Notre Dame leaves big impression on four-star OL @enokkvimahi
The first official visit was everything Enokk Vimahi could have asked for and more.
The four-star offensive tackle from Kahuku, Hawaii, saw Notre Dame earn a victory against Michigan in a marquee matchup Saturday night, got a breakdown of the university's academic and spiritual appeals from former players such as Manti Te'o, and returned home with a great feeling about the Fighting Irish moving forward.
"Just being with the other recruits and seeing the developmental process, not only in football but off the field, it was great to see the combination of what it would be like to fit in there," Vimahi told 247Sports. "Flying all the way out here from the islands is not a small thing, but I know that surrounding yourself with the right people just makes the transition easier and I had a lot of great people to talk to that already went through that experience, so the trip was great for me."
It was the first official visit of the recruiting process for the 6-foot-4, 281-pound lineman, who is also considering Nebraska, Ole Miss, Oklahoma, UCLA, USC, Virginia and Washington. Vimahi said he has built a strong relationship with assistant coach Brian Polian, his lead recruiter at Notre Dame, and this weekend got to know head coach Brian Kelly much better.
"On gameday, coach Kelly was fired up to play and was completely locked in," Vimahi said. "He's really a player's coach and he's been known to take them out to his lake house on weekends. Sitting down with him, getting to chat with him throughout the weekend and seeing who he is as a person off the field was nice."
Vimahi was hosted by freshman safety Paul Moala, who shared his views on what it's like to be a student-athlete in South Bend.
"Both Paul and I are Poly and LDS, so it was a perfect pairing," Vimahi said. "He told me about the program and the environment. It was great to hear everything from him. I'm planning on going to college for a year and then going on my two-year mission, and Notre Dame is supportive either way."
The Sooners are set to draw the next official visit on the weekend of Sept. 22 when they play Army. That would leave three more available visit spots.
"Two schools that are pushing hard right now are Nebraska and USC, and most likely we'll be going to those schools after the season," Vimahi said. "I'll still be looking out for the fifth official."
Vimahi is the nation's No. 93 overall prospect, No. 12 among offensive tackles and No. 2 in the state of Hawaii, per the industry-generated 247Sports Composite rankings. He has committed to play in both the All-American Bowl and the Polynesian Bowl.