Notre Dame added to its growing defensive class when it landed Hawai'i linebacker Kahanu Kia. The future Irish defender comes from a high school Notre Dame fans are quite familiar with, and he's a talented player with upside.
Irish Breakdown has already done a commit story and a class impact for Kia. Let's also take a look at the SI All-American film evaluation of Notre Dame's latest linebacker commit.
Prospect: LB Kahanu Kia
Projected Position: Linebacker
Status: SI All-American Candidate
Vitals: 6-foot-2, 220 pounds
School: Honolulu (Hawaii) Punahou
Committed to: Notre Dame
Frame: Long arm defender with a wiry build with room to add mass and definition to upper and lower body
Athleticism: The son of a former Division I linebacker is a natural athlete who plays well in space and is a reliable tackler. His ability to play in the box or on the edge sets him apart at the high school level. He is also efficient in coverage.
Instincts: Diagnoses plays quick and is excellent in his ability to drop into passes lanes and use his length to his advantage.
Polish: As his frame continues to develop, he will grow into a complete edge rusher. He is a sure, reliable tackler who plays naturally in space. He tends to take negative steps which causes him to get out of position when playing in the box.
Bottom Line: Kahuna Kia is a well-rounded linebacker who is only going to improve as his frame fills out. He projects as an edge rusher, but he can play multiple roles across the linebacking corps. His ability to diagnose and react in run support, while also being disruptive in the passing game is desirable. He projects as a starter at the Power 5 level.
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