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Notre Dame Football

Film Don't Lie | Cooper Flanagan

September 2, 2021

Notre Dame is “Tight End U” and they never have trouble adding highly rated talent each recruiting cycle at the position. This year will be no different as they nabbed an early commitment from 4-star prospect Cooper Flanagan‍.

The Irish were looking for a player at the position who projects as an in-line blocker and they found a really good one in the De La Salle (California) product.

Height: 6’5”

Weight: 240

Projected Position: Tight end

ISD Grade: 90 (4-star)

National Average Grade: 90.8 (4-star)

What he does best:

Everyone who plays for De La Salle knows how to block. You can’t play tight end for them and be a big wide receiver or a move tight end. Their style of play and the way they coach demands that they have tight ends who get after it and Flanagan certainly does that.

He fires off the ball with a good base and strong leverage like on this goal line play. He’s going to be a very effective blocker at the point of attack.


Here he’s lined up as an H-back and gets out on a reach block, but it’s the finish that stands out. He will stick with it and has some nasty to his game.


There isn’t a ton of film of him as a receiver, but there’s enough there to see he can be much more than a blocker. He runs well for his size and can be a threat down the seam.


He also shows the athleticism and ball skills necessary to succeed. He shows fairly natural hands and displays an ability to adjust to the football like on this throw that is behind him.


What he needs to improve:

The big thing with him is the lack of route tree as a receiver means he’ll need to put in work. He’s running a lot of quick hitters off of play-action and not much else.

Even in the 7on footage there is of him, there’s a lot of pivot routes and him running straight corners. He’s probably going to walk into Notre Dame with a lot of room to grow with that part of his game.

That may be daunting, but also exciting given the flashes he showed.

What’s his ceiling?

What a surprise that the Irish are landing another tight end with the potential to be an NFL player. There’s still a need for a guy like him who can be a plus blocker and that’s what he can be at bare minimum.

His ceiling as a blocker is much higher and with John McNulty coaching him, he could develop into one of the top blocking tight ends in the country.

He can be much more than that, though. The skills and athleticism are there for him to be a productive intermediate threat. He reminds me a lot of Kevin Bauman with his body type and athleticism, but Flanagan is a much further ahead as a blocker than Bauman was at the same time.

Who he could be:

Former Notre Dame tight end John Carlson

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