with muschamp, like all of these other coaches do.

  24. DGLgatorfan says:

    Bama recently lost a 5 star recruit(calloway) to a state/conference/division rival and are losing another former 5 star recruit (scott)as he is transferring to south alabama. Honestly their fans seem more optimistic then some here after losing a 3 star linemen to a school the gators will never play. I think last year class spoiled some UF fans they won’t be ranked number one every year though it will be nice.

    The gators are currently still ranked in the teens nationally with 15 commits not sure how they will finish but I’m not worried. I’m impressed there hasnt been many transfers plus jenkins returning was huge, Call me odd but I’m not ready to jump off a bridge.

  25. Mr2Bits says:

    @ Adam :
    1) This whole thing just doesn’t make sense. I think he is out of options with his weight for OL and this is his last option. ND currently has 5 DE recruits, all 4 stars and much bigger/better than him(Williams, Lynch (hopefully will become a Gator), Rabasa, Tuitt and Carrico). Hounshell makes the 6th. I still think they told him something he did not want to hear and said, fine, Ill go to ND. Guess we will never know though.

    2) My bad. Didn’t know you hated that site. Never really go there and only came across it’s reference in another article. Figure any news on Wilder waivers was good news especially when we are on the receive side of it. I’ll expect to see this posted at 1:00PM EST

    • Mr2Bits- 1) Stranger things have happened. 2) It’s not that I hate the site…I just think it should be used for what it is…a collection of opinions and thoughts that anyone can write at any time. It is not a news site and should not be treated as such. I PROMISE you, I am not the only one who feels this way about BR…most journalists do.

  26. g8rgr8 says:

    No offense intended adam. I was just commenting on the fact you said “they will not waist the time of 3 coaches to go visit the kid and Tell him to look elsewhere” what that implied was they were there to see him and him only (sorry if I ASSumed)… I was just saying coaches are very efficient on the recruiting trail. OH AND BTW TO HELL WITH BLEACHER REPORT, i read it once and anyone with a keyboard can write for them… We as gator fans don’t want to believe that we are losing a recruit(3 star) but gaining a opportunity at another recruit possibly (5 star)….

    • g8rgr8- Oh OK, I see where you’re coming from. Regardless, I don’t think they would have spent that much time with him to “let him down easily” and tell him to go to Notre Dame. There are more efficient ways to do so.

  27. Swampbabe says:

    Guys, while it’s all well and good to make the pat excuses

    1) If he doesn’t want to be a gator we don’t want him
    2) We needed the schooly even though we have 12 to give and few top prospects looking at us
    3) He’s only a trhee star
    4) He was too small – he would never have played

    The facts remain:
    1) Kids are bailing for “lesser” programs
    2) We are now competeing with the likes of Clemson and NC for talent instead of Bama, Aubun and LSU
    3) FSU is kicking our butts all of a sudden
    4) The top kids aren’t even looking on our direction with 2 weeks left.
    5) Coaches in RE-active mode rather than PRO-active mood… not where you want be at this point in the proicess.

    Look, I’m the biggest Gator fan that ever lived, but I believe in seeing the facts as they stand. There is only so long fans can rah-rah it up before dropping the excuses and realize it’s an ill wind that blows.

    • Swampbabe- Though you have a negative attitude toward all of this, it does not mean that you are wrong. In fact, I agree with some of your opinions. However, I think 4) and 5) on your “The facts remain:” list are blatantly incorrect. Florida’s coaches have been very proactive (Brissett, Maggitt, Jernigan, etc.) recently and very good recruits are indeed looking at the Gators [just because you’re not ranked No. 1-10 doesn’t mean you’re not a top recruit]. You also need to realize that 1) 2010’s signing three five-stars on one day (Army game) is not a normal occurrence anywhere and 2) a coaching change is bound to cause defections. Not every player has to come to Florida.

  28. DC Gator says:

    Adam–is Florida actively recruiting Spencer Region? He would be a superb replacement.

  29. ncgator says:

    Following the recruiting process closely, there’s alot of blue chips still undecided and some that are commited, but wavering. It would be hard to believe that these kids and their advice-givers haven’t noticed the NFL caliber staff that Muschamp has put together. Couple that with the change in offensive philosophy and you can’t help but get the attention of some of these recruits who want to play in a system that is fundamentally the same as the NFL. If I were Wilder or Crowell, I’d be thinking real hard about how attractive Florida is right now. I think guys like Anthony, Roberson, Grant etc., are thinking the same thing. Even Bozo the Clowney should be reconsdering and thinking about UF. I’m confident the next ten recruits will be big time names and the gators wil finish with a top five class.

