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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2021 LB Kahanu Kia Planning Notre Dame Visit

October 15, 2020

2021 Punahou (Hawaii) linebacker Kahanu Kia‍ is making the best of a frustrating situation as the Aloha State isn't playing football this fall. 

The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder has continued working out and will head to the mainland later this fall for a camp to get some quality reps in.

"It's good," Kia said of the extended offseason. "We really don't have anything official with a season until at least next year. Myself and a couple other guys from around the state are doing practices, so we can go to a camp in Utah. That's pretty much all we're doing football-wise." 

The camp will allow prospects to get film who aren't playing this fall, but for guys like Kia, it will allow them to hit someone for possibly a final time and to keep sharp. 

"It's a padded camp that's like three days," explained Kia. "The first day will be drills and 1-on-1s. The second day will be 7-on-7 and 11s. The last day, I think will be straight 11s. It's to help get guys film that need it and for me, I just want to get some reps in because I don't think I'll have a chance to play my final season." 

Kia will also be making the trip to the mainland to help close his recruiting process. The three-star prospect plans to visit his father's alma mater, Utah and then head to South Bend to check out Notre Dame. 

"I'm not sure what dates, but after the trip, I think we're going to drive up to Salt Lake City and visit Utah's campus and then go to South Bend after that," said Kia.  

Now, the Notre Dame staff won’t be able to interact with Kia if he can get to South Bend,  but it would be a massive win for the Irish as the Punahou star is one of the last names on the board in the 2021 recruiting class. 

The Hawaii native and his family have remained in consistent contact with the Irish staff since being offered in September.

"We keep in contact and they've told my parents they aren't really recruiting another linebacker right now," Kia explained. "That really means a lot to me. I've built a great relationship with them and I'm really excited about it." 

Notre Dame is a program Kia might not have seen with his own eyes, but he's familiar with it as his former teammate Marist Liufau is fighting for the starting spot at Buck linebacker. 

"I've pretty much watched every game," stated Kia. "I saw Marist start in his first game and it was so awesome. We've been watching every game and Notre Dame is looking super impressive right now." 

Kia is also well aware of Notre Dame's recruiting success in Hawaii. 

Manti Te'o, Robby Toma and Liufau come from the Punahou program and Kia's aware of the other prospects who signed with Notre Dame. 

"It'd be hard if there was nobody," Kia said of Notre Dame. "Honestly, it's really not that bad. Not every Hawaii guy goes there, but there are some connections, especially with guys like Marist and Robby - just people I've known and trust. It's really cool."

The Fighting Irish aren't the only program recruiting Kia hard as Stanford, UCLA and Utah are very much in the mix. 

A familiar name for Notre Dame fans has also been making sure to get in Kia's ear. 2020 Stanford signee Alaka'i Gilman, Alohi's brother, played with Kia at Punahou and has made sure to let him know he'd love to play with him in Palo Alto.

"We'll talk about it every once in a while," laughed Kia. 'He's talked to me about Stanford even before I got my offer. He's preached to me about how good of a program it is, but I still have to make that decision."

When it comes to a decision, Kia doesn't have a date locked in, but feels the trip this fall will lead to clarity. 

"I think I'll do it before the end of this year," said Kia. "I definitely think after I take these campus tours to see how it is, I think I'll be pretty solid on making a decision after that. I'm not sure, but I think it'll be soon after those." 

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