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Notre Dame Football

Choosing Hard Comes Easy for Notre Dame LB Bodie Kahoun

June 28, 2024
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When Bodie Kahoun committed to Notre Dame in May of 2023, the former three-star prospect knew he had work to do.

The 6-foot-3, 221-pounder had been committed to Ohio State lacrosse, but following his junior season on the football field, Kahoun exploded on the recruiting trail.  

Kahoun played a more safety role as a junior and transitioned to his future position as a linebacker during his senior season. 

The adjustment to college is always eye-opening and Kahoun saw that during one of his first summer workouts. 

“Definitely my first full team workout in the stadium, where it was probably 120 degrees on the turf,” stated Kahoun. “It was just how fast everyone moves. I’m from a high school where I was one of the bigger guys, obviously. Coming here, you’re obviously next to wide receivers where in high school they’re 150 pounds and here they’re 200-and-some.” 

Kahoun, who grew up in Indiana and Ohio before moving to Virginia, will start his career learning the Mike position, but given his lacrosse background, it won’t be a shock to see him have the chance to work at all three spots. 

“Yeah, it’s my favorite position because you can go left and right,” Kahoun said of Mike. “You’re not so forced onto one side of the field. You’re kind of like the quarterback of the defense.” 

There will be a learning curve for Kahoun to master the linebacker position due to him playing it essentially for a season before entering college. Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman knows Kahoun’s background, but he still expects perfection from his freshman.

“My first live reps in front of him, he pulled me aside and critiqued how I did it,” explained Kahoun. “Again, he’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, but he can flip the switch, which I love.

“It’s not going to be, ‘Hey buddy, do this.’ I like how he’ll get in people’s faces, including mine, and help them out real quick.” 

Notre Dame defensive coordinator Al Golden and linebackers coach Max Bullough have already shown some tough love, which is also why Kahoun picked the Fighting Irish. 

“He’s a total badass,” Kahoun said of Bullough. “One thing I love about him and Golden, yesterday I messed up on a rep, and he pulled me out. I lost my chance. There you go. He’s like, ‘Next man.’ And if Jack (Kiser) messes up, I’ll go in. One thing I like is that no one has a spot. It’s not guaranteed. It’s all about who works the hardest.” 

Like many in his class, Kahoun wants to get on the field as a true freshman and he doesn’t care what type of role. Special teams are often the place to start building trust, and Kahoun already has goals in that regard. 

“I made that a very big thing,” stated Kahoun when asked about his relationship with Marty Biagi. “My goal is to have a close relationship with him because obviously, I’m behind some of the best linebackers in the country, including sixth-year Jack Kiser, my fellow classmate – Kyngstonn (Viliamu-Asa), Drayk Bowen, Preston Zinter, all the good, great talent.

“I’m obviously going to work my butt off to be on the field as much as I can, but definitely, special teams is a big goal for me, too.” 

After his first month on campus, Kahoun hasn’t been surprised by anything on the field, but off the field, Notre Dame’s veterans have impressed and even shocked him with their opening arms. 

“I would say I envisioned it being hard, and I chose hard,” said Kahoun. “I love it so far. What I didn’t expect was how nice everyone would be. I really didn’t. On all my other visits, when I’ve hung out with other college football guys, I’ve been very intimidated by — I guess — their size or whatever. These guys have been nothing but great in the locker room, on the field, outside the field, in class. Just overall, it’s a great team.” 

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