  30. Mr2Bits says:

    @Adam : That would explain things with the BR. I have actually never read it, just sourced it and was not familiar with its history among journalists.

    @Swampbabe : One thing to remember is just because we have X number of scholarships left does NOT mean we will fill those and this is often done intentionally. If Boom does not like what he sees out there he will not burn a scholarship on it just because he has a few left in his pocket. Scholarships do carry over to the following year so there may be better talent he would rather go after next year than to just bring in a body to fill the gatorade.

    With that being said, I still believe we have allot of behind the scenes players locked up. Not going public at this time is key as it’s just throwing blood in the water with all the sharks. It has worked well for USC and Tenn in the past and I expect to see the same this year. 2/3 will be a good day for Gator Nation/Country!

  31. DGlockUF says:

    Hounshell is quoted in the The News-Herald of Ohio about his switch to ND: “I called Coach Muschamp right away, and it was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do,” Hounshell said. “It kind of sounded like it broke his heart a little bit, and in a way, it broke mine, too. But I had to do what I felt was best for me.”

  32. Gio Showtime says:

    Anybody else notice that Florida State is slowly falling down the rankings as well?? I think they have more of a reason to be worried. Especially being Jimbo’s 2nd year (supposedly the most telling year of recruiting for new head coaches). If Muschamp pulls off a better class than Fisher in just a month (or anywhere close to FSU), all this bs about FSU being back is exactly that — bs. #oneyearwonder

    NSD will be a great day for Gator Country lol

  33. HolyNoley says:

    Gio Showtime – How is FSU falling back? #2 on ESPN #3 Scout and #4 Rivals. When O’Leary and Steward sign they will be probably #1 or #2 across the board. And Muschamp will not pull a better class than Jimbo. Just stating the obvious facts here.

  34. Joe (deuce) says:

    This comes with a lot of love from one Gator fan to another:

    Attention fear-mongers and conspiracy-theorists. I think any talk of a football Armageddon at Florida because of one slightly off recruiting cycle is ridiculous. Furthermore the way many of you have turned into negative Nancy’s is pathetic. The game is played ON THE FIELD!!! and we still have plenty of players on this team and a lot of talent. I understand many of you are citing a drop-off but enough is enough. I’m happy that this regime will be tough to gauge and cause you all to lose some sleep. Being tough. That’s what football is all about. And that’s what being a football fan is all about, especially at Florida. There isn’t cruise control or a road map. Patience is key. Stop being so damn sensitive and let things happen. Enjoy the damn ride ladies and gents and Go Gators!

  35. Daniel M. says:

    @Joe (deuce) +1

  36. Beep says:

    Seriously, some people are such drama queens. We JUST got a bunch of new coaches. The way half of these kids choose their school based on the coaches, it’s going to be pretty hard to lure them over in only a month. We’ve had some VERY, very good recruiting classes the past several years. We don’t need to sign a superstar class this year. Even so, we still have some very good players, like Driskel, and there a quite a few for whom we are still in the running.

    FSU is only having such a good year this year because of Florida’s coaching changes and the kids being reticent to commit to coaches they don’t know. FSU’s success won’t last unless they actually start winning something. No one should be afraid of them. Do you really think that when UF is competing for championships again and FSU still can’t win the ACC that the recruits are still going to flock to them? This is a one-year aberration as long as we have any kind of success on the field next year.

    I totally agree about the “negative Nancys”. It’s so annoying to hear some people act like UF is in an inescapable downward spiral just because we had ONE mediocre (not even bad, mediocre) year. And Addazio and Meyer are gone now, there’s a whole new set of coaches with a chance to start completely fresh. If they’re a complete failure next year, THEN and only then will you guys be justified in your self-pitying whining.

    Back on point, losing a random 3-star recruit from Ohio is hardly a big loss. No one should be worried about it, particularly when several recruits have stated that the coaches told them they’re full at certain positions, and rumor has it that’s because there are some silent commits. As someone else said, no need to waste scholarships on filler players when you’re coming from behind this year anyway. Might as well save them for next year.

