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Notre Dame Football

Hinish Homecoming Goes Beyond Notre Dame-Pitt

October 23, 2020

This weekend will be a Homecoming for the Hinish family as their son returns to play the area school with his football team.

Then, they’ll do it again the very next day.

On Friday night, Donovan Hinish and Central Catholic High School teammates will play against Baldwin High School, the school in the junior offensive/defensive lineman’s home district.

Then, on Saturday afternoon, Kurt Hinish and Notre Dame will play Pittsburgh at Heinz Field.

“It’s kind of a double-whammy for the Hinish family,” Central Catholic High School head coach Terry Totten says.

“It truly is a homecoming weekend for us and a fun-filled football weekend,” the Hinish brothers’ mother, Tawnie says.

Earlier this week, Hinish embraced the mentality of his hometown.

“A lot of the people are blue-collar, hardworking people,” he said of Pittsburgh. “It's the kind of mindset me and some of my teammates from Pittsburgh bring to this facility every day - bring your lunch pail type of mentality every day. We kind of carry that blue-collar attitude on our sleeves.”

That’s certainly the mentality Totten remembers.

“To me, it was his blue-collar attitude that made him and his great work ethic,” Hinish’s high school head coach said. “He’s a physical kid who loves the strain and toughness of the game.”

Whether it was on the field or in the weight room, “Whatever we were doing, he was the most physical guy.”

Totten remembers walking into school once as the program was preparing to change over the platforms in the weight room. Hinish and his cousin were there to help.

“I told them, ‘I’m going to go upstairs in the tool closet and get you some tools to help me take these out,’” Totten recalled.

By the time he returned about 30 minutes later, the cousins had already removed more than a couple of the platforms by hand.

That toughness has certainly benefited Hinish at Notre Dame, but it goes beyond that, according to head coach Brian Kelly.

“He's played a lot of football,” Kelly said. “He's smart, he can read stances, he can sense where the back is lined up. He understands what opponents are trying to do scheme-wise and he can defeat that scheme in front of him because of his veteran experience and his ability to watch a lot of film and know his opponent.”

Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi recognizes all of the aspects of Hinish’s game.

“He's tough and physical and smart,” Narduzzi said. “He reads blocks well. He's a really good football player.”

“He is smart,” Totten added. “He works at the game, but to me, it was just, ‘Let’s go! I’m going to outphysical you.’

“He’s going to do what’s necessary to compete.”

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