Lifelong Irish Fan Ready For Lineman's Challenge

June 13, 2019
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Pat Coogan‍ is quite familiar with Notre Dame.

“I’ve been a Notre Dame fan since I was probably two years old,” the 2021 Chicago offensive lineman says. “I’ve always been on campus. I’ve always been coming to games.”

The 6-foot-4.5, 275-pounder will be back this weekend, but this time, he’ll be a participant in Notre Dame’s Lineman’s Challenge Camp.

“I’ve always wanted to get up for a camp,” he says. “I went to one going into my freshman year of high school and that was an awesome experience. I’ve always wanted to come back up.”

Notre Dame Director of Recruiting Aaryn Kearney first reached out to Coogan on Twitter to inquire about him coming to camp. Then, Irish assistant Tom Rees made a stop by Marist High School during the evaluation period and later checked back on Coogan’s camp status.

“I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ve got to get up there for sure,’” he recalls.

Coogan received his first offer in late-April, from Kent State. Since then, he’s added seven more, from Cincinnati, Toledo, Wyoming, UT-Martin, Syracuse, Duke and Illinois.

“It’s crazy,” he says of the rush of attention. “It’s just an awesome experience. I’m so grateful for every school that’s taken a chance on me. It means the world to me. Every single offer has just been very exciting. My family is excited, I’m excited. Everyone at school and on my team is excited. It’s awesome.

“When I’ve talked to the coaches, they said they like my span, they like my size and how I run well for my size and the physicality that I use and a little bit of nastiness that I’ve shown on my film.”

He’s hoping to show Notre Dame what he can do as a player during the camp.

“I think I’m really athletic and can play all of the positions on the o-line,” he says. “I’m a physical guy and I hope I can just show them all of my talents.”

An offer from the Irish, whenever it may come, would be enormous.

“It would be a dream come true, definitely,” says Coogan. “I was actually at the Michigan-Notre Dame game as a fan this past year, game one. It was the place I wanted to be. It was awesome, the environment, the atmosphere around campus was absolutely incredible.”

Even though he’s been to South Bend several times, he’s still looking forward to checking out some things he hasn’t seen yet.

“I just hope to get a better look at the campus, definitely the weight room and all of the facilities,” he says. “I think they just built some new additions, so I’m looking forward to checking that out and getting more familiar with the coaching staff and maybe meeting some of the players. That would be awesome.”

Coogan already camped at Wisconsin and Northwestern earlier this month and has no other plans beyond the Notre Dame camp.

He has plenty of time before he needs to make a decision, but has a good idea of what he’ll be looking at when he does make one.

“Academics definitely comes first. Then, how I fit into the football team and the environment there. I want to feel like it’s my second home. I want to go there on a visit or two and just feel comfortable living there and spending four years at that school and being able to thrive there.”

 
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