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Irish defensive line signee Devan Houstan looks to make an instant impact

| Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Devan Houstan grew up in Ontario, Canada, before deciding to attend boarding school at St. James School in Hagerstown, Maryland in order to pursue his football career. That decision paid off, as Houstan signed a National Letter of Intent with Notre Dame on Wednesday. Rivals considers Houstan a four-star prospect and ranked him as the No. 20 defensive tackle nationally as well as the No. 5 player in Maryland. Giving him a 5.8 player rating, Rivals ranks Houstan as a potential All-American and day two NFL draft selection. He verbally committed to Notre Dame in May after receiving offers from over 20 Power Five programs and will join a strong Irish defensive line group led by defensive line coach Al Washington. Houstan is the lone defensive tackle signee for the Irish. However, he joins highly touted defensive ends Brenan Vernon, Boubacar Traore and Armel Mukam.

At 6-foot-3 and 270 pounds, Houstan was a prospect on both the offensive and defensive lines. He will play on defense at Notre Dame. Houstan is an explosive interior player with an impressive combination of speed and strength. He recorded 10 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks in eight games as a senior. During his junior season, he added 7.5 sacks. Houstan is an accomplished basketball player and comes from an athletic family. His brother Caleb played basketball at Michigan and is a rookie with the Orlando Magic.

Houstan slots into a defensive line that has been a strength for Notre Dame in recent years. A majority of the snaps at defensive tackle this season went to graduate student Jayson Ademilola, senior Howard Cross and junior Rylie Mills. Beyond that veteran trio is a group of untested young players. Houstan may not start during his first season in South Bend but will likely have an opportunity to contribute to the rotation early in his career.

The Irish lose All-American defensive end and expected first-round pick Isaiah Foskey next year. As such, developing an effective pass rush will be critical. Anchored by players like Jerry Tillery, Kurt Hinish and now Ademilola, Notre Dame’s interior defensive line has consistently played at a high level. Houstan will look to follow in their path by contributing to a young unit that is eager to become one of the nation’s best.

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