Pennsylvania defensive lineman Kurt Hinish verbally committed to the Irish tonight on a local Pittsburgh television program. The 247 Composite lists the 6'2"/280 pounder as the #658 overall player and the #45 defensive tackle in the nation.
Kurt was offered by the staff about a month ago and the Irish immediately went towards the top of his list along with Penn State. He visited this past weekend for Junior Day and was blown away by what he saw, setting up a decision time immediately upon concluding that visit. Hinish is a multi-year starter and All-Conference player for WPIAL powerhouse Pittsburgh Central Catholic. He is teammates and best friends with David Adams, one of the top inside linebackers in the 2017 class and another recent Notre Dame commit.
Recruiting Service Rankings
Rivals -- 3 star (5.7 rating), NR overall, #32 position, #9 in Pennsylvania
247 -- 3 star (87 rating), #442 overall, #30 position, #11 in Pennsylvania
ESPN -- Not Rated
Scout -- 3 star, NR overall, #33 position, #8 in Pennsylvania
247 Composite -- 3 star (.8530), #658 overall, #45 position, #13 in Pennsylvania
In addition to his Notre Dame offer, Hinish holds offers from Penn State, Pittsburgh, Baylor, Louisville, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Boston College, West Virginia, and others.
Kurt has some very impressive tape out there. Looking at his highlights, you see a guy who is quick off the snap, has a high motor, and plays with a ton of intensity. He is explosive and plays with a lot of power and leverage. He keeps a low pad level and is good at disengaging blocks. He could work to improve his backside pursuit and pass-rushing technique. But overall, he's a very solid prospect and there is a lot to like about his game. This is a really good pickup.
There are a lot of bodies on the Irish roster at defensive tackle right now, but not a lot of proven depth. The position is currently filled with young unknowns behind the two-deep. Aside from Jerry Tillery and Daniel Cage, we're really not sure what we will have at the position when Hinish arrives on campus. Will Jay Hayes be as good as advertised? What kind of impact will John Montelus have on the defensive side of the ball? Can Pete Mokwuah turn into a contributor? What about the class of 2015 redshirts: Micah Dew-Treadway, Elijah Taylor, and Brandon Tiassum? What about other possible 2017 recruits?
At this point, we just don't know. For this reason, it's really hard to predict just how Hinish will fit into things. A redshirt season would probably be ideal. It would give him a year to work with Paul Longo and get as physically ready as possible before stepping onto the field. Plus a year to absorb the playbook and study the (complicated?) defensive schemes is almost never a bad thing, either. We'll just have to wait and see how things turn out.
In any case, welcome to the Irish family, Kurt!