Some things don’t stop even in quarantine, most pertinently among them, recruiting. A couple weeks into this interminable stretch, Notre Dame extended an offer to consensus three-star offensive lineman Pat Coogan (Marist High School; Chicago), and three weeks later, he committed to the Irish on Wednesday afternoon to become the eighth member of the class of 2021.
Coogan chose Notre Dame over usual recruiting competitors Stanford and Michigan, as well as Ohio State, Oklahoma and LSU. Many of those scholarship offers came in the immediate aftermath of the Irish offer, though being quick to the party may not have been what distinguished Notre Dame; Coogan has been a longtime Irish fan and visited campus twice in 2019.
“Being from the Chicagoland area, there’s a big Notre Dame pull,” he told Blue & Gold Illustrated. “My family has always been a Notre Dame family. On any given Saturday, we’ll turn on the Notre Dame game instead of any other team and watch them.”
Gold and Blue through and through.
100% committed to the University of Notre Dame. ☘️ pic.twitter.com/sMWH4f08oX
— Pat Coogan (@coogs53) April 16, 2020
Coogan joins consensus four-star tackle Blake Fisher (Avon H.S.; Ind.) as the only offensive linemen in the class, but even though rivals.com considers Coogan the No. 36 offensive tackle in the class, he is more likely to end up along the interior of the Irish line. His 6-foot-5, 275-pound frame includes the reach wanted at all offensive line positions, but he lacks the agility and footwork needed for a college-level tackle.
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That position switch does not faze Coogan.
“It was really just their vision for me when I enter the program, how they’ll work with me,” he said, referring to offensive coordinator Tommy Rees and offensive line coach Jeff Quinn. “I loved what I heard, exactly what I wanted to hear.”
Quinn will have plenty to work with in Coogan, but perhaps not as much work to do as the strength and conditioning staff will. In this instance, that is more praise than criticism. Coogan is already a powerful blocker with solid technique, particularly his low level of attack. Nearly all prep offensive linemen need to put on weight and muscle as soon as they arrive in South Bend, but few can match Coogan’s grasp of technique.