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Notre Dame Football: Irish DE Kahanu Kia is leaving Notre Dame for mission trip

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The LDS freshman from Hawaii might be knocking on your door

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 06 Navy at Notre Dame Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensive end Kahanu Kia announced on Monday that he will be leaving to take on a two-year mission trip. Kia is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS / Mormon) and stated that this was an option he had already spoken with Notre Dame about during his recruitment.

The only other Notre Dame football scholarship player on record that left the program for an LDS mission was safety, Chris Badger, back in 2010. In Badger’s case, he went abroad rather than in the states and elected to transfer to BYU.

Kia really started to come on towards the middle of the year with great special teams play. Initially, Kia was going to be a linebacker but transitioned to Vyper to help add some depth there.

No one can predict what will happen in two years, so Kia’s word is what we should go on at the moment — he’ll be back.

2022 Notre Dame Football Scholarship Chart

Position / Year Freshmen Sophomore Junior Senior 5th/6th Year
Position / Year Freshmen Sophomore Junior Senior 5th/6th Year
Quarterback Steve Angeli Tyler Buchner, Ron Powlus III Drew Pyne - -
Running Back Jadarian Price Logan Diggs, Audric Estime Chris Tyree - -
Tight End Eli Raridon, Holden Staes Cane Berrong, Mitchell Evans Michael Mayer, Kevin Bauman - George Takacs
Wide Receiver Tobias Merriweather Lorenzo Styles, Deion Colzie, Jayden Thomas - - Braden Lenzy, Joe Wilkins, Avery Davis, Matt Salerno
Center Ashton Craig Pat Coogan - Zeke Correll Jarrett Patterson
Guard Billy Schrauth Rocco Spindler - Andrew Kristofic, John Dirksen
Tackle Joey Tanona, Ty Chan, Aamil Wagner Blake Fisher, Joe Alt, Caleb Johnson Michael Carmody, Tosh Baker - Josh Lugg
Defensive Tackle Donovan Hinish Gabriel Rubio Aidan Keanaaina, Rylie Mills Howard Cross, Jacob Lacey Jayson Ademilola
Defensive End Tyson Ford, Aiden Gobaira Jason Onye, Will Schweitzer Alexander Ehrensberger, Jordan Botelho NaNa Osafo-Mensah, Isaiah Foskey, Osita Ekwonu Justin Ademilola
Linebacker Nolan Ziegler, Joshua Burnham, Junior Tuihalamaka, Jaylen Sneed Prince Kollie - Jack Kiser, Marist Liufau, JD Bertrand Bo Bauer
Safety Jayden Bellamy Justin Walters Xavier Watts, Ramon Henderson, Brandon Joesph - D.J. Brown, Houston Griffith
Cornerback Jayden Mickey, Benjamin Morrison Ryan Barnes, Chance Tucker, Philip Riley, JoJo Johnson Clarence Lewis Cam Hart TaRiq Bracy
Specialists Bryce McFerson (P) Josh Bryan (K) Alex Peitsch (LS) - Michael Vinson (LS), Blake Grupe (K)
Totals 21/85 (21) 45/85 (24) 60/85 (15) 71/85 (11) 87/85 (16)