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BREAKING | 2025 LB Ko'o Kia Commits to Notre Dame

January 15, 2024

The Hawaii pipeline remains strong at Notre Dame. 

2025 Punahou School (Hawaii) linebacker Ko'o Kia‍ has given his verbal pledge to the Fighitng Irish and becomes the latest Hawaiian to pick Marcus Freeman’s program. 

“They want me here,” stated Kia. “They're ready to do great things here and they want me here with them.” 

The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder picked up and early offer from the Irish and then had a monster junior season to move up the board. Kia recorded 83 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, eight sacks, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, seven pass breakups and one interception in 2023. 

Kia’s commitment comes after moving his brother, Kahanu, back on campus following his two-year LDS mission in Raleigh. The older Kia brother played his freshman season for the Irish in 2021 and recorded four tackles before leaving the program. 

Notre Dame made Kia a priority with the earlier offer, but also made it clear how much they wanted him by sending special teams coordinator Marty Biagi to Hawaii twice since the fall. 

During his visit, Kia not only felt like a priority, but developed strong relationships with Max Bullough and the rest of the Irish staff. 

“I’ve had a great time with them,” Kia explained. “They really know what they’re talking about. I loved sitting down and just talking ball with Coach Bullough. I was able to learn a lot.” 

Kia also comes from the hailed Punahou football program, where his father, Nate, is the head coach. Punahou is the same program produced Manti Te’o, Robby Toma, Marist Liufau and Kia’s brother. 

The ISD four-star prospect is the 14th commitment in the class and the second linebacker in the class joining Illinois standout Dom Hulak‍. Perhaps the most interesting piece of Kia and Hulak in the same class is the chance both could grow into edge rushers. ‍

Film Don’t Lie | LB Ko’o Kia

Offers: Arizona, Arizona State, BYU, Cal, Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon, Texas, USC, Utah, Vanderbilt, Washington and Washington State 

ISD: 90 (four-star)
247: 86 (three-star)
Rivals: 5.5 (three-star)

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