Irish OL Commit Pat Coogan Discusses His Pitch To Rocco Spindler
BlueandGold.com recruiting insider Mike Singer caught up with Chicago Marist offensive lineman and Notre Dame commit Pat Coogan to reflect on his pledge to the Irish, pitch to Rocco Spindler and much more.
Read the Q&A below.
When you look back on how your recruitment played out and your commitment to Notre Dame, how did it all come together and how did you come to pick the Irish?
Coogan: “Even as a little kid, I wanted to play football at Notre Dame. When I got that opportunity — why would I pass that up? Once I got the offer, I started to dive deep into my recruitment and take things to the next level and see if I wanted to take visits to other schools.
“I liked other colleges and wasn’t just going to throw them away, but I came to the realization that Notre Dame was where I wanted to be and I love the people there and the campus life. The football and academics speak for itself. I jumped on the opportunity.”
Would you have done everything differently in hindsight with your recruiting process?
Coogan: “I wouldn’t change a thing. The recruiting process was awesome for me. With the coronavirus situation, I didn’t know when I could take visits. In March, we were hoping that it would open up in June and obviously that didn’t happen.
“I definitely made the right decision, and I’m glad I committed.”
With every class, there are always commits who recruit other prospects. I feel like you and Blake Fisher are like Batman and Robin. Why do you take it upon yourself to go after all of these guys? It’s not just offensive linemen you’ve been recruiting either.
Coogan: “Honestly, I pride myself on being able to make friends with different types of people. It’s easy to talk to people, and Blake and I get along very well. We have the same personality.
“Football-wise, to win a national championship, you need stud players all over the field. I’m closer to heart with offensive linemen, but Philip Riley was one of the first guys I texted when I committed. Dont’e Thornton Jr., too — to hopefully get some of those guys would be incredible.”
Who else have you been working on?
Coogan: “Rocco [Spindler] is the main guy. His name is all over Twitter these days with his announcement coming up. Jayden Thomas, Titus Mokiao-Atimalala, Logan Diggs a little bit, Brock Bowers, Mitchell Evans and Prince Kollie.”
When you talk to Rocco, what’s your pitch? I’m sure you guys all play video games together, so it’s mostly just being goofy teenagers, but you guys still have real recruiting going on. What do you tell him?
Coogan: “The three main things I tell him are elite education, elite football and elite campus life. Those are three powerful things. That’s my main pitch. Obviously, having a national schedule doesn’t hurt – playing Stanford, USC, Clemson and Ohio State all while we’re going to be student athletes there doesn’t hurt.
What’s the communication with the staff like? It may not be as much before you committed, but how often are you talking to them and what’re the conversations like?
Coogan: “I talk with them a lot. Coach Kelly texts me here and there throughout the week. I text with Coach Quinn maybe three times per week and hop on the phone once or twice per week — and it will be like 45 minute conversations.
“Those are great. With Coach Rees, me, him and Blake have a group chat, and he usually texts or FaceTimes us. We’ll talk about recruiting and basically everything.”
When you get on those 45 minute phone calls with Quinn, what’s there to talk about?
Coogan: “Just life, really. He’s an awesome guy. I love his personality. He’s a father-figure. We talk about life, our football, their football, recruiting, school — those are the main topics.
“But whatever flows really. He’s really easy to talk to.”
How’s your offseason development going?
Coogan: “Personally, I feel great. I was able to work out during quarantine; I have a great set up down in my basement. I’m sitting at 6-5½ and 304 pounds.”
What do you like about new Notre Dame commit Joe Alt’s film?
Coogan: “His athleticism from being a tight end is really intriguing. I know he has great bloodlines with his dad playing in the NFL. His size is awesome; I know he’s almost up to 270.
“Just the way he comes off the ball — he’s super low and furious. He plays with a mean streak. His film is really fun to watch.”
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