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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Aidan Keanaaina Has Incredible Time With Brian Kelly & Mike Elston

December 6, 2019
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It's not every day Brian Kelly shows up at your house and 2020 Notre Dame defensive line commit Aidan Keanaaina‍ felt exactly how most would feel. 

"I was nervous about how everything was going to go for the last couple of days," laughed Keanaaina. 

Kelly made the trip out to Colorado on Thursday to see the 6-foot-3, 315-pounder along with defensive line coach Mike Elston. 

"I had Coach Elston here before, so I was hanging out with him," said Keanaaina. "I saw a Cadillac pull up and Coach Elston was like 'That's Coach Kelly.'

"He started walking up the steps with his bright blue suit and a big Notre Dame pin on. I've seen him on TV and you hear about him - the head coach of Notre Dame was coming into my house. It's a little nerve-racking.

"I could see the expression on my dad's face and my mom was happy to see him. She loves him. It was a really good moment." 

Kelly's message wasn't about recruiting, but it was about putting the final touches on the process as the early signing period is quickly approaching. 

"We through the paperwork for signing and then he talked about Notre Dame and any questions I had," explained Keanaaina. "We went over future plans - it was a nice visit and a nice chat. Some of it wasn't even about football. It was talking about life and how some players are doing or where he's been. He talked about the change from Hawaii to here and how he brought the South Bend weather. 

"It was just a friendly chat. It was so much fun. You're nervous because the head coach is there, but he does a great job making you feel comfortable." 

It was also a chance for Keanaaina's parents to get to know Kelly a little better, but also to embarrass him a little bit.

"You walk around your house where you grew up and your future head coach is there," Keanaaina said. "You show him your room and the pictures when you were younger that you hope no one sees. It just makes you feel like more of a family." 

Elston also went out of his way to on Thursday as he made a stop by Six Zero Academy to break down some film.

"It means so much," Keanaaina explained. "It's so helpful. You can actually see your future coach and have him coach you a little bit. It was a little scary and nerve-racking.

"Since I'm not going to be able to enroll early, he was able to show me what he wants me to do there. Having him personally say that to me and tell me he was impressed with me was fantastic." 

The four-star prospect couldn't be more excited to get to South Bend in June after Thursday, but also after watching Notre Dame's defense grow this season.

"Notre Dame's defense is phenomenal and they always have been," said Keanaaina. "I compare them to the Broncos when we won the Super Bowl. I'm very proud of what they did this year. They focused on the linebackers coming up and stopping the run and filling their gaps. I watched the defensive linemen stunt and work between pass rush and run stop and that was amazing. 

"Coach said he wants me at the 1-Tech, the 2I and even the 3. He explained they had zero depth at times, so having me there would be helpful. I'm really excited to get up there." 

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