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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Film Don't Lie | James Flanigan

October 21, 2023

It’s almost always exciting when Notre Dame fans see a legacy commit to play football for the Fighting Irish. It’s even more exciting when that legacy is a stud recruit.

The Irish landed one such elite prospect in Bryce Young‍, son of former defensive lineman Bryant Young, in the 2024 class. They landed another one in the 2025 class. Tight end James Flanigan‍ is the son of Young’s former teammate, Jim Flanigan.

His name could be John Smith for all I care because Flanigan is an extremely talented football player, but it doesn’t hurt that he has his old man’s grit with more flash.

Height: 6’5”

Weight: 220

Projected Position: Tight end

ISD Grade: 92 (4-star)

National Average Grade: 90.7 (4-star)

What he does best:

He can really run. Flanigan is a threat after the catch with his speed at his size and many linebackers will have a tough time running with him.


He has very good ball skills. He tracks the football well over his shoulder and shows the ability to make difficult catches.


There are so many plays where he is schemed open and can run with it, but this kind of catch where he has to go up and turn his body to protect the football is exactly what I love to see from someone who can attack down the seam.


He’s going to be a weapon as a blocker. I think he’ll eventually be big and strong enough to play in-line, but he’s such a good athlete that I can see Notre Dame utilizing him as a move tight end on wham blocks and leading through the hole like he does here.


What he needs to improve:

He’s bigger and stronger as a junior and his blocking has definitely improved, but he’s going to have to continue to physically develop to handle defensive ends if he’s in-line in college.

He’s not asked to do a lot in terms of his route tree, but I don’t see that being an issue for him. He’ll just need to take some time to hone his skills when facing man to man coverage.

What’s his ceiling?

I really like Flanigan’s game and where he projects going forward. He reminds me a lot of Tommy Tremble and I could see him becoming similarly successful in the run game.

Tremble is someone who would have been highlighted a lot more after the catch if not for being on the team the same time as Cole Kmet and Michael Mayer. He can still do things like this.

Flanigan is another prospect with the traits to develop into an NFL tight end for the Irish. It’s a big time pick up for the staff.

Who he could be:

Former Notre Dame tight end Tommy Tremble

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