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Kurt Hinish
Brendan McAlinden

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This Guy Plays Notre Dame Football: #41 Kurt Hinish, Defensive Tackle

Eligibility changes brought this nose tackle back for a fifth year wearing the gold and blue.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a roster full of players, and we want to talk about them all. One Foot Down’s player profile series will, once again, take a look at every single one of them, and hopefully, we all learn a little bit more about these guys, and Notre Dame’s chances for the upcoming 2021 season.

#41 Kurt Hinish, DT

This blue and gold veteran is back for a fifth season in South Bend. Before he came to Notre Dame, however, the Pittsburgh native was a standout defensive tackle for Central Catholic High School and chalked up 27 tackles his senior year. That year, he made the 247sports.com rankings as the No. 41 defensive tackle and the No. 10 player from Pennsylvania.

In his first season with the Irish, Hinish wasted no time proving he could deliver in the high-stakes games; over 12 games, he claimed eight tackles, three in the USC game alone. As a sophomore and junior, he proved to be a consistent impact player for the Irish.

Over the 2020 season, Hinish registered 19 tackles, including three in the 11/7 Clemson game and two in the ACC championship matchup. His biggest asset has been his ability to take on blockers while filling space and creating pressure. It’s a job he does very well.

Clemson v Notre Dame Photo by Matt Cashore-Pool/Getty Images

To Hinish, it’s all about being the biggest threat on the field. While his stout play along the defensive line distinguishes him as a nose tackle, it’s largely a mental game for Hinish. He said, “Every time I step out on the field, I tell myself to be the most violent and dangerous person on it.”

The Restaurant That Fits

If Hinish meets his conditioning goals and carries his mentality into the season ahead, CFB fans can expect a storm to come. It’s a snowstorm. We’re talking a blizzard. We’re talking Dairy Queen.

2021 Outlook

To prepare for the season ahead, Hinish has been getting after it in the weight room and making adjustments on the pass rush. He’s been a motivator for younger players in conditioning, but his role might expand even more as a new season begins. As defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman begins to shuffle the cards his way with Mike Elston’s well developed group, Irish fans will see Hinish and other Irish defensive linemen crank up the speed and aggression.

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