Marcus Freeman talks up freshman TE Cooper Flanagan in wake of Mitchell Evans' injury
Marcus Freeman shared some bad news on Monday, telling reporters that star tight end Mitchell Evans will miss the remainder of the 2023 season with a torn ACL.
It’s a brutal blow for Notre Dame’s passing offense, which relied on Evans to a significant degree this season.
However, Notre Dame does have some depth at the tight end position. Holden Staes and Eli Raridon are experienced options who have shown flashes in the past. There’s also true freshman Cooper Flanagan, who has been impressive in his first season with the Fighting Irish.
“He presents a skillset that’s a little bit different in terms of the power that he’s able to block with,” Freeman said. “He blocks with a physicality that not everybody in that room has. He’s also developing in the pass game. He’s doing some things in practice in the pass game that is really impressive.”
Flanagan, a former 4-star recruit, showed off some of those improvements on Saturday vs. Pitt. He got into the game and caught his first-career touchdown pass from Steve Angeli against the Panthers:
What a beautiful ball by Steve Angeli to Cooper Flanagan for the Touchdown pic.twitter.com/Y2o6yrKiL7
— 😀 (@AR15Number1Fan) October 28, 2023
While Freeman said Notre Dame will rely on the entire TE room to replace Evans’ production, it will be interesting to see if Flanagan has an increased role in the offense moving forward given his versatility.
Notre Dame will play on the road at Clemson on Saturday.