Flanagan, who verbally committed to Rutgers tonight as a preferred walk-on, sees himself following the same path.
"I want to be able to tell that kind of story, the ones like Michael Burton, Shaun O'Hara and all those people do," Flanagan said. "I want to work toward a bigger goal."
A 6-foot-6 tight end, Flanagan officially visited Rutgers and Northwestern over the last two weeks before selecting the Scarlet Knights as his future home.
"I think it was a combination of things, sitting down and getting a chance to talk to the coaches and we talked about the decision, and what's in store for me at Rutgers," Flanagan said. "In talking to professors, other players, it was the perfect fit."
"I kind of looked past the tight end (depth)," Flanagan said. "Wherever I'm going, I'm going to work my (butt) off so that wasn't going to be a deciding factor. One of the biggest things I want to do wherever I go is stand out. Academically at Rutgers, I feel like I have the opportunity to get in some really good programs. Some of the professors who lead the other programs recommended me for some of them. He told me I was the kind of individual they want in some of their academic programs.
"[At the] end of the day, (depth) wasn't one of the huge factors," Flanagan said. "[Linebackers coach Dave] Cohen would always (talk about it) but I was like, 'Wherever I go, I'm going to get a chance to play.' Football is always about competing and playing. If there wasn't competition there would be no reason to play."