Notre Dame defensive tackle Kurt Hinish is an experienced football player who has set the Notre Dame record for most games played in a career. Hinish is an undersized interior defensive lineman who primarily wins with leverage, hand use, and a relentless motor. He primarily aligns at either the 0 or 1-tech for the Fighting Irish and has proven to be a force in the interior of their defense. In the run game, Hinish comes off the ball hard and fires off low, allowing himself to win leverage against centers and guards. He has above average power at the point of attack and can hold firm against single blocks. He displays above average quickness off the snap, allowing himself to get on the edges of guards and make plays in the backfield. Hinish is an excellent tackler and will hustle to the football through the whistle. In the passing game, Hinish displays very good hand use and ability to swim and rip over and through guards and centers. He gets good upfield movement and never stops fighting, which allows him to record production late in the downs. While Hinish plays with tremendous effort and has very good technique, he is undersized and a tweener for the next level. He lacks the base and mass to play 0-tech at the next level and struggles to hold the point against double teams. He also lacks the athleticism and length to be a consistent disrupter playing 3-tech as well. He best projects as a depth player at the next level who can contribute snaps inside while he continues to develop his quickness and range.
Ideal Role: Backup 0/1-technique
Scheme Fit: 4-3 defense, single-gap
Written by Brentley Weissman
Games watched: Navy (2021), Duke (2020), Purdue (2021)
Best Game Studied: Navy (2021)
Worst Game Studied: Duke (2020)
First Step Explosiveness: Hinish has above average quickness off the snap. He fires off low and is able to gain leverage upon contact. There are reps where he is able to win the edges with speed and get upfield, making plays in the backfield.
Flexibility: For a big man, Hinish offers above average flexibility. He is able to change direction when working down the line of scrimmage and make plays laterally. He isn’t the type to corner and flatten once he gets upfield, but he does offer enough ankle flexion to get home once he beats his man inside.
Hand Counters: An experienced football player, Hinish displays a wide variety of hand use and counters. He has quick and active hands and has very good hand placement upon contact. He shows an ability to string together rush moves and works to keep his body clear.
Hand Power: Hinish has good pop in his hands to initially shock the offensive line on the first strike. When he lands consistently, he is able to win the rep and control his opponent. His hands are hard to displace and he utilizes his firm punch to keep his body clean.
Run Defending: Hinish is a strong run defender who shows good anchor, especially against single blocks. He can work angles and get upfield making plays behind the LOS. He is a very cerebral player who understands blocking schemes and rarely allows himself to get trapped. He does give up size and strength against bigger opponents. He also can get washed down the line against double teams.
Effort: Hinish plays with very good overall effort. The Notre Dame coaching staff preaches about his motor and his love for football. He always works through the whistle and will hustle to chase plays down the field.
Football IQ: Hinish displays very good football IQ. He is able to read blocking schemes and keep himself clear from trap blocks. He is rarely out of position and knows how to avoid cut blocks. There are times I wish he was able to locate the ball-carrier better once he wins his rep.
Lateral Mobility: Hinish has below average mobility working down the line. He is able to flow down the line of scrimmage but his range when left uncovered leaves a lot to be desired. He is heavy-footed and his foot quickness doesn’t allow for a ton of plays outside of the A and B-gaps.
Core/Functional Strength: Hinish has above average power at the point of attack. He can hold the point and not give up ground against single blocks. He does, however, lack the mass and lower-body strength to anchor against double teams. His upper-body power is impressive but he needs to be able to get stronger in order to hold the point at the next level.
Versatility: Hinish lacks an ideal role at the next level as he simply doesn’t have any elite physical traits. He lacks the pure strength and size to hold double teams and two-gap. He lacks the quick-twitch and length to win inside as a pass rusher as well. He best projects as a hard-working backup who can give you productive reps in a deep rotation.
Weissman Grade: 69.00/100 (Sixth Round Value)