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Friday, April 19, 2024
The Observer

Cooper Flanagan signs on as next Irish tight end

On Wednesday morning, De La Salle High School product and tight end Cooper Flanagan made his longtime commitment to Notre Dame official, putting pen to paper on his National Letter of Intent. Flanagan verbally committed in September 2021. Since then, however, he picked up offers from Alabama, Miami and LSU. By Rivals, Flanagan is the 12th-ranked prospect in Notre Dame’s fourth-ranked 2023 recruiting class. 

Flanagan receives a 5.8 recruiting rating on Rivals. That falls on the lower end of the “All-American Candidate” section on the Rivals recruiting grade scale. That grade is reserved for potential day 2 NFL Draft selections, according to Rivals. He ranks as the 15th-best tight end in the class by the recruiting service. Flanagan is the third Irish tight end recruit in the past two years to garner a 5.8 grade, alongside 2022 recruits Eli Raridon and Holden Staes. 

Flanagan checks in at 6’6 and 240 pounds and he enters having played in a run-heavy high school offense. He caught 41 passes for 775 yards over his final two high school seasons and demonstrated advanced run-blocking ability. The latter could get him on the field early in his Irish career as Notre Dame loves to utilize tight ends in the run game. While recent Irish starters have been huge weapons in the passing game, Notre Dame’s tight end history includes guys like Tommy Tremble, a vicious blocker who caught just 35 career passes. He eventually became a third-round selection in the 2021 NFL Draft.  

Flanagan will join a tight end room at Notre Dame looking to replace the gaping hole left by consensus All-American Michael Mayer. Current sophomore Mitchell Evans is projected to be the starter at the position. Staes and Raridon figure to challenge for the role. Sophomore Davis Sherwood and junior Kevin Bauman also are players in the competition for playing time. Flanagan may not see immediate playing time, but if his run-blocking prowess translates to the collegiate level, he could find a role in offensive coordinator Tommy Rees’ multiple-tight end schemes. 

Flanagan is the only tight end recruit in the Irish 2023 class. He joins wide receiver Rico Flores as the only two California recruits in this cycle for Notre Dame.

Contact Aidan Thomas at