May 17, 2011

Tyler Alt is high on Pack

When learning about center prospect Tyler Alt, it's almost impossible not to draw comparisons to current Wolfpack center Camden Wentz. Physically, the similarities are uncanny: Wentz measured 6-foot-3 and 276 pounds as a prep senior while Alt checks in at a hair under 6-3 and 280 pounds.

Both are heady, four-year varsity linemen on the prep level, as well. Wentz was a one-time commitment to Stanford while Alt is loaded up on AP and honors courses already as a junior at Greensburg (Pa.) Central Catholic. Both players were versatile performers on the prep level, as Wentz bounced from tackle to center and back out to the end in high school. Meanwhile, Alt was an all-state defensive lineman as a sophomore before starting both ways for the first time last year and earning all-state honors at offensive tackle. Although he has never played center before in an actual game, Alt's height almost limits him specifically to that position at the next level, but the Pack is extremely interested.

"Coach [Mike] Archer told him the center they have now played at offensive tackle in high school so they have no problem making Tyler a center," Alt's father, David, said. "They just want to see him at camp [before offering] and we'll see how that falls. I know they're real excited about him and he's real excited about NC State."

Alt is still looking for his first offer on the recruiting trail but is hearing from a ton of schools, including Duke, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Penn State, among others. He's done extensive summer camp tours over the past few years and has seen a good deal of colleges in person. North Carolina is one area in particular that stood out to the youngster during those visits up and down the east coast.

"We love the area down there, he likes the warm weather," his father said. "Last year, he went to like 16 camps and he found out that he really likes North Carolina, especially the Raleigh area. He's been to a couple of football games down there, for NC State, North Carolina and Duke; so he really likes that area and he's kind of narrowed it down to two schools in the state - NC State and Duke. He's been invited to camp by Wake, so he may still end up going to camp there but he's kind of got four that he is pretty set on, one or two others might work their way in there.

"He's going to go to five camps this summer. He hasn't decided yet but right now it looks like he's going to Duke, NC State, Indiana and Purdue. He's looking for the other one or two that he may attend. He got invited to a lot of camps, but there's only so many he can go to. He's feeling it out, figuring out who he likes. He's been down to NC State a couple of times. He's got a real good relationship with Coach Archer and Chad Jamison, who is Director of High School Relations. Jamison is from up here, he grew up probably fifteen minutes from where we live. He's got a great relationship with those guys and is real excited to come down to camp."

Part of the reason Alt has not nabbed that first tender yet is because programs have never seen him snap in game action, David Alt said. The rising-senior will be able to fix that when he attends camp and the father is sure that once one school pulls the trigger, a snowball effect is bound to happen.

"Michigan and all these big schools are coming in and always want him to camp," the elder Alt said. "They tell his coach once he gets one offer, he will get about 30. Everybody likes him, they're just waiting for somebody else to make the move. We'll see what happens."

Alt has been keeping his busy schedule this spring and has performed at several combines recently. At the Penn State Nike Camp, he earned runner-up MVP honors for his position group and made the all-camp team. He has also done more than enough to hold his own at the U.S. All-American Combine. When asked if his son was holding out hope to hear more from anybody, he said Alt was pretty happy with who he is being recruited by, saying, "he's hearing a lot from the colleges he likes, he's just kind of waiting for [the offers]."

Despite earning all-state honors at tackle last year, Alt will probably move inside on the offensive line for his senior campaign, although it could be at guard. He will be the only returning starter on the offensive front, which could possibly prevent him form lining up at the pivot.

"It's up in the air, but I think they are going to move Tyler somewhere inside," David said of his son. "He's been working all winter and spring at center, but it's more or less to show colleges that he can snap. [The team] is going to need him where he can help the most, but he could play center. It's wherever the coaches put him, he'll play anywhere on offense or defense. He also plays wedge buster on the kickoff team and he's pretty good at that."

Alt also mentioned that the first team to officially offer his son will probably have a little bit of an advantage in landing his commitment, which he expects to be done before the football season starts.

"I think he's going to commit before the season starts but I wouldn't be surprised if he commits before August," the father said. "I also wouldn't be surprised if he commits at a camp."


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