Blue and Gold Illustrated

June-July 2020

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 36 of 47 JUNE/JULY 2020 37 On any given Saturday as a kid, Pat Coogan was watching the Fighting Irish. He admittedly grew up a big fan of the university and dreamed of running out of the tunnel at Notre Dame Stadium, donning the famous gold helmet. When Coogan, a 6-5, 275-pound class of 2021 offensive lineman from Chicago Marist, received his first scholarship offer in April 2019 from Kent State, the aspiration of playing for Notre Dame became a little bit more realistic. A couple months later, Coogan participated in the Notre Dame Line- man's Challenge Camp, showing of- fensive line coach Jeff Quinn and the Irish staff what he was capable of. Then in September 2019, Coogan made another trip to South Bend, this time to watch the Fighting Irish dis- mantle New Mexico 66-14. Coogan held 10 scholarship offers at this point, including a few Power Five programs. "The atmosphere is definitely one of a kind — that's for sure," Coogan told Blue & Gold Illustrated follow- ing the visit. "The vibe and energy around the stadium was off the charts. The walk in was probably one of the coolest parts. The recruits got to fol- low the team in. That was special." There wasn't much new that trans- pired in Coogan's recruitment with Notre Dame until January. Irish of- fensive coordinator Tommy Rees and Quinn watched Coogan work out at his school, and then the contact between the two parties started to accelerate. "They shot it straight with me re- garding my recruitment," Coogan said. "It was a very positive conver- sation and basically gave me a time- table and what to expect from them." Coogan appreciated that the Notre Dame staff didn't sugarcoat anything with him. They were recruiting other offensive linemen who they had pre- viously offered and wanted to see what happened with those prospects before offering Coogan. "I thought that was a testament to their character with how they went about everything, being open and honest," Chicago Marist head coach Ron Dawczak said. Coogan received the scholarship offer from Notre Dame March 26, which was a surreal moment for the Rivals three-star recruit. "[Coach Rees] told me this was go- ing to happen, and he's a man of his word," Coogan said. "He said I check off all the boxes that Notre Dame wants, and he knows what I bring to the table." Before adding the Notre Dame offer, Coogan was already a big-time pros- pect. He had the likes of Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Stanford and many others on his scholarship sheet. But soon after Brian Kelly's program extended a ten- der, Coogan's stock skyrocketed. He quickly added offers from LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Texas A&M. "It meant a great deal to him," Dawczak said of Notre Dame. "Get- ting that scholarship offer was a goal for him. When that did come through, it opened the door for other big-time offers to come. But [Notre Dame] was the one that meant the most to him and the one was he was looking forward to. "It didn't take that much time af- ter the scholarship offer to make his decision." Coogan had a video chat with Quinn and Rees April 15, and soon after that call ended, the No. 6 player in Illinois and the No. 36 offensive tackle in the country called the coaches back and let them know he didn't want to wait any longer to make a verbal commitment. "It was really just their vision for me when I enter the program, how they'll work with me," Coogan said. "I loved what I heard, [it was] exactly what I wanted to hear. "I had conversations with people in my corner and I knew it was the best fit for me. Even without going on an official visit or anything it feels like home already. I figured why wait until June and help build the class." While Coogan is listed as an offen- sive tackle by Rivals, he is projected to play in the interior for the Irish. "They're looking to put me at guard or center," Coogan said. "Hon- estly, wherever they think is best for me is what's best for me. I'm ready to take the challenge head on." ✦ COMMITMENT PROFILE PATRICK COOGAN Dream Come True: Fighting Irish Fan Pledges To Notre Dame Coogan, a three-star recruit and No. 36 offensive tackle nationally per Rivals, was sought after by pro- grams such as defending national champ LSU, Michigan, Ohio State and Oklahoma. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM RECRUIT ANALYSIS "We may look back at [Pat] Coogan as the unsung hero of this Notre Dame 2021 class, de- spite the class already featuring four Rivals100 prospects. There is an argument to be made that Coogan's value within a class exceeds his individual rating because of his versatility. "The Chicagoland product could legitimately play all five offensive line positions, from cen- ter to tackle. That type of versatility can en- hance your entire offensive line unit." — Rivals Midwest recruiting analyst Josh Helmholdt

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