Player analysis, quotes, recruiting timeline and implications for Notre Dame recruiting are broken down below in this commitment analysis of future Irish linebacker Kolin Hill of Schertz, Texas.
Profile: Kolin Hill
Location: Schertz (Texas) Samuel Clemens
Weight: 220 pounds
Hill was a bit of an unknown heading into his senior season, but after his film was released his recruiting interests heated up in a big way. He plays defensive end in high school, but will play linebacker for Notre Dame
. Because he is on the line it is hard to gauge his ability to track the ball in the open field, but he covers the flats well sniffing out sweeps, tosses and screen plays.
He has a high motor and obviously has the ability to put a lot of pressure on the quarterback with his outside speed rush. The staff loves his natural athleticism and versatility, a staple for 'backers recruited by Notre Dame. At 6-foot-2, 220-pounds, Hill has the frame to add a considerable amount of weight in order to be an ideal CAT linebacker in Notre Dame's 3-4 scheme. Hill was a recruit already set for a rankings bump when new Midlands rankings are released later this week on Scout.com.
Like it's mentioned in the paragraph above, Hill did not receive much attention on the recruiting trail until late in the process. In fact, prior to when Notre Dame offered in mid-November, Hill was considering Boise State, Colorado and Texas State. Hill planned on attending the same college as his twin brother Kaleb, and for much of their high school careers, they had the same offer list. When Notre Dame extended an offer, Hill barely knew he was even on Notre Dame's radar. The Irish really liked what they saw from his film and extended an offer shortly thereafter.
After Notre Dame expressed interest in the form of a committable offer, in-state powerhouses Texas and Texas Tech took notice. Hill visited Texas in early December, and he maintained weekly contact with the Longhorns' staff. However, if an offer were to come through for Hill, Texas informed him there would first have to be a decommitment in its class. That knowledge, coupled with a great official visit to Notre Dame during the banquet weekend, and his focus on academics, Hill committed to the Irish.
"I talked to my dad about it, and Notre Dame gives me the best opportunity to succeed academically. Notre Dame is one of the best schools in the country. That was really what it came down to."
"I was able to talk with most all of the coaches. Coach Kelly told me that he likes how I can play multiple positions. Notre Dame likes me for outside linebacker for now, but I may end up playing inside."
"The banquet was a great experience. It was nice to hear the parents talk about Notre Dame has impacted their kids' lives. That showed me I can definitely see myself fitting in at Notre Dame."
(On holding out for a Texas offer) "I'm not really sure because I don't want to be anybody's last resort. I want to be someone's first priority."
What this means for Notre Dame
Linebacker was an area that needed to be addressed in this recruiting cycle, and Notre Dame certainly has attacked its needs. Hill joins future fellow Notre Dame linebackers in the class of 2014 Nile Sykes
, Jonathan Bonner
, Jhonny Williams, Drue Tranquill
, Greer Martini
and Richard Yeargin
. The Irish are still after Nyles Morgan
and Andrew Williams
as potential additions to this class.
Looking at Hill, Sykes, Williams, and even Tranquill, Notre Dame was not reluctant to identify diamonds in the rough in this recruiting class with regards to linebackers. Moreover, Notre Dame can get these prospects on campus and in Paul Longo's program, and develop them from there. Depending on natural strengths and weaknesses, as well as depth, Notre Dame will have the ability in the near future to mold its linebackers as needed.
Taking a look at Notre Dame's entire linebacker and defensive line haul this class, seven of its 12 guys are swing prospects at this point, if you include the distinct roles Notre Dame employees for its middle and outside linebackers.
Notre Dame currently sits in Scout.com's top five of the national team recruiting rankings, specifically at No. 3. With 22 commitments in the fold, Notre Dame will likely make room for three to five more.
Notre Dame's linebacker depth in 2014
5th year - Kendall Moore
Seniors - Jarrett Grace
, Anthony Rabasa
, Ben Councell
, Joe Schmidt
, Ishaq Williams
Junior - Romeo Okwara
Sophomores - Jaylon Smith
, Michael Deeb
(RS), Doug Randolph
Freshmen -- Richard Yeargin, Greer Martini, Kolin Hill, Nile Sykes, Jhonny Williams, Drue Tranquill