Navy safety transfer Alohi Gilman to visit Notre Dame

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Notre Dame football could be turning to Navy for safety aid.

Last week, safety Alohi Gilman announced his plans to leave the U.S. Naval Academy. On Monday night, Notre Dame emerged as a potential destination for the sophomore from Laie, Hawaii.

Gilman revealed on Twitter that he would be making a trip to South Bend. He was on campus Tuesday, his family confirmed with ND Insider.

Excited to check out Notre Dame on an official visit. Grateful for the opportunity #NextChapter@NDFootballpic.twitter.com/Ea9j72Ifms

— Alohi Gilman (@alohigilman) June 5, 2017

The 6-foot, 195-pound Gilman made an impact in his first season at Navy last fall. He finished second on the team in tackles with 76, played in all 14 games with 12 starts and earned honorable mention All-AAC honors.

But following his freshman year, Gilman decided that Navy wasn’t the right fit for him. He told The Capital Gazette that he lacked a desire to become a Naval officer.

“I enjoyed everything about Navy,” Gilman told The Capital Gazette. “I got a great opportunity to play and felt like I made the most of it. It was a really fun freshman season and very rewarding that I could help the team do well. Everything about football at Navy was awesome.”

Gilman joined the Navy football program last season after a year at the Naval Academy Prep School. The year prior, he graduated from Kahuku High, the same school that produced former Irish defensive tackle Kona Schwenke. According to navysports.com, Gilman was also recruited by Air Force, Hawaii, Nevada, UNLV, Utah, Utah State and Weber State.

In Navy’s 28-27 victory over Notre Dame in November, Gilman led the Midshipmen with 12 tackles. He played cornerback, strong safety and free safety throughout the season.

“We will miss Alohi,” Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo said in text message to The Capital Gazette. “He is an outstanding football player and an even better person. We wish Alohi the best in his pursuit of his childhood dream to play in the NFL.”

Special teams coordinator Brian Polian has reignited Notre Dame's recruiting efforts in Hawaii since rejoining the Irish in the offseason. In his previous tenure at Notre Dame, Polian famously helped the Irish recruit linebacker Manti Te'o.

In Polian's first months back in South Bend, he helped the Irish signed Hawaiian defensive lineman Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, the first recruit from the state to sign with Notre Dame since Schwenke in 2010. The Irish signed Te'o and wide receiver Robby Toma the year prior.

In a tweet Tuesday, Polian shared images from Notre Dame Stadium and wrote that he was showing a guest around. If the guest was indeed Gilman, the Irish should be putting themselves in a good spot.

Following Monday's announcements of offensive lineman Tristen Hoge transferring out and wide receiver Cameron Smith transferring in, Notre Dame's roster appears to be at its NCAA-mandated capacity of 85 scholarships. More roster attrition would be needed to find a spot of Gilman.

 "I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my Sails to reach my Destination" -Jimmy Dean #Blessed#JustDoyoupic.twitter.com/V5MArtoz5C

— Alohi Gilman (@alohigilman) June 1, 2017

tjames@ndinsider.com | 574-235-6214 | Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Navy safety Alohi Gilman (1) tries to tackle Notre Dame wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown (6) in Navy's 28-27 win over the Irish last season. (Tribune Photo/MICHAEL CATERINA)