One of the nation's best defensive players - Mission Hills (Calif.) Bishop Alemany linebacker Niuafe Tuihalamaka - has set his official visit date to Notre Dame.
As expected, Tuihalamaka will visit Notre Dame the weekend of June 11-13.
That is shaping up to be a very, very important recruiting weekend for the Fighting Irish. Tuihalamaka is locked in, but so is top running back Dallan Hayden, talented defensive back Devin Moore and athletic safety Jake Pope are also slated to be in town that weekend.
Tuihalamaka is an outstanding linebacker that would fit in extremely well at the Mike position in the Irish defense.
The Bishop Alemany standout is a consensus Top 100 recruit, ranking No. 71 overall according to Rivals and No. 83 by 247Sports.
"Tuihalamaka is a physically advanced player that checked in at 6-2 and over 230 pounds as a sophomore. He has no need to add weight, and moving forward it will just be about reshaping his body, adding more weight room strength and adding explosiveness.
"As expected, Tuihalamaka is a powerful young defender. He has a thick, strong lower half, which allows him to arrive at the football with force. His length and natural punch allows him to dismiss blockers with ease and also makes him a strong tackler. As his block destruction technique continues to improve his ability to dominate the run game should become elite.
"What wasn't expected, however, was how nimble Tuihalamaka is, and how effectively he's able to fit his big body through thin run lanes. He's not a fast athlete from a pure speed standpoint, but he's agile, far more fluid than I expected and he has impressive short-area quickness and explosiveness.
"When you combine that with his high-level instincts, Tuihalamaka is able to cover a lot of ground and get to the football in a hurry. It's impressive how effectively he times up blitzes and run stunts, and his decision making and instincts against the run are special. In that regards he reminds me a great deal of former Irish star Manti Te'o.
"The other surprising part of his game was how effectively he gets depth in coverage, and how well he reads routes and makes plays on the ball when playing zone. Tuihalamaka is a strong blitzer inside, and he has traits that should allow him to be an effective edge rusher, which adds versatility to his game."
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