Nile Sykes wasn’t the only addition for Notre Dame this weekend. The Irish also picked up a commitment from Texas native Kolin Hill – a raw, athletic outside linebacker prospect – giving the Irish a whole lot of depth in the defensive front seven in this year’s class.
Earlier on Sunday, Nile Sykes committed to Notre Dame after visiting this weekend along with Hill and several other current members of the #GoldenArmy14.
Hill will most likely initially start of his Notre Dame career as a CAT linebacker and actually reminds me quite a bit of Prince Shembo coming out of high school. Hill is a long, lean athlete with some excellent pass rush skills and a great motor. At 6’2″, 220 lbs, Hill is a bit under-sized for the CAT position just like Shembo was as a prep player as well.
Given Notre Dame’s depth issues at inside linebacker, Hill could end up getting a look there as well although with his frame and freskishly long arms, it would seem like outside linebacker would be the best fit for him. Hill’s got some natural pass rush ability making him a good fit at CAT where he would play with his hand on the ground at times.
Hill was a late riser after an impressive senior season similarly to Sykes. A few months back Hill had hardly any offers but has recently picked up scholarship offers from Colorado, UTEP, Boise State, and Texas Tech. In recent weeks Texas started to show some interest as well but had not offered to this point. Notre Dame offered last month and immediately became the favorite to land Hill’s services and his visit this weekend sealed the deal.
Part of the reason for the late offers comes from Hill still being a bit raw. He’ll need some time in Notre Dame’s defense, but possess the ability to be a big time pass rusher for the Irish. Whether or not he becomes one will be up to the Irish coaching staff and Hill himself, but the raw talent is definitely there.
With Hill on board as possible inside linebacker along with Nile Sykes, fellow #GoldenArmy14 member Drue Tranquil could end up staying at safety where he was recruited by some other schools. Notre Dame recruited Tranquil as an athlete with the possibility of moving inside, but as Notre Dame loads up in the front seven as they close out this class, it seems likely that Tranquil will stay in the secondary instead of bulking up to play linebacker.
Overall, Notre Dame has four linebackers in this year’s class now with Hill and Sykes jumping on board today along with Greer Martini and Richard Yeargin. Even with the additions today, the Irish will still continue to heavily pursue Nyles Morgan – a top 100 ILB out of Chicago – as well.
Notre Dame now has 21 commitments for their class of 2014 with a possible 22nd coming on Monday with California tight end Tyler Luatua announcing his college decision on Monday between Notre Dame and Alabama.