Talented German defensive lineman Hero Kanu picked an offer from Notre Dame just last Saturday, and the Fighting Irish may already be in top contention. According to Kanu’s trainer and the founder of PPI Recruits, Brandon Collier, Notre Dame will likely make his top six.
“I can guarantee they will be in the top five to six,” said Collier. “I don’t know how high they will be, but I think for sure they’re in that top half. He really likes them.”
Collier has helped develop the international defensive prospect, who has since played his high school ball at Santa Margarita Catholic in California. Throughout their relationship, Kanu has always been very interested in Notre Dame as a potential destination.
“They’re really behind in recruiting, but he’s always told me that’s a school he’d be really interested in for a number of reasons," Collier explained. "For their academics and their NFL pedigree. They produce a number of NFL guys each year and they’re winning. Those things and the stability of their culture are things that he’s high on.”
Kanu first started receiving offers from major programs back in May of 2020. Since then he’s racked up 22 scholarship offers. Kanu ranks as the nation's No. 82 overall player on the 247Sports composite rankings. Apparently, the Irish were late to the party because of roster constraints.
“I’ve been talking to Coach [Mike] Elston for the past month,” noted Collier. “They honestly didn’t have any room, but of course they really liked him. Notre Dame’s a different school because they don’t have a lot of kids who are transferring out every year so they weren’t taking anyone at his position. They just said that they think if things open up he’s the first kid they’ll take and give a scholarship to.”
Spots on Notre Dame’s defensive line did open up, mainly due to the decommitmnt of defensive end Darren Agu, which led to the offer Kanu received on July 10th. While there is mutual interest between Kanu and Notre Dame’s coaching staff, it will still be an uphill battle to beat out other powerhouse programs like Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Ohio State that made his top 10.
“Of course they’re behind the eight ball," said Collier. "He’s got a great relationship with other coaches now even more than Notre Dame. But there is a shot I think for them to get an official visit potentially.”
Collier played a big role in the development of current Notre Dame sophomore end Alexander Ehrensberger, another native German. He has had a significant influence in the development of Kanu since he first transitioned to football. He’s worked closely with the 6-5, 295-pound defensive lineman since he first strapped on the pads, and is a big reason why Kanu is the player he is today.
“I’ve been working with him hands-on closely for the last two years. I pretty much taught him everything he knows,” said Collier. “He was very new and raw. He was just playing out there, but I taught him real technique. He had the natural God-given ability before I even started training him, but I polished him up with some football techniques and some running technique.”
In order to help the physically dominant athlete gain exposure, Collier reached out to an old friend to place Kanu in the spotlight that is California high school football.
“He knew he was good enough so he wanted to challenge himself," Collier explained. "I reached out to the head coach at Santa Margarita Catholic, who was my roommate and good friend from college.”
In just one season of playing in Southern California, Kanu totaled 28 tackles, 9.0 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks in just six games. Despite not having the same number of snaps under his belt as American-born players, he posses rare physical traits few athletes in the US have.
“His best traits are how big he is and the raw strength he has,” said Collier, “For a 16-year old kid to be as strong as he is, how quick his feet are, and how agile he is at 295 pounds is kind of rare to be that big and athletic. The sky is the limit for him because he just got in the weight room and started lifting in October. He’s already one of the strongest guys on the team.”
With the right program, Kanu has the potential and physical tools to explode while competing at the next level. Now Notre Dame hopes to continue their recent defensive recruiting dominance by adding Kanu to their 2022 class.
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