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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2021 LB Kahanu Kia Blown Away by Notre Dame Visit

November 8, 2020

2021 Punahou (Hawaii) linebacker Kahanu Kia‍ made the trip to South Bend knowing he wasn't going to get into Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday night, but it was well worth it.

The three-star prospect arrived on Thursday for a multi-day visit and thoroughly enjoyed watching the Irish knock off No. 1 Clemson. 

"It was crazy," Kia told Irish Sports Daily. "I wish I was able to go to the game, but talk about a game.

"We watched it from our hotel. Our hotel was close, but holy cow. I was so close to the game and it was one of the biggest games. It was so special." 

The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder had been keeping a close eye on Clark Lea's defense since he got the offer a few months ago and because his former teammates Marist Liufau currently plays for the Irish. 

While Kia was familiar with the scheme, the Hawaii native was still blown away by what he saw the Irish do to shut down Travis Etienne. 

"Oh my gosh," stated Kia. "It was lockdown. They held one of the best running backs in college football to 28 yards. That was amazing. The front seven was on lockdown and even the back end was awesome.”

Outside of the game, Kia was able to walk around campus and simply take in the sights on Friday and Saturday. 

He heard a lot about it from Liufau and former Notre Dame receiver Robby Toma, but experiencing it made the trip even more special. 

"I got to walk around campus and it was beautiful," explained Kia. "This campus is special. We always hear about how when you're on campus, it's awesome, but when we were walking around, you felt it. This place is crazy.

The experience also was significant for Notre Dame because they had only been able to show Kia the campus virtually. 

"It looked kind of old, but when you're on it, it's super nice and a lot of stuff is renovated," Kia said. "We got to walk around the stadium and it was really nice." 

That said, the visit was still tough as Notre Dame's staff and players couldn't interact with Kia due to the NCAA mandating a dead period through the end of the year. 

"It was tough," Kia explained. "You wish you could have seen and talked to everyone like if it was an official visit. I felt it was a good enough visit where I got wanted I needed. It's the same with the Utah trip. 

"I saw the things I really wanted to see how people are on campus and everything. It was good."

When it comes to a decision, Kia will take two more independent visits before he goes back to Hawaii and then he'll likely be ready to announce his decision. 

"I think soon," said Kia. "We're going to go to Stanford and UCLA. I think I'll know pretty soon after that."

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