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Kurt Hinish’s level head marks his leadership style

| Friday, November 29, 2019

Junior defensive lineman Kurt Hinish is a man of marked consistency and focus. The Pittsburgh native proved what a force he could be during his sophomore season, as he played a significant role in one of the most menacing front seven’s in the nation. Appearing in all 13 games, Hinish was a staple on the unit, and when the Irish faced then-No. 12 Syracuse in a crucial neutral field matchup, Hinish rose to the occasion, recording 1.5 sacks. 

One would have to imagine this kind of success is at least in part a result of Hinish’s steadfast mindset. The junior prides himself on consistency, aiming to complete his job the best he can day in and day out.

“I show up and do my job every day [to] the best of my ability” Hinish said. “And that’s how I view it.”

Hinish extends that philosophy to his teammates to ensure the team maintains a high standard in practice. He said he holds others accountable in practice, and counts on his team to hold him to that same standard.

“If I feel like [younger players] are not meeting the standard that we should be practicing at, then I let them know,” he said. “And I have guys on the team that will let me know if I’m not practicing the way I should be practicing.” 

This mindset leads to a consistent routine of weekly preparation, no matter who the opponent is. With all of the narrative surrounding Notre Dame’s rivalry with Stanford, it can be easy for players’ attitude to change from the weekly routine. But when Hinish was asked about his preparation for a rival opponent this weekend, he was frank: nothing changes. 

“It’s just another week for us to be honest. … All that stuff really doesn’t matter to me. I prepare like it’s just another week,” Hinish said. “It’s like it’s a faceless opponent to be honest with you. I just prepare like it’s any other week.” 

That said, Hinish did point to Stanford’s strengths, saying the Cardinal have a solid running back and a number of unique schemes.

“They’ve got a good running back, good offensive line. They have bunch of different personnel sets that we see,” he said. “So we have to be ready for a lot of different things.” 

Most of all, Hinish doesn’t see the game as an end to Notre Dame’s season, as he was sure to mention Notre Dame still has some unfinished business in the form of a bowl game. 

“This isn’t our last game of course, obviously we’re going to have a bowl game,” Hinish said. “… I like to show up and do my job and go to work the same every single day. I’m pretty consistent guy. So this is just another week for me.”

Hinish did show a bit of his lighter side when asked about Thanksgiving with his teammates.

“I love Thanksgiving at the Morris Inn.” Hinish said. “… The dessert they have, the turkey. What I do is, I get their green beans and they have turkey and gravy. Corn, I cover all that stuff [with] gravy. And it’s, it’s fantastic. I love it, I love it.”

That pregame meal will be necessary when Hinish prepares to take on the Cardinals offense this Saturday.

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