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Notre Dame 99-to-0: No. 76 Joe Alt, incoming and towering freshman offensive lineman

Joe Alt

Listed measurements: 6-foot-7, 280 pounds.2021-22 year, eligibility: As an incoming freshman, Alt has all four seasons of eligibility ahead of him.Depth Chart: Third-team or fourth-team work is a semantics issue. Alt is headed for Notre Dame’s scout team in 2021.Recruiting: The high school tight end was not much sought as a recruit. The pursuit the three-star prospect did receive all came from the Midwest.

WHY NO. 76?
As a tight end, Alt wore No. 16 in high school. That will not be an option in college, needing to fit within some NCAA number requirements. With No. 76 open on the Irish roster, at least his uniform will not look much different aside from that one additional horizontal line.

There are numerous flaws to compensating players via only the usages of their names, images and likenesses. One such flaw is that not all players want to jump through those hoops. They value their privacy, their spare time, their sanity. They should still receive some payment for their play, but this coming system will not much reward them for such.

With no posts on Instagram and only reports of scholarship offers on his Twitter, Alt may be such a player. The first of those offers came from Minnesota in November of 2019. The last came from Rutgers seven months later. The only non-offer post on Alt’s Twitter? His commitment.

Seeking a tight end with the intention of moving him to the offensive line is not an altogether unusual recruiting strategy, but when that tight end stands 6-foot-6 or 6-foot-7 but barely puts 240 pounds on the scale, that approach garners some skepticism. Notre Dame saw something different, something that came true even before December’s signing day.

“At one point, we had (Alt) listed at 240 (pounds) and was playing tight end as a junior,” then-Irish recruiting coordinator Brian Polian said when asked who had been underappreciated as a recruit. “Now you see he’s up 40 pounds, he’s 280, he moves great.”

WHAT WAS SAID WHEN ALT SIGNED“Some signings are projects, and Alt will be one, though that is hardly meant as a knock. He simply did not play on the offensive line in high school, so developing into that role will take some time.

“The Irish can afford to give Alt that time, with some combination of Josh Lugg, Aaron Banks and Jarrett Patterson likely starting at the tackle positions next year with current sophomores Andrew Kristofic and Quinn Carroll their backups.”

As much as Notre Dame’s offensive line is in flux, its depth cannot be doubted. At tackle alone, the Irish have various reasons to believe in fifth-year Josh Lugg, junior Quinn Carroll, sophomore Tosh Baker and early-enrolled freshman Blake Fisher, not to mention junior Andrew Kristofic waiting in the wings. So there is no need for Alt to fret about 2021.

DOWN THE ROADA recruiting reach like this one on paper gains credibility when the supposed project is the son of a former All-Pro NFL offensive tackle who enjoyed a 13-year career. John Alt’s success should not be expected from Joe Alt, but some success may be, all the same.

That will take time spent in the weight room and time spent waiting on Carroll, Baker and Fisher to wrap up their collegiate careers. Given Alt is currently on the same eligibility timeline as all three of them, that time will be in the realm of three or four years.

At that point, presuming the absolute certainty Alt does not play in more than four games in 2021, he will have two seasons of eligibility remaining. It does not excite anyone to refer to 2024 as any incoming freshman’s first chance at contributing, but when the offensive line is as deep as Notre Dame’s, it is not a concern, either.

Let’s try this again
No. 99 Rylie Mills, sophomore defensive tackle
No. 98 Alexander Ehrensberger, sophomore defensive end
No. 97 Gabriel Rubio, early-enrolled freshman defensive tackle the size of a Volkswagen
No. 95 Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, fifth-year defensive tackle-turned-end
No. 92 Aidan Keanaaina, sophomore defensive tackle
No. 88 Mitchell Evans, early-enrolled freshman tight end, a former high school quarterback
No. 87 Michael Mayer, star sophomore tight end and lead offensive weapon
No. 85 George Takacs, senior tight end, ‘152 years old’
No. 84 Kevin Bauman, sophomore tight end
No. 82 Xavier Watts, sophomore receiver
No. 81 Jay Brunelle, speedy sophomore receiver
No. 80 Cane Berrong, early-enrolled freshman tight end
No. 79 Tosh Baker, sophomore offensive tackle
No. 78 Pat Coogan, incoming freshman center
No. 77 Quinn Carroll, junior offensive lineman

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