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Notre Dame LT Joe Alt to skip Sun Bowl, enter NFL draft

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Potential top-10 NFL draft pick Joe Alt of Notre Dame is skipping the Sun Bowl to get a jumpstart on preparation for his pro career.

The two-time All-American left tackle is rated in the top 13 among 2024 draft-eligible prospects by Field Level Media and is 15th on ESPN’s Big Board.

“What a ride it has been! From wearing 45 as a tight end to wearing 76 as a left tackle, I’m truly grateful for all the memories at this university and all the friends made on and off the field,” Alt posted on social media Wednesday. “I want to thank God for the abilities He has blessed me with and the opportunities he presented me with here at Notre Dame.”

Notre Dame plays Oregon State in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 29, but the Fighting Irish (9-3) are down a bunch of talent, including NFL-bound quarterback Sam Hartman and Alt.

Alt allowed one sack and four pressures in 2023, according to Pro Football Focus.

Alt is eligible to compete in the Senior Bowl but hasn’t confirmed his status for that all-star game in Mobile, Ala.

The converted tight end is expected to be a big draw at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, where his athleticism and size are a partial byproduct of NFL bloodlines. He’ll be trying to best his father, John Alt, an offensive tackle selected No. 21 by the Chiefs in 1984. He played 13 seasons in Kansas City. Like his son, he played tight end entering college (at Iowa), then converted to tackle.

He’ll also be in a battle to be the top-rated offensive tackle in the 2024 draft with Penn State’s Ola Fashanu. Fashanu was projected as a first-round pick in 2023 but opted to return to the Nittany Lions for another season.

It won’t take much to convince coaches that Joe Alt already knows what it means to be a pro. He watches film every week with his dad to find weaknesses and physical tells of opponents, and Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman said his preparation is closer to the equivalent of a coach, not a player.

Then there’s the physical traits.

Joe Alt was a 220-pound tight end as a junior in high school playing the tight end spot in Minnesota. He said he dedicated himself for more than 16 months, eating and lifting his way to hit 306 before his first day in South Bend.

At 6-8, 323, Alt started the past 33 consecutive games for the Fighting Irish and was named All-American each of the past two seasons.

–Field Level Media

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