COLUMBUS, Ohio – Notre Dame commitment Kurt Hinish left Jack McCann Stadium on Saturday a bit disappointed with his performance at The Opening Regional.
Hinish won the defensive line MVP award but he didn’t earn the coveted invitation to The Opening Finals in Oregon later this summer.
“My overall performance (went) fairly well,” he said. “My testing numbers weren't really that great. I'm not too much of a numbers guy. My skills come out in me when it's time to play ball.”
Hinish was at his best in the one on ones.
He split a pair of reps with three-star guard Jordan Reid, the offensive line MVP, then roughed up the rest of the competition.
“In the one on ones I only lost two,” he said. “Dumb mistakes like hand placement and that's really it I need to work on. My get off and my hands were very good today. Also my pad level was good today. I got up under some kids and got good leverage.”
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Notre Dame recruiting target Donovan Peoples-Jones, a four-star prospect from Detroit, didn’t win the wide receiver MVP award but he did punch his ticket to Oregon.
“I feel that I could've done better,” he said. “It's a blessing to have the opportunity to compete against the country's best.”
Peoples-Jones was nearly unstoppable. He went head-to-head against the top defensive backs, including Derek Pitts, and had no trouble making plays time and again.
Scout recruiting analyst Bill Greene was impressed with what Peoples-Jones showed at the camp.
“Even though the defensive backfield was stacked with several highly ranked cornerbacks, Donovan Peoples-Jones was a tough cover throughout the day,” Greene said. “He impressed in the slot as well as outside, showing the ability to beat press coverage and make tough catches. He has the size, speed and athletic ability college coaches covet, and Peoples-Jones was on his game Saturday. The nation's number-three wide out holds offers from many of the nation's top programs.”
Four-star offensive tackle Jedrick Wills went undefeated on the day and learned a few things he’ll add to his toolbox in the future.
“I thought I did really well considering I didn't lose one rep and really absorbed what the coaches taught us,” he said. “All of my testing numbers were good for me except for the shuttle. I could have gotten a little faster. I did great in the one on ones. There are a few things to work on, like keeping my head out and locking on after I punch.”
Wills is deceptively quick off the snap and appears to have plenty of power behind his massive frame.
Four-star sophomore tight end/defensive end Leonard Taylor only participated in a couple of the testing events so he left the camp without an official rating. Regardless, he showed enough in the drills and one on ones to defend his early offers and lofty ranking.
“I think my overall performance was really good, but my numbers aren't what I want them to be,” he said. “I didn't run the 40 so I don't have a rating and I was one of the top tight ends in one on ones.”
Taylor committed to Michigan in April but said he remains open to other schools, including Notre Dame.
Sophomore defensive tackle Aeneas Hawkins has a big frame but he’s short on experience. Despite having played limited snaps on varsity, Hawkins already landed scholarship offers from Florida, Florida State and Notre Dame, among others.
He showed on Saturday that he has a lot of upside but he’ll have to put in the work to refine his skills.
“I think I performed really well,” Hawkins said. “The coaches were extremely helpful and I learned a lot from the camp. “
Hawkins ran a 4.40-second time in the shuttle, which was one of the best marks for interior defensive linemen.
That explosiveness helped him in the one on ones.
“It was my favorite part of the camp,” he said. “It was a great learning experience. My first rep, I came off a little high and gave up too much of my chest, but I bounced back and won the next rep pretty quickly. The biggest thing I have to work on is to keep on learning how to play lower. When I do play low, I feel like I can be pretty good.”