Blue and Gold Illustrated

January 2021

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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38 JANUARY 2021 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED PREP PROFILES There was some weight lifted off Steve Angeli's shoulders on Dec. 19. After the Irish offered the 6-2, 205-pound four-star class of 2022 quarterback on Aug. 17, many pundits pegged him to land on Notre Dame's commitment list. During a normal year, he would've taken a visit to South Bend as soon as possible, but with the dead period because of the COVID-19 pandemic in place, he couldn't go to campus to see the coaching staff. Notre Dame is a school that is dear to Angeli's heart because his great uncle Pete Berezney was a part of an Irish championship team in the 1940s and his older brother Nick played with Irish starters Quenton Nelson and Brandon Wimbush in high school. But Angeli had never been to South Bend to get his own opinion of cam- pus. That changed in December when he took an hour-and-a-half self-guided tour of the South Bend campus. "It allows me to build my own portfolio on Notre Dame," Angeli said. "Even without students being there, I was able to see everything for my own opinion and perspective. That was definitely great." Angeli flew into Chicago on Satur- day, Dec. 19 and arrived in South Bend just before 3 p.m. He hit all of the main points of campus, including the book- store, The Word of Life Mural, Notre Dame Stadium and The Grotto. "It was a great time for my first experience in South Bend with my dad," Angeli said. "I thought it was really awesome to see the historic spots that I've only seen on TV. "Seeing everything for myself was really cool. I'm just really happy that we made the trip to finally go see Notre Dame and South Bend during these tough times. I really liked what I saw." Angeli has not named a top schools list in his recruitment, but the Fighting Irish are considered the team to beat. Seeing Notre Dame's campus checks off a box in his recruitment, but there's nothing imminent at the moment in terms of him making a decision. "If anything, it definitely helped being able to see it with my own eyes and being able to experience it my- self," Angeli explained. "I'm looking to get back to South Bend when ev- erything opens back up and be able experience a real unofficial visit with them — meet the coaches, check out the athletic facility and get a more in- depth look at Notre Dame." — Mike Singer It's rare when a prospect can say that the first offer he received was from Notre Dame, but Pittsburgh Central Catholic class of 2022 defensive tackle Donovan Hinish can make that claim. "I'm really excited," he said. "It means the world to me." The Hinish last name should be one that Notre Dame fans are very familiar with because Kurt has been a mainstay for the Irish defensive line since his true freshman season in 2017. Now his younger brother has the opportunity to continue the family tradition of being a disruptive defensive lineman in South Bend. "My brother told me earlier in the day that Notre Dame was interested and wanted to talk to me," recalled Donovan Hinish, who received the good news Nov. 19. "I got a text mes- sage from Coach [Mike] Elston saying that he wanted to talk. I called him after he texted, and we talked for a while." Hinish has met Elston, the Irish defensive line coach, on a handful of occasions throughout the years, whether that be on Kurt's visits to Notre Dame as a recruit, Elston's in- home visits with the Hinish family or during one of Donovan's many trips to South Bend to see his brother play. Their strong connection was obvi- ously built well before he became a target for the Irish in the 2022 class. "He's great; I love him," Hinish stated. "I love his intensity and how his defensive linemen perform." When some recruits receive an of- fer from Notre Dame, they have to Google what state the school is even located in. Hinish is about as knowl- edgeable of the Irish as a prospective student-athlete can realistically be. "I'm really familiar with it," he said. "My brother has been there for four years. It's like a second home now. I love it up there — the atmo- sphere and everything about it." Hinish has visited Notre Dame countless times, literally. When asked how many times he's been to South Bend, he said "around 20." "I go up there every chance I get to watch my brother's games," he added. Since receiving a tender from Notre Dame, Hinish picked up the local offer from Pittsburgh. Both schools are enticing for different reasons, but Notre Dame is considered the strong, early favorite to land Hinish. "I'm going to talk to my parents and these other schools and see how it plays out," he said. "It's all just get- ting started right now." — Mike Singer Four-Star Quarterback Reviews First Notre Dame Visit Will Notre Dame Add Another Hinish? STEVE ANGELI ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ Bergen Catholic H.S. Oradell, N.J. Status: Offered Class: 2022 Position: Quarterback Ht.: 6-2 • Wt.: 205 Rivals Rankings: No. 7 player in New Jersey and No. 13 pro-style quarterback nationally DONOVAN HINISH ✪ ✪ ✪ Central Catholic H.S. Pittsburgh Status: Offered Class: 2022 Position: Defensive Tackle Ht.: 6-2 • Wt.: 270 Rivals Rankings: No. 15 player in Pennsylvania and No. 28 defensive tackle nationally "It was a great time for my first experience in South Bend with my dad. I thought it was really awesome to see the historic spots that I've only seen on TV." Angeli "It's like a second home now. I love it up there — the atmosphere and everything about it." Hinish on Notre Dame

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