Phil Kornblut

Councell sticking with his ND pledge

DE Ben Councell (6-5 230) of Asheville, NC committed to Notre Dame last June but in recent months he started to check out some other options including USC. He made an unofficial visit to Columbia in late October and talked about setting an official visit with the Gamecocks.

But he made his official visit to Notre Dame this past weekend with his parents and decided after that to stick with the Irish. "He's pretty strong on his commitment to them," said his coach Shane Laws. "They answered all of his concerns. He feels good about his decision and he's going to Notre Dame."

Laws contacted his USC recruiter Shawn Elliott Monday and told him of Concell's decision.