Blue and Gold Illustrated

October 28, 2023

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

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50 OCT. 28, 2023 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED FOOTBALL RECRUITING BY KYLE KELLY J ames Flanigan flew past Green Bay (Wis.) Notre Dame de la Baie Acad- emy's defense and jogged into the end zone with the ball in hand. In fact, Flanigan, a 2025 class four- star recruit, did it routinely all after- noon and early evening during a late August practice at the school's small stadium, nestled in the back of the property. Notre Dame Academy fits Flani- gan and his family perfectly. It's the town's only Catholic college prepara- tory school. It lies just down the street from Lambeau Field, the 66-year home of the Green Bay Packers. Flanigan's father, former University of Notre Dame defensive lineman Jim Flanigan, played for the Packers during the 2001 season. His grandfather, Jim Flanigan Sr., donned the famous green jerseys and cheese-colored yellow hel- met from 1967-70. After each of their playing careers, the Flanigans settled in Green Bay. The town's biggest draw is the Pack- ers. Its infrastructure dominates the area with its 81,441-seat stadium and numerous entertainment district at- tractions. However, if you enter either his fa- ther's or grandfather's households, Flanigan said there are no jerseys plas- tered on the wall, commemorative dec- orations or helmets lying around. The younger Flanigan, James, did not even discover his dad played in the NFL until he was maybe 9 or 10 years old. After all, he was born after his father's playing days. The only game he's recalled watching is parts of the 1993 Florida State-Notre Dame clash, otherwise known as "The Game of the Century." Besides that, Flanigan knows little about his father the football player. "I've looked on YouTube, but I can't find anything from back then," Fla- nigan said. "He's never shown me any- thing." According to On3, Flanigan is the No. 4 prospect in Wisconsin, and the No. 9 tight end and No. 229 overall player nationally in the 2025 cycle. He has reported double-digit full- ride scholarship offers from Power Five football programs. But half of those are already out of the picture. Privately, Flanigan is only focused on Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Michigan, Penn State and Stanford. Since college coaches could begin contacting 2025 recruits permissibly on Aug. 1, other programs have reached out. But that interest has gone unre- ported. And it will likely stay that way. Still, there's plenty of buzz that sur- rounds the Fighting Irish. His first recruiting trip to South Bend was on March 25 for spring practice. He's since returned twice for two marquee visitor weekends prior to the start of his high school junior season — the Blue- Gold Game on April 22 and the "Grill & Chill" recruiting event on July 30. The Irish initially offered Flanigan as a tight end. But between his second and third visits, Notre Dame accepted a verbal commitment from Washington (Okla.) High 2025 tight end Nate Rob- erts. After that, the Irish reclassified Flanigan as an "athlete" prospect who could play on defense. However, less than two months following Roberts' June 17 pledge, he backed off it and re- opened his recruitment. Now, Notre Dame is determined to add Flanigan to the fold in any way it can — whether as a tight end or edge rusher. James Flanigan Embraces His Family's Identity Through His Notre Dame Recruitment Flanigan (right) said his father, Jim (left) — a defensive lineman at Notre Dame from 1990-93 — has not steered him toward one school or another and just wants what's best for him. PHOTO COURTESY TOM LEMMING

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