Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2020 DB Alaka'i Gilman Recaps Impressive Irish Invasion Performance

June 10, 2019
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All eyes were on 2020 Punahou (Hawaii) defensive back Alaka'i Gilman‍ on Sunday at Irish Invasion. 

The 5-foot-11, 190-pounder wanted to show the Notre Dame staff he was worthy of an offer, but also to compete at a high level to raise his game. 

“I felt like I did pretty well,” Gilman told Irish Sports Daily. “I came out with a mindset to dominate, be physical and play each rep to my strengths. I felt like I did that a lot and I got some good reps in.” 

During the camp, Gilman was able to receive instruction and coaching from Todd Lyght and Terry Joseph. It was a chance to get to know them better, but also to get a feel for their coaching style. 

“It was really helpful,” explained Gilman. “Going into 1-on-1s, we had a chance to talk about some technique for off and press. What they taught wasn’t new to me, but good reminders for me to use in the 1-on-1 reps. I was happy we got a chance to go over those things.” 

Gilman will now head to Michigan on Monday for camp and hopes to earn an offer as he’s already been offered by a coach on the Wolverines staff. 

“I knew Coach Shaun Nua, who is the defensive line coach at Michigan,” stated Gilman. “I knew him at Arizona State and he offered me there. I built a good relationship with him. He also coached my brother at Navy before Alohi transferred to Notre Dame. 

“When he went to Michigan, we kept the relationship strong. I asked him where I was on the board and if they would evaluate me if I came to camp. He expressed they would love to see me come up.” 

As for an offer from Notre Dame, the Hawaii native is remaining patient. 

“At the end of the camp, Coach Polian expressed to everyone that they were going to get back in the room and chat to see where things go,” Gilman said. “As of right now, I’m still unsure and it’s up the air. We’ll see what the next few days or weeks bring.” 

If Notre Dame does offer Gilman, it would be a significant one and he already knows it would be a great opportunity on and off the field. 

“It’d be great,” Gilman stated. “A place like Notre Dame challenges you academically and athletically. It’s kind of an ideal place to play college football and also get a good education. It would be a great opportunity.” 

In his final rep at Irish Invasion, Gilman picked off a pass and then let the receiver know he won the rep. It’s the attitude Notre Dame needs more of on the roster. 

“Coming out here I just wanted to compete,” said Gilman. “It was the best against the best for the last couple reps. I went out there and competed. In the moment, I played my game and caught the ball. The guy under me was wrapped around my legs and pulling me down, so I was trying to get out. 

“I wasn’t being cocky, but I’d say I was being confident. Coach Polian expressed that before 1-on-1s, trash talking wasn’t invited. It’s part of the game. People play with a chip on their shoulder and that’s what comes out. I’m not regretting anything. I came out to play and dominate.”

 
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