Film Study: Notre Dame DT commit Kurt Hinish

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

DT Kurt Hinish, 6-2, 278; Pittsburgh (Pa.) Central Catholic.

The numbers: Hinish anchored the Central Catholic defensive line for a unit that allowed less than 11 points per game. The Vikings (15-1) defeated Parkland in the PIAA Class AAAA state championship.

The rankings: 247Sports – Three stars, No. 36 DT. Rivals – Three stars, No. 36 DT.


First impression: Hinish is a quick defensive tackle with a powerful punch. He’s equally as impressive against the run and pass. Hinish is always moving toward the ball.

Strengths: Hinish isn’t your typical plodding defensive tackle. He has a suddenness at the line of scrimmage and shows explosion at the snap of the ball. Hinish has a motor that always seems to be running and keeps him in pursuit of the football. His physical strength is on display when he uses his arms to control offensive linemen. His time playing on the other side of the ball helps him with the fundamentals.

Proof of prowess: (:15) That poor center. Hinish fired off the ball so quickly that the man in front of him couldn’t even get a hand on him. Hinish swims past the center and has the quarterback in his arms before he can finish the play-action fake … (:28) Not again. Hinish abuses the same center by pushing him so deep into the backfield that the running back ends up in front of him — and it’s still a tackle for a loss … (2:13) Hinish shows his drive by continuing to collapse the pocket and not giving up on the pass rush. After an initial surge, the offensive lineman appears to have locked Hinish up, but he discards the blocker and contributes to a sack of fellow Irish commit Phil Jurkovec.

Competition level: Notre Dame’s focus on recruiting in Western Pennsylvania isn’t coincidental. The area is producing a lot of talent in the 2017 and 2018 recruiting classes. Much of that talent can be found on the Central Catholic schedule. The Vikings played against seven of the top 30 teams in the state, according to MaxPreps. Hinish squared off against a pair of fellow Irish commits: offensive lineman Josh Lugg and quarterback Phil Jurkovec.

Left to prove: It’s no surprise that Hinish is rarely seen getting pushed backward in his own highlight film. He’s always moving forward. But what happens when a lineman stronger than Hinish gets a hold of him? I’d like to see how Hinish responds. Because of his motor, I’d expect he’d do fine but it’s just not shown. On film, Hinish doesn’t appear to have really long arms. How will that impact him? (And am I just imagining that?)

Three-star defensive tackle recruit Kurt Hinish (left) visited Notre Dame for its junior day March 19, 2016. (Photo courtesy of Trib Total Media/Christopher Horner)