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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2025 LB Ko'o Kia Recaps Notre Dame Visit

January 15, 2024

Ko'o Kia‍ is no stranger to Notre Dame. 

The 2025 Punahou (Hawaii) linebacker had been to Notre Dame previously, but it had been a few years since he stepped foot in South Bend. 

Kia returned to Notre Dame this weekend with his father to help move his older brother, Kahanu, back on campus following his two-year LDS mission. 

And despite the excitement of his older brother returning to the program, Kia was able to find time for his own recruitment as the Fighting Irish have started to push hard for the 6-foot-3, 210-pounder. 

“It was great,” Kia told ISD. “Coming back has been nice. Being here as a recruit, I’m really soaking everything in and realizing what a special place this is.” 

The ISD four-star prospect was able to sit down with head coach Marcus Freeman and Director of Recruiting Chad Bowden at various points of the weekend. 

Notre Dame’s message is a clear one. 

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

Another highlight of the trip was getting to chat with defensive coordinator Al Golden and linebackers coach Max Bullough. 

The time spent with Bullough went like many other recruits as Kia quickly found common ground and left impressed. 

“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.” 

At Punahou, Kia plays on the edge quite a bit, but moves around the defense as a chess piece. If he were to choose Notre Dame, the defensive staff would do much of the same to maximize his strengths. 

“I’d be an inside backer, but they move people around a lot so I’d be playing a variety of roles on the defense,” Kia said. 

The biggest surprise of the visit probably shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone who follows the weather in South Bend. The Michiana area received a solid dose of snow starting on Friday and the temperatures stayed under zero for most of the last few days. 

“The biggest surprise was the snow,” laughed Kia. “I’ve gotten a little more used to it, though.” 

As for what’s next, Kia will return to Hawaii this week and will plan out the next steps in his recruitment. 

“I’m not sure yet,” Kia said when asked what his next in his process. “We’ll see. I still have things to think about.” 

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