Notre Dame hit the jackpot when it signed Manti Te’o out of Hawaii in 2009. The Irish haven’t landed an Islander since but they haven’t stopped looking.
Irish assistant Mike Denbrock is expected to check on junior safety Kekaula Kaniho later this spring.
“I heard from coach Denbrock a few times,” said Kaniho, a 5-foot-11, 175-pounder from Kahuku High School in Honolulu. “He was just telling me a little bit about the University and seeing if it fit what I had in mind for school. He also said he’s trying to get down here to see me this spring.”
Thanks to Notre Dame’s recruitment of Te’o and Robby Toma, who also signed in that class, Kaniho is familiar with what the Irish can offer student-athletes.
“That’s one of the best schools in the country educationally and academically,” he said.
Kaniho personally knows both Te’o and Toma and was inspired by the path each took to South Bend.
“I know (Te’o) and his family well,” Kaniho said. “He made the dream for us island boys to go play DI college ball a reality and set a great example for us of what it takes to be the best. He’s my best friend’s cousin and he’s also always around our school and community when he comes home. I know Robby too. I worked out with him at the same place a couple of times and talked about football and college and stuff like that.”
Kaniho, who holds scholarship offers from Colorado, Hawaii, Vanderbilt and Washington State, has already visited Hawaii and hopes to see a few more schools this spring and summer.
“I’m planning to hopefully visit (Washington State) and Vanderbilt this summer,” he said. “Just those two visits and Stanford’s football camp.”
Scout.com lists Kaniho as a cornerback but he’s being recruited primarily as a safety.