Give me ALL the islanders
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are on fire right now in the recruiting world. After a couple of flips earlier this week, the Irish secured a commitment from Kahanu Kia, a 3-Star linebacker from Hawaii.
Notre Dame has a really strong pipeline to the Hawaiian islands, and it’s not just numbers — these guys end up becoming big contributors to the football team and all of them seemingly have “panned out” quite well in South Bend. Kia is from the same high school as Irish legend Manti Te’o — where all of this really gets it’s start. Brian Polian was on the Notre Dame staff and was a key reason why Notre Dame landed Te’o, still has that OHANA magic — and even has a graphic for it.
Notre Dame wasn’t really going after a lot of linebackers this cycle, and after Prince Kollie committed, it didn’t look like they were going to add another — and then Notre Dame offered Kahanu Kia on September 1.
The recruitment was rapid, and with the restrictions in place due to covid-19, a lot of this was on Kia who visited on his own dime for the win over the Clemson Tigers.
He’s a guy with a lot of upside, and projects as more of a MIKE at Notre Dame. Irish Illustrated’s Tim Prister had this observation:
Kia locates the football well and has a knack for being at the climactic point of a play. He has a nice combination of football instincts and well-schooled football traits. He is an example of a downhill inside linebacker. He doesn’t lunge to make tackles. He stays balanced with a wide tackling base, and then explodes into the tackle. He packs a punch but not nearly what it’s going to be when he begins to develop into manhood.
Kia is the 22nd commitment in this class, although after talking to Tom Loy in the latest OFD Podcast — we shouldn’t expect David Abiara to stay in the class.
We are less than a month to the start of the early period for National Signing Day, and Notre Dame is pushing hard to add more and more to this class which is currently ranked #8 in the country by the 247 Composite Team Rankings.