Incoming Irish: Kolin Hill

Kolin Hill doesn't want to be anyone's last resort. The outside linebacker from Schertz, Texas had already committed to Notre Dame when first-year Texas Longhorns coach Charlie Strong offered him a place in their program.

?When a Texas football player gets an offer from Texas, it's like a mobster getting an offer from Don Corleone -- you can't really refuse it. But Hill stuck by his commitment to Notre Dame, and bristled at being overlooked by his home state team in the first place.

"Obviously it was a little tough to turn down Texas because my family could travel to those games," Hill said. "But they came in late in the process and I had already chosen Notre Dame because it was a perfect fit. You want to be somebody's first choice, not their last choice."

The step up to college football is a big challenge for the six foot two, 220-pound player from Samuel Clemens High School, but Hill is relishing the chance to show his worth to everyone at Notre Dame.

"I am a bit nervous but I am also excited to meet my teammates and coaches," Hill said. "I am used to being at the top so it will be different to come in at the bottom and have to prove myself."

The time between the end of high school and freshman year is when a lot of students begin to mature into adults. Hill has the added scenario of needing to physically mature as well, but he is confident that his off-season program will have him in good shape to compete this summer.

"I have definitely been working harder than when I was in high school and I am working with a great trainer at the moment," Hill said. "He isn't training me like a boy any more. He is training like a man."

Talking points for any incoming freshmen is whether they will redshirt and what position they will play. Hill's coaches see him at outside linebacker but haven't conclusively decided whether he will redshirt or not.

"I haven't talked to Coach (Brian) VanGorder in a few weeks so I don't know about redshirting," Hill said. "But he told me that if I show what I can do I will be out on the field. It is up to me to perform and I am looking forward to the opportunity."

Hill didn't play a lot at outside linebacker during his senior year because injuries on his team's defensive line forced him into action up front. He nonetheless has plenty of experience at the position, and while there is a lot of competition at linebacker, Hill thinks he has the skills to contribute to the Irish defense.

"I am quick and good on my feet against the pass," Hill said. "I didn't play a lot at outside linebacker last year but I am looking forward to playing there again."

Hill stresses that coming to Notre Dame was a four-year decision based on getting his degree and he is thinking of majoring in business studies. But despite his commitment to academics, he is looking forward to playing football, and in particular, one game in a few years time where he can prove why he should never be someone's last choice.

"I can't wait to get out in front of those Fighting Irish fans and watch them react to us," Hill said. "And it will be great to play against USC because that is a big rivalry. But I am really looking forward to the Texas game in 2015. I want to show them what they missed."


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