Notre Dame is on what you could call a mini roll in recruiting at the moment, with the commitment of offensive lineman Pat Coogan on Wednesday afternoon. This was something of a dream come true for Coogan, who grew up a Notre Dame fan, and is from an area filled with Notre Dame followers, as evidenced by his neighbor, who serenaded him with the Notre Dame Fight Song on his accordion to celebrate the commitment.
congrats pat!! don’t forget your neighbors when your big time!! go irish ☘️ (my dad wanted to give you a special congrats😂😂) pic.twitter.com/IhW6X7YINw
— catherine kennedy🌟 (@catherinek122) April 16, 2020
Coogan’s verbal pledge pushed the Irish from 7th to 5th overall in 247’s composite team rankings, behind only Ohio State, Clemson, North Carolina, and Florida. It also brings Notre Dame’s total commitments up to eight for the cycle, so there is obviously room for Notre Dame to continue adding to the class.
Coogan committed a little less than three weeks following the verbal pledge of four-star Texas defensive end David Abiara, giving Brian Kelly and staff some much needed momentum, following the de-commitment of top 50 receiver Deion Colzie in March.
While Coogan and Abiara are three-star players on most services (Abiara is a composite 4-star on 247Sports rankings), something they have in common is robust offer lists. The two players share offers from LSU, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M, while Abiara boasts offers from Alabama and Wisconsin, and Coogan received offers from Michigan, Ohio State, and Oregon. It’s always nice to nab prospects who are in demand from some of college footballs blue bloods.
The focus naturally turns towards who the Irish might land next, and what it means for the class.
More Offensive Line Help On The Way?
Michigan offensive lineman Rocco Spindler has been heavily linked to Notre Dame for a while this offseason, with many believing the Irish would be receiving his commitment during his March 20-22 official visit weekend, had it taken place. The recruiting dead period slowed things down in that regard, but momentum could be picking back up for Notre Dame and Spindler.
Spindler also sent a notable tweet to Pat Coogan following his commitment on Wednesday.
Congratulations my man! I take it that the ball is in my court now to join?? 🤙🏼☘️ https://t.co/cm7krkVJvS
— Rocco Spindler (@RoccoSpindler92) April 16, 2020
To be clear, this could be something, or it could be nothing, but it’s notable nevertheless. But, what would a Spindler commitment mean to the class?
First, it’d give them three offensive linemen, joining top 100 Blake Fisher, and Coogan. Notre Dame probably wants to take at least four, and this gets them to the doorstep of that.
Second, it would also give them a top 50 player overall as Spindler checks in at #47, and it would solidify them in the 5th spot nationally. And going back to the 2020 class, it would give Notre Dame four top 150 offensive linemen in the last two classes, with a mixture of guards and tackles in that group.
Where Might The 4th Lineman Come From?
Notre Dame has been linked to four-star Caleb Johnson out of Florida recently. He was offered a scholarship on March 3rd. He has offers from Auburn, Alabama, Florida State, and Miami. The trick will be to try and get him on campus reasonably soon, and for him to hold off on a commitment till he can build relationships with the Notre Dame players and coaches.
The same is true for Michigan’s Rayshaun Benny, who Notre Dame offered on March 26th. That recruitment is just now starting to kick off in earnest, so the Irish will be behind many of the other schools who have been on Benny for a more extended period of time.
Notre Dame still has some hope for five-star Nolan Rucci and top 100 Garrett Dellinger, but they don’t lead for any of the players mentioned above, which is why landing Coogan and Spindler are so important. If for some reason, they miss on Spindler, I’d expect to see a slew of offers go out fairly quickly.
Any Update On Will Shipley?
Well, none that are reportable anyway. We constantly hear things about where Shipley may be leaning, but nothing we’d be confident in either way. It’s just a waiting game at the moment. I would say that it probably wouldn’t hurt if Notre Dame went ahead and landed Rocco Spindler to go along with Pat Coogan and Blake Fisher on the offensive line. Combining those three with Tosh Baker and Michael Carmody from the 2020 class, not to mention 2021 quarterback commit Tyler Buchner, and fellow top 100 running back Chris Tyree can only be a good thing.
Speaking Of Tyler Buchner, Guess Who Is A 5 Star?
Tyler Buchner received a 5th star on 247 sports composite rating today, coming in at 30th overall in the nation. In terms of success at Notre Dame, it might just be better for him to be underrated, given how top 100 quarterbacks have fared under Brian Kelly during his tenure. Kidding aside, this rise has long been expected for Buchner, whose overall talent is pretty undeniable. He has also changed schools in San Diego, he’ll be playing against stiffer competition next fall (in the event there are games of course), so he could rise–or fall–once again.