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James Flanigan Commits to UND, Explains His Love of Football, Appreciation of Team


“My love for the game has inspired me to keep going. I wouldn’t have put in all the work to get to this point if I didn’t have a passion for it,” said NDA junior James Flanigan who recently committed to play football at the University of Notre Dame.

Flanigan only played football for one year before high school–in seventh grade. He has always loved the sport, but was not allowed to play it earlier. He also started playing it because his father and grandfather both played in the NFL.

He plays both tight end and middle linebacker but was recruited for tight end. 

“I like my position because I get to block and catch passes at the same time, and my dimensions are just right for the position,” he said.

“It’s a rough sport where a group of guys get to go out there and beat on other kids, and we all love it,” said Flanigan. He also enjoys the brotherhood in the game and the “special” NDA team.

He said that what trained him the most was the development of his overall athleticism over the years, and not necessarily practicing only football. 

On top of that, Flanigan mentioned that the support of his family, friends and teammates have been crucial along the years, and that he is very blessed to have them.

Throughout his journey, Flanigan has learned to stay disciplined and focused because it is what makes him perform at his best, as well as succeeding in other areas, like academically.

This year, he received recognition as 1st Team All-Conference Tight End and Middle Linebacker, as well as the FRCC South Offensive Player of the Year. 

In the future, Flanigan’s goal is to get to the NFL. 

“I know that it is a really hard thing to do, but I believe in myself, and I am going to work as hard as I can to get there,” he said.

But for now, he is focused on continuing his football career in college at the University ofNotre Dame, and he is very grateful for that opportunity.

“I decided to commit there because I got the feeling that It was truly special: the tradition, history, and success really drew me in,” he said. 

Other aspects Flanigan liked about the school are that it is Catholic, close to home, has a challenging academic program and a great coaching staff and campus.

“My dad played there as well, so it is really special to have the chance to play where he did,” he added.

Finally, Flannigan offered advice to others who are also chasing their dreams: “Stay focused; there are a lot of distractions, and you will have to make some sacrifices, but if you know where you want to go in life, it is worth it.”

Thanks to sideline photographer Angela Wright for the playoff picture.

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