Each time there is a change of coach, there is bound to be some discomfort to overcome for the rookies already engaged. Committed to Notre Dame since September, Concord (Calif.) De La Salle 2023 tight end Cooper Flanagan is one of the cycle’s long-time recruits.
Even outside of brian by Kelly exit to the Bayou, tight end Coach John McNulty also left this offseason to serve as offensive coordinator at Boston College. This outing in particular was tough for Flanagan.
“I was just surprised. I was pretty devastated but I’m happy for him,” Flanagan explained. “It’s all you can really do. I knew Notre Dame was going to have another great coach and that is exactly what they did.
“I was quite nervous to meet a brand new coach, but he’s an amazing coach,” Flanagan said. “He knows football. Going to a meeting and watching him coach the kids was awesome.
“I think the best thing about Coach (Gerad) parker it’s that he’s a good guy overall,” Flanagan continued. “I had dinner with him and his family and he’s just a great dad and a great person.”
Luckily for the Irish, even before Coach Parker was hired, staff quickly reassured their feelings about the Californian product and its role in the program. As Flanagan has told Irish Breakdown staff in the past, the two Mark Free man and tommy Rees everyone followed quickly after news of McNulty to make Flanagan fully aware of how much the Notre Dame staff valued him as a person and a player.
Both coaches worked to reaffirm the long-term vision of the program and how the 6-5,240-pound tight end fits in. Flanagan continued to be very impressed with all the coaches, including Coach Freeman.
“I think everyone knows this, but Coach Freeman is more of a player coach,” Flanagan said. “He’s a pretty down-to-earth guy you can talk to. I think it’s pretty cool and you can see it just creates a better environment for the team.
“He’s been great,” Flanagan continued. “He’s like Coach Parker. He’s a great guy but we can also say that he’s an impressive coach, an outstanding recruiter. He knows his business.
Looking back on his first time in South Bend, the Irish program made an immediate impression on Flanagan from that first visit. Despite the momentum halting after Coach McNulty left, there is little doubt about Flanagan’s commitment.
“I think (my first visit) was in June last year. The campus is beautiful,” Flanagan explained. “The facilities are great. The coaches are great. I mean there are new coaches now, but they are also great. I was there during the scrimmage before the spring game and it was awesome to see. Coach Parker is amazing and everyone is awesome.
Coach Parker continued to have constant communication with Flanagan. As he prepares for his senior season, he has calmed down slightly but still makes sure Flanagan still feels wanted.
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“It’s like once a week, once every two weeks,” he said. “I think he knows I’m pretty solid, so I think he’s calming down a bit, but he’s still checking in.”
For a time, some wondered what the long-term impact of Coach McNulty’s exit might be on Flanagan’s commitment. These questions have been entirely erased at this point.
Content of the Irish breakdown
Notre Dame List 2022
Schedule Notre-Dame 2022
Notre Dame 2023 Class Big Board
Notre Dame 2023 Commits Board – Offense
Notre Dame 2023 Commits Board – Defense
Notre Dame Scholarship Offers 2023
Notre Dame Scholarship Offers 2024
Ranking of signatories 2022 – Attack
Ranking of signatories 2022 – Defense
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