  37. Mr2Bits says:

    HolyNoley : take a snap shot of those rankings as these will change come 2/2. Not saying they will be better than UF but thats just the way it goes from year to year. I also wouldn’t hold my breath on a consensus #1 ranking for FSU. You have more wavering recruits than most schools right now and most of your scholarships are filled at this point. Top 5…..maybe top 10 most likely but I don’t see a number one coming in. Only time will tell though!

  38. Holy noley says:

    Yea I don’t think FSU will be at #1 either. Should be top 5 though. Alabama and Texas seem to be real strong on the recruiting trail and untouchable. And for those who are bashing Muschamp, give the guy some time!! I think he is going to do real well at UF. It’s very difficult to get in the mind of a 17 year old when he sees a coaching change and keep them calm and committed. I just hope FSU and UF can get back to the rivalries of old.

  39. Gatorgrad79 says:

    Bottom line – pretty sure Coach Boom & co. know what positions we need to fill. Don’t forget the Gator BB , B-to-B Nat’l Champs – bunch of slightly above average recruits who formed a bond, played sacrificially for the good of the TEAM, and went all in, all the time. I want some ‘a that for football!!

  40. Gatorgrad79 says:

    PS – How pitiful are the ‘alf ass u sites that a nole has to hang out here? Course I wouldn’t even know how to find one of their sites, but then I don’t want to know the way to county dump, either.

  41. Gatorgrad79 says:

    Adam, re that ‘other’ site, it is nothing more than a bunch of hyperlinks to newpaper sites around the country and a board for discussion. Nothing original – just cut & paste plagiarism.

  42. dp says:

    Holy Noley…you are probably the first Nole that has a brain to contribute to this site!

    We really need to relax people. The odds of any, let alone a three-star, undersized lineman making an impact as a true freshman are slim to none…and slim just left. It is typically the juniors and seniors that make the difference in college football…with the exception of the occasional beast sophomores…which we have had (Tebow, Harvin, etc) and currently have (Je. Jenkins, Powell, Easley, Mack Brown-oh no he didn’t! Watch and see). So we all need to get off of the ledge and watch, what I think might be one of the best assembled “coaching classes” that has ever been assembled, do their thing.

  43. Gatorgrad79 says:

    I hear ya’…

  44. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    Adam is stating the obvious…if you don’t want this kid you send one coach not three…..are the wheels falling off….please…many times these kids are going to look at depth charts and he probably stands a better chance playing sooner at ND and you can’t expect relationships to be built in a few weeks

  45. Holy noley says:

    Gatorgrad – wow, that was some post pal. “half ass u” is truly original and the county dump thing was just as well thought out. Shouldn’t you change your name to SanteFeGrad? And FYI- tomahawknation is one of the top college football blogs/sites. You sir, keep up the good work!

  46. Gio Showtime says:

    @HolyNoley – I checked in this morning when they were ranked #6. These ranking games are killing me. The Seminoles don’t pick up any commitments and they move up 3 rankings.

  47. Gio Showtime says:

    Noles were also ranked #3 in Rivals before Lynch decommitted

  48. NB says:

    Swampbabe , step off of the cliff. It is obvious you have no clue how recruiting works. We have new coaches that will go down to the wire and snatch top prospects. They need all the time they can get to build relationships with the recruits.

    I promise you that we will end up with a top 10 recruiting class, which is a lot better than Meyer’s first recruiting class.

    We are still in it for many high 4 star and 5 star prospects.

    We have a real chance of finishing with a recruiting avalanche and stealing the headlines on February 2nd.

  49. Swampbabe says:

    Thanks for the …um… pep talk NB… but I’ve have been following recruiting fiendishly for more than 20 years now, so I actually DO have a pretty good idea how it works. I also know if this were happening at FSU or Bama most Gator fands would be positively gleeful. No offense though, Folks told me I should turn in my secret Gator de-coder ring when I predicted a 4-5 loss season for 2010 too. Funny how that one worked out… You may be right though, we’ll see, two weekends left for kids to come in and get a look at us. I would LOVE to come on here Feb 3rd and eat crow…but it’s gonna take more than one five star surprise to do it. At this point I remain skeptical.

  50. npgator says:

    Is it just me or is it ridiculous when you lose a player or two their freshman year because they aren’t panning out and people begin to worry about the previous recruiting rankings. For example – when Haden and Dowling were no longer part of last year’s class I read where people are worried that the 2010 class may not be number 1 anymore! Does it matter at this point? I just find that a strange concern.