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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Film Don't Lie | Donovan Hinish

June 4, 2021

Kurt Hinish didn’t move the needle in recruiting when he committed to Notre Dame and neither did his brother, Donovan Hinish‍, when he committed to the Irish today.

Who cares? All Kurt did was become a multi-year starter, got better every year, and set a tone up front with his level of play and work ethic. Donovan has the potential to have that same kind of impact at Notre Dame, which is exactly why he’s a player that the staff wants in their program.

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 277

Projected Position: Nose tackle

ISD Grade: 89 (3-star)

National Average Grade: 88.7 (3-star)

What he does best:

If a defensive tackle is undersized, he better make up for it with other traits and Hinish does. It starts with a very good first step. It’s the biggest reason why he has the potential to be a one-gap penetrator that can be disruptive.


He has a great motor. It’s just obvious the kind of passion he plays with when you see him running to the ball or fighting through a double team to get in on a sack like this play.


Hinish plays with violence. We see that with how he tackles, how he blocks on offense, and with how heavy his hands can be. This punch that jacks up the guard is the kind of thing that will allow him to compete at the level he needs.


What he needs to improve:

He has to put on weight and get stronger, which is pretty much a prerequisite for any defensive line recruit, but it matters more with Hinish. He’s never going to have the ideal measurables so he’ll have to work to put on the weight to play the double and win at the point of attack.

His brother probably put on too much weight too soon in order to play as a freshman. Donovan isn’t someone who will have to worry about that. He’ll have time to put it on the right way.

Though he does a good job or working the edge as a pass rusher, he has to develop some finish with his hands as well as some counters. I think his pass rush potential is fairly high for his position because of his first step, but it’s not going anywhere without his hands coming together with it.

What’s his ceiling?

The depth chart for Notre Dame at defensive tackle looks unrecognizable compared to when Kurt arrived on campus. Because of that, it’s doubtful Donovan will be a three-year starter like his brother.

I do think he has the potential to develop into a rotation player after a year or two in the program and could become a starter later in his career. I think he’s a player that any program can win with even if I’m uncertain about his ceiling as a potential NFL prospect down the road.

Who he could be:

I know everyone is thinking about his older brother, but I believe he is more similar physically to Howard Cross, but less advanced with his hands.

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