Story Poster
Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Film Don't Lie | Kahanu Kia

November 19, 2020

Notre Dame needed linebackers in this class, emphasis on the plural. The one they have committed, Prince Kollie‍, is an outstanding prospect, but one wasn’t going to be enough. They just went from one to two after picking up rising prospect Kahanu Kia‍ out of Hawaii.

To no one’s surprise, Kia is barely recognized as a prospect by most of the major sites because he’s not someone they have evaluated in person. Heck, ESPN doesn’t even have him ranked at all.

Ignore that noise and watch the film. Kia is a good prospect who I believe will rise if/when he has a senior season.

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 220

Projected Position: Inside linebacker

ISD Grade: 89 (3-star)

National Average Grade: 85.0 (3-star)

What he does best:

Right at the top of the list for linebackers to be able to play at the college level is the ability to run and cover. Kia checks the boxes.

He shows fluidity with his movement when dropping and tackles well in space. He can play out in the perimeter or in the box. He’s a versatile player who has demonstrated he can do a bit of everything like rushing the passer.


He’s decisive and shows physicality as a tackler and is adept at slipping blocks.


Kia has plus instincts. He’s someone who finds his way to the football. All playmakers do and he has the athleticism and ball skills to make something of it when opportunities are presented to him.


What he needs to improve:

I would like to see him be better at block destruction. Linebackers can flourish when they are unblocked, but at certain points they are going to take the hard road to the ball by fighting across the face of a guard.

He can lunge as a tackler at times. I’d like to see him leave his feet a little less and run through more tackles.

What’s his ceiling?

There is no way to watch Kia and not think of current Notre Dame linebacker Marist Liufau. It’s not just because of where both are from either. They just show similar instincts and fire on the field.

A lot of what I wrote about Liufau when he committed to Notre Dame is applicable to Kia as well. He’s the kind of kid who normally ends up ballin’ out for a program like Utah for multiple seasons while Irish fans wish they could have offered him.

That’s not an issue anymore. Notre Dame has made Hawaii a priority and they continue to land quality prospects from there. Kia is a bit more developed physically compared to Liufau and a bit further ahead as a potential inside linebacker. I think he has all of the traits to be a very good one for the Irish and he is right on the borderline of being a 4-star prospect for me.

He has the potential to develop into a starter for the Irish and a very good one. I see his future at Buck or Mike and believe he will get in the mix there after a year or two in the program.

BREAKING | 2021 Hawaii LB Kahanu Kia Commits to Notre Dame

Robby Toma Excited for Kahanu Kia's Future at Notre Dame

subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.