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Linebacker Kolin Hill (also) joins the 2014 recruiting class

Dec 15, 2013, 7:19 PM EST

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The weekend continues to be kind to Notre Dame. In a matter of 24 hours, a linebacking corps that looked thin continues to be bolstered.

A big part of that is the commitment of Texas linebacker Kolin Hill, who returned home from his official visit Sunday and called the Irish coaching staff to commit, joining Nile Sykes in choosing the Irish this afternoon.

Hill is another newcomer to the recruiting scene, picking the Irish over Boise State, Colorado and Texas Tech. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder brings speed and quickness to a position that the Irish are looking to upgrade athletically. Hill would certainly do that, with impressive top-end speed and edge rush moves that pop off his highlight tape.

Jake Brown of Irish Illustrated caught up with Hill, who laid out his rationale ($) for jumping on the Notre Dame offer.

“We just sat down and talked,” Hill said. “I told you (Texas) Tech and ND were interests of mine.? We talked about the pros of cons of going to both schools. Definitely Notre Dame was the best choice for me academically and from a football standpoint. You’ve gotta think about your future.

“Texas Tech, you could go there for four years and you might not even know what your job is gonna be. Notre Dame, you go there and you’re set for life.”

While Hill’s offers aren’t as impressive as some other Irish recruits, he’s received a lot more attention as his senior tape circulates, with Texas the latest to kick the tires on him. And while he and his twin brother just returned from Colorado, where they both hold scholarship offers, Hill decided Notre Dame is the place for him.

Next up for Hill is his position. He’ll come to South Bend with the ability to play multiple spots, either as a traditional (but undersized) Cat linebacker or fill out and grow into an inside linebacker. With the addition of Drue Tranquill, Sykes, and Hill, it appears the staff has slightly tweaked the formula it uses to evaluate inside linebacker prospects, with athleticism and speed a bigger priority.

Hill is recruit No. 21 for the Irish. That number could climb tomorrow as well, with blue-chip tight end Tyler Luatua announcing his college choice tomorrow.

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  1. 25kgold - Dec 15, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    OOHHhhhhWWeee!! Hook’em Irish!

  2. longliveautrydenson - Dec 15, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    I don’t know about you all but I’m as excited for this kid as just about any other recruit in the 2014 class. He looks dominant in his senior tape and appears to have the elite speed that we’ve been missing for the most part in the LB core. Texas is going to be kicking themselves for missing on this guy a few years down the road.

  3. onward2victory - Dec 15, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    These 2 kids that committed today seem like they could be really good players. I just hope with the addition of two linebackers that it doesn’t mean the Irish are out of it with Nyles Morgan and expecting to lose Yeargin.

  4. gmenfan1982 - Dec 15, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    I love what I’m seeing.

  5. ndoneill - Dec 15, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    A Notre Dame degree is extremely valuable, a lot more so than most other competitive football schools. It’s Notre Dame, Stanford, Northwestern, and Vanderbilt — then everybody else. Good academics are definitely a comparative advantage for ND over most other schools and I’m glad the coaches are using this as a selling point and not something to apologize about.

    However, I’m a little off put by the “set for life” line — a lot of recruits have used this in explaining their decision to come to ND. But unless there is an institutional process set up to help those student-athletes who don’t go pro find jobs, I’d hesitate to say you’re “set for life.” As recent grad, getting the degree is the first step. But you’ve still gotta work really hard to find a job. Granted this is much easier to do with a degree from Notre Dame in a real major, but still.

    • longliveautrydenson - Dec 15, 2013 at 10:36 PM

      I think it’s more of a figure of speech than anything else. Part of Notre Dame’s recruiting pitch is showing students how much more money they’ll make over the course of their lifetime with an ND degree versus just about any other in D1 football. Also, Notre Dame works incredibly hard to make sure all of its student athletes graduate and the alumni network goes the extra mile to prevent people from slipping through the cracks if they don’t make it to the pros. This isn’t to say that there’s not a lot of hard work ahead for these guys, but Notre Dame offers a long term security that most student athletes can’t find anywhere else.

      • ndoneill - Dec 15, 2013 at 10:56 PM

        I agree that an ND degree puts you in a much better position than a major in Physical Education from State U, where the coaches didn’t make you go to class and the profs looked the other way. I just hope no one expects that they graduate and then just because you have an ND degree people are offering you jobs hand-over-fist. I just hope we’re not over-promising and then leaving these guys in the lurch when they graduate, but it sounds like systems are in place to help them find employment. Maybe you’re right that the “set for life” line is a figure of speech describing the better education and value of an ND degree and not an expectation.

