Notre Dame has had success recruiting defensive line brothers in the past, and now the Irish could be in line for a repeat. In recent years the Notre Dame staff landed brothers Romeo and Julian Okwara in different seasons, and twin brothers Justin and Jayson Ademilola in the same class.
Notre Dame landed Pittsburgh (Pa.) Central Catholic defensive tackle Kurt Hinish in 2017. The Irish have offered and are now pursuing his younger brother, Central Catholic standout Donovan Hinish.
Standing at 6-2 and 275 pounds, the younger Hinish is a two-way lineman who racked up a double digit sack season in only eight games for the Vikings in 2020.
Though he was a trusty offensive tackle all year, Hinish is receiving college interest for his ability to blow up the pocket and disrupt the passer in addition to his knack for stuffing the run on defense. That talent has led to eight offers for Hinish so far -- Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, UCF, Toledo, Bowling Green, Buffalo and Kent State -- but more could roll in as camp season arrives, plus he has an entire senior year of football yet to play.
Out of that group, Hinish has been hearing the most from Notre Dame and Pittsburgh as of late, and defensive line coach Mike Elston has been the Notre Dame target's primary recruiter thus far.
"The big thing they say is four years for 40 years, which means that degree can take you places that many others can't," Hinish said. "That place is a brotherhood that will love you forever. That place is a great school with a tradition like none other.”
When asked about what he likes regarding Notre Dame, Hinish focused on the prestige and the longstanding reputation of the school. Hinish recognizes that the Fighting Irish are not trying to rebrand or to reinvent the wheel-- the football programs knows what it expects and those expectations are not going to change any time soon. And that mentality is part of what the three-star defensive tackle likes the most about ND.
“Honestly, the tradition and how it's always been the same thing forever,” Hinish explained. “There is no intent to change it. It's the same old school mentality. I think that's pretty cool.”
With his brother stationed at Notre Dame for the past several years, Hinish has had a fairly direct look behind the curtains about what the Fighting Irish program is really like. On top of that connection, former Pittsburgh Central Catholic standout David Adams chose Notre Dame as well, so he's been able to talk with both players about their experiences in South Bend. So, what is their assessment?
“Excellent,” Hinish replied. “They said obviously it's going to be hard and you're going to have your hardships because it's a big school, but I've heard nothing but good reviews so far.”
Given that his brother is a member of the Fighting Irish and that his hometown school is Pittsburgh, it is no surprise that these two programs are highly active in his recruitment. Simply put, the connections run deep to both programs.
As a result, Hinish is planning to take official visits to both schools. The strong, crafty interior defensive lineman is scheduled to check out Pitt on June 25, and he says his official to Notre Dame is in the works.
Regarding an end to his recruitment, Hinish does not have a firm timeline mapped out. While many prospects aim to have recruiting wrapped up during the summer before their senior season, Hinish said that he could commit at “any time,” but he did not sound close to a decision at the moment.
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