Kia Brothers reunion set for 2025 with Notre Dame football after Kahanu’s return from Mormon mission

SOUTH BEND — Kahanu Kia’s return to Notre Dame football after serving a two-year Mormon mission includes an unexpected bonus: The chance to play alongside his younger brother in another year or so.

Fellow linebacker Ko’o Kia, a three-star recruit from Honolulu who committed last month to Notre Dame’s top-ranked 2025 class, has sprouted into a 6-foot-2, 210-pound prospect.

“When I first saw him (last fall), he was so long and tall and almost unrecognizable,” the elder Kia said Friday. “He’s definitely gotten bigger since. He got super-long. His arms were just like, ‘What the heck?’ I wish I had that.”

Listed at 6-2 and 219 pounds in his own right, Kia is in the process of bulking up to play linebacker after splitting time at Vyper end as a freshman in 2021. All but 11 of his 132 plays that season came on special teams, but that preapproved missionary stint in Eastern North Carolina (about 18 months) and last fall in Hawaii allowed Kia’s eligibility timeline to overlap with his little brother’s.

Ko’o Kia’s Junior Day commitment on Jan. 15 proved emotional for the whole family.

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“It was so awesome,” Kahanu Kia said. “It’s one of those things you dream about where you’re like, ‘Ah, that’s never going to happen.’ I couldn’t be more happy for him and for my parents. I know they’re super-excited.”

Nate Kia is a former Utah defensive end, while Emmalei was a Utes cheerleader. Somehow both of their football-playing sons found their way to the Midwest; Ko’o passed up offers from Utah, USC, Texas, Washington and Oregon, among others.

“I love this place so much,” Kahanu Kia said. “It was hard to leave. There was no way I wasn’t going to come back and finish what I…


Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/kia-brothers-reunion-set-2025-090108766.html

Author : South Bend Tribune

Publish date : 2024-02-10 09:01:08

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