      • longliveautrydenson - Dec 15, 2013 at 11:22 PM

        Yeah ultimately I think “set for life” is something that he’s just picked up from talking to our coaches. If you watch the clip below, one of our commitments, Jay Hayes, gives the Notre Dame recruiting pitch almost word for word (starts around 1:00). I don’t remember if he says “set for life” but he talks about a 40 year plan instead of a 4 year plan. It’s kind’ve awesome and it shows you that Notre Dame is making an investment in these kids long term and not just hanging them out to dry once they graduate.

    • 1historian - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:09 AM

      The kid is 18 years old, and from the tone of his comments it would seem that his parents had a lot of influence in his decision, which to me would indicate that they stressed the ACADEMICS. Notre Dame ALWAYS stresses academics when recruiting and they never fail to let us know of the high student athlete graduation rate, of which they are justifiably proud. Given these things it might be wise to cut the kid some slack. I don’t know about you but I said one or two silly things when I was his age.

      (That was however so long ago that I can’t remember what they were.)

    • papadec - Dec 16, 2013 at 3:47 PM

      The Varsity letters in football and/or basketball probably help more than just the degree with alumni contacts.

  6. bernhtp - Dec 15, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    The recruiting strategy seems to be shifting a bit to kids with a physical, athletic and character profile they think they can develop into really good players, but that aren’t at the top of recruiting charts.

    • dickasman - Dec 15, 2013 at 10:04 PM

      I was thinking it shifted to “anybody that won’t leave us hanging”

  7. fatguystrangler - Dec 15, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    Its good to see the pipeline into Texas continue to grow the last two recruiting cycles. It’s crucial for future success to continue to get quality players from states like there in Louisiana (Tillery, ’15).

    • fatguystrangler - Dec 15, 2013 at 10:14 PM

      ^and Louisiana, I mean

  8. 25kgold - Dec 15, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    Missing piece to the puzzle:

    • alsatiannd - Dec 16, 2013 at 3:01 PM

      Nice footage. But ugh the music. Really?

  9. jerseyshorendfan1 - Dec 16, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    This kid Has good technique, good nose for the ball, great pursuit speed and seems to really enjoy being a destructive force for the opponent. Looks like a good pick up. As for the set for life stuff, I think employers probably know that an ND football player has had to actually attend class in a real major field of study and has probably done some critical thinking along the way. More than you get out of most non-athlete college grads these days (even those from the “good” schools).

  10. irishpuma - Dec 16, 2013 at 4:00 AM

    First off GOLDEN ARMY 14!!! Back to the Top!! Excited this class is shaping up very nice!

    I would argue that “set for life” is closer to the truth than not. If a player has a no football career but graduates ND with a degree he has a major step up on 95% of the population. If he has a modest football career and gets his degree from ND he is set up for success. If he chooses to stay in the area he is really set. He can do speaking engagements, autograph events, local radio and TV local sponsorships etc. Its all about revenue streams baby!! He has also gotten sharper and polished from the interviews, pressure and 24/7 medial attention. Skill sets you will not learn or get at most other schools. Exposure is good! Worst case he can sit back and show his kids 48 games of himself on TV lol.

    On top of that ND has the most active alumni association in the world and lifetime job placement. Does that mean he gets to sit around and do nothing and live the rest of his days in a mansion? No. But barring a breakdown or disease he will not be paycheck to paycheck and always have food, family and a nice roof over his head.

    It seems to me these kids are getting it and I think it is the exact right pitch for the type of people we need and the type of people that will be successful at ND.

  11. rossumnminor - Dec 16, 2013 at 4:00 AM

    Reminds me of bobby boucher.

  12. yaketyyacc - Dec 16, 2013 at 7:43 AM

    the good recruiting continues, it always has, for years and years. and then. now and then we get a coach who knows how to make these talented players into National Champions.
    so we begin the excitement that 2014 promises to be THE year. Brian Kelly is a good coach, but he will always be a bridesmaid, never a National Championship bride.

  13. irishdodger - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    Add Luatua to the mix as he just verbally committed to ND over Alabama. If this current haul holds, it will be a good one. May not be a Top 5 but who cares…I want a class that fills needs.

  14. alsatiannd - Dec 16, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    I like the plays where he decides to tackle everybody. Because if you can, why not?

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