Notre Dame picked up a commitment from 2022 defensive tackle Donovan Hinish. The Irish beat Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh and UCF for the three-star defensive tackle.
Let's break down how the commitment of Hinish impacts the Notre Dame recruiting class and the Irish depth chart.
NOTRE DAME CLASS IMPACT
Hinish is the 14th player to commit to Notre Dame in the 2022 class and the seventh defensive prospect. He is the fourth defensive lineman and the first defensive tackle.
Notre Dame landed one pure defensive tackle in the 2021 class (Gabriel Rubio), and another (Jason Onye) could also quickly grow into an interior player. The Irish also signed a pair of interior players in the 2022 class (Rylie Mills, Aidan Keanaaina).
Notre Dame also landed two interior players in the 2019 class (Jacob Lacey, Howard Cross III), and both will still have two seasons of eligibility remaining when the 2022 class gets on campus.
That means coming into this recruiting cycle the Irish had need for at least one true interior player, but there is room for two if the right combination comes along. The strong numbers and quality of previous classes meant Notre Dame could be picky in the 2022 class. Notre Dame's coaches decided that Hinish was part of that right combination and had the talent to fit that standard.
Landing Hinish means Notre Dame has met its minimum numbers need in the class and can now focus on landing an elite level recruit.
NOTRE DAME FIT
Hinish is the younger brother of current Notre Dame veteran nose guard Kurt Hinish, and it is spooky how similar their games are. Kurt was a bit bigger and stronger while Donovan is the better athlete on film.
The younger Hinish has an impressive first step and he gets off the line quickly. He is a penetrator that consistently plays with good pad level. Combine those traits with his naturally low build and it allows Hinish to consistently win the leverage battle. His motor and ability to find the ball are the final traits that allow him to make a lot of plays up the middle.
Hinish is on the shorter side from a length standpoint, and that hinders his block destruction at times. It doesn't hurt him much at the high school level, but it could become problematic at the next level. His brother had a similar problem early in his career but eventually was able to use his leverage, motor, quickness and strength to make plays. Donovan will need to learn to do the same thing.
Marcus Freeman's defensive philosophy is more aggressive up front than was the previous scheme, which should fit the younger Hinish's game even better.
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