The Journal Gazette
Monday, January 04, 2021 6:00 pm

Owusu-Koramoah declares for NFL Draft, Hinish will stay

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah will forego his final two seasons of eligibility and depart for the NFL, he announced on social media.

"To the loyal fans: you're forever loved," Owusu-Koramoah wrote on Twitter. "Thank you for riding it out, even when we were down and out. After much prayer and wise counsel, I have decided to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft."

Owusu-Koramoah is one of the best linebackers in Irish history, the 2020 Butkus Award winner as the top linebacker in the country, an All-American and the ACC Defensive Player of the Year. He started for two years at Notre Dame and is considered a potential top 10 pick in the NFL Draft.

Replacing the sideline-to-sideline terror will be one of Notre Dame's top tasks in the offseason. Among the candidates to move into Owusu-Koramoah's "Rover" spot are fellow starting linebacker Drew White, who could move from the "Buck" position. If Notre Dame wants White to stay where he's been most comfortable the last two seasons, up-and-coming candidates include Marist Liufau, who started a couple of games this year and will be a redshirt sophomore in the fall, as well as 2018 Indiana Mr. Football Jack Kiser, who flashed in his first career start against South Florida with eight tackles, including two for loss. He will also be a redshirt sophomore in the fall.

Irish defensive tackle Kurt Hinish, meanwhile, will stick around for one more season in South Bend, he announced.

"The show goes on," Hinish tweeted. "One more."

The 6-foot-2, 295-pound Hinish is a four-year contributor and has started all 25 games over the last two seasons. He totaled 19 tackles, including 7 1/2 for loss and two sacks this season. He's allowed to return for a fifth season on the field because of the NCAA's blanket waiver granting all players an extra year of eligibility following the 2020 campaign.

Hinish's return is significant for a defensive line that will need to be a rock next season with Owusu-Koramoah gone. If fellow defensive tackle Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa also returns, the Irish could be destructive up front even with some new faces at linebacker.

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