Irish close to landing defensive tackle?

Notre Dame and Penn State appear to be the finalists for three-star defensive tackle Kurt Hinish following his weekend visit to South Bend. Hinish will announce his decision on Monday night live on KDKA in Pittsburgh.

Three-star defensive tackle Kurt Hinish spent two days at Notre Dame last weekend.

Now he’s a day away from announcing his college commitment. The 6-foot-3, 258-pound athlete from Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School will announce on KDKA in Pittsburgh on Monday night.

While his visit to South Bend went well, Hinish said the announcement date was set long before the visit.

“I had it planned,” said Hinish. “I was telling everybody (it would be announced) when I come back from Notre Dame. I pretty much had it narrowed down to Penn State and Notre Dame and when I come back from Notre Dame I'm going to make my decision very, very shortly after to see which school I wanted to go to.”

Notre Dame certainly helped its cause by providing Hinish with information overload regarding its football program and academics.

He even learned a few other facts about the school.

“I actually didn't know that the Dome of the Virgin Mary was made of all 24 carat gold and every nine or 10 years they scrape it off and put new gold on it,” Hinish said. “They take that gold and put it into their football helmets. I thought that was really cool.”

Hinish also was impressed with the Guglielmino Athletic Complex.

“Their football facility, I thought it was going to be some huge facility,” he said. “It was just a nice facility. It looks like a church from the outside. You go inside and it's beautiful.”

On Friday, Hinish and his parents spent time with the Irish coaching staff.

That let him get to know defensive line coach Keith Gilmore and sit in on a couple of team meetings.

“It was great,” Hinish said. “I had a sit down one-on-one meeting with coach Gilmore and I got to go to a couple of defensive meetings to see what was going on there and I got to watch practice. It was nice to see the coaches in their atmosphere and to see how they acted at practice. I really enjoyed all the coaches. They are all great guys.”

Gilmore made it clear how important Hinish is to the recruiting class of 2017.

“He told me that they really, really want me and like me,” Hinish said. “He said I remind him of Sheldon Day, which is a defensive tackle that they had last year. He's a little bit shorter than I am but he's about the same weight. He said that he's just a bad ass and he had to have me.”

Hinish also spoke with Irish head coach Brian Kelly.

“Me and my parents sat down with coach Kelly on Friday and had a nice conversation,” Hinish said. “I got to meet him for the first time. He talked about football and outside of football what Notre Dame has to offer me and what I bring to the table for Notre Dame.”

Now, Hinish has to process what he learned about the Irish and compare that to what Penn State has to offer him. He’ll announce his decision at 6:45 p.m. on Monday.

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