Chase Hounshell strongly considered Notre Dame last summer when he went to football camp there.

But the Irish coaching staff could not pull the trigger on an offer for the Notre Dame fan.

“I was hoping for an offer, but I understood,” said the product of Kirtland, Ohio, near Cleveland. “What happened was they already offered some other kids and they wanted to get their answers before they decided giving other people scholarships.

“I agreed with them, and we kind of parted our ways a little bit.”

By August, Hounshell opted for Florida at the behest of Gators coach Urban Meyer.

But when Meyer resigned in December, that changed everything, said Hounshell, who was recruited by the Gators to play the offensive line.

When a coach leaves, Hounshell said, “it’s a whole (different) football program, too.

“It definitely shocked the world. It was a big surprise to the people that were affected by it. It was a huge surprise.”

Meyer tried to tell him things would not change that much.

“I went down there for a visit a week after he resigned,” Hounshell said. “I went to his house to eat dinner with the other commits. He just said he is still going to be around, be in the weight room. He is still going to be on the practice field. He’s just not going to have a big role.”

When Notre Dame called again, Hounshell decided to listen.

A visit from Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly in early January really put the Irish back in the thick of things.

“When coach Kelly came to my house and basically told me I was a perfect fit for Notre Dame, I kind of realized I was,” Hounshell said.

No commitment was made at that time, however.

The 6-foot-6, 265-pound two-way lineman who had 60 tackles - 13 for a loss - 11 sacks and 12 pass break-ups, was still listening to both the Irish and the Gators.

He liked new Florida coach Will Muschamp, liked him a lot. And Muschamp, along with Florida assistant Frank Verducci even visited his home Sunday.

So when Irish defensive line/special teams coach Mike Elston and defensive coordinator Bob Diaco visited Hounshell’s home on Monday, “I really had no intention of committing then,” Hounshell said. “I told them I will be in this weekend and I will give you an answer this weekend.”

Hounshell is still coming for an official visit Friday. But before the Irish coaches could leave, Hounshell called an audible.

“I had this gut feeling as they were about to leave,” he said. “I have always been comfortable with Notre Dame, along with the coaches, the players, just everything about Notre Dame.

“I said, ‘Why wait?’ and I went with my gut feeling, and I committed.”