We continue breaking down the 25 best players for Notre Dame in 2020 by looking at a gritty defensive tackle who does a lot of dirty work for the Irish defense, defensive tackle Kurt Hinish.
This analysis for the Top 25 Irish players is a combination of talent, expected production, importance of that player’s role and also the value the player brings. The value aspect includes the position played and also the depth chart, meaning who can the Irish least afford to lose.
Let's look at why Hinish is a valuable player for Notre Dame:
MAKING THE CASE
Hinish doesn't have career numbers that will blow you away. He has just 36 career tackles, seven tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks, but Hinish isn't on the field to put up Jerry Tillery-level numbers.
Hinish forced his way onto the field with a high motor, quickness, toughness and an attitude that has him believing he can battle and beat anyone he competes against. These traits allow Hinish to maximize the physical talents he does possess.
When the Pittsburgh native is at his best he is flying off the ball, winning the leverage battle and getting penetration. There have been periods during the last two seasons where Hinish was a highly active, disruptive player that could be an effective middle of the line defender.
While his lack of girth can be problematic at times, Hinish knows how to use his squatty build to win the leverage battle. When he's on his game, Hinish can be a potent run defender and penetrator. If his senior season results in him being a more consistent player he could have a significant impact on the run defense making the improvements needed to be an elite defense.
NEED FOR IMPROVEMENT
Hinish knows how to overcome his lack of girth, but the issue he's had at times is that he doesn't use those needed techniques on a consistent basis. At times it seems the staff has also asked him to do things that he's not built to do, like anchor against double teams.
In his final season, Hinish needs to be used as more of a penetrator, and when asked to anchor he needs to do a better job driving his feet and limiting how much he gets knocked off the ball.
Hinish could benefit from Notre Dame using players like Jacob Lacey, Ja'mion Franklin and Aidan Keanaaina to spell Hinish a bit more up the middle. When he gets tired it's harder for him to fire off the ball with the same force, and the result is Hinish struggling to hold up at the point of attack.
A more fresh Hinish will be a far more consistently effective Hinish. He will never get the recognition of other more highly touted teammates, but make no mistake, Hinish is a very important part of the Irish defense.
#25 - Third Linebacker
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We continue breaking down the 25 best players for Notre Dame in 2020 by looking at a gritty defensive tackle who does a lot of dirty work for the Irish defense, defensive tackle Kurt Hinish. Subscribe for full article
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