Duke's Approach A Hit With PA OL

He first visited Duke in June of 2010. He then returned to Durham for the Duke-Alabama game in the fall. Now, this Pennsylvania offensive lineman continues to hear from the Blue Devil staff frequently. Check inside for the complete story.

"I'm being recruited by Coach Knowles, Coach Luke, and Coach Cutcliffe at Duke," said Greensburg (Pa.) Central Catholic standout lineman Tyler Alt. " I am being recruited hard by about 10 schools and receiving letters from about 40. Among those are Michigan State, Purdue, Indiana, Florida State, Iowa, Iowa State, Miami, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Michigan, Auburn, Maryland, North Carolina, NC State, Oregon, LSU, and Wake Forest. I am also rewcieving a lot of mail form all of the Ivy League programs."

At 6-foot-3 and 280 pounds with a 77 inch wingspan, Alt has the measurables to suggest he'll be a high major offensive lineman at the next level. In addition to his frame, Alt has a forty time of 4.9 second, a shuttle run of 4.75, and a vertical jump of 27 inches. And he is working hard to continue to improve those off the field numbers.

"One of my weaknesses was flexibility, and I am correcting with workouts with a personal trainer at the Parisi Speed school. In addition to my workouts there, I also workout with my team three days a week. The increase in my flexibility this offseason was quickly seen in that my vertical jump increased four inches in two months."

His own analysis of his weaknesses aside, Alt still managed to shine for his high school team as a junior. In 2010 he played offensive tackle and defensive end and registered a number of pancakes at tackle along with six sacks from the end. It was good enough to earn several post season honors including All-State in both his sophomore and junior seasons (at each position), along with an invite to the US Army All-American Combine in 2011. So what were the keys to Tyler's success?

"My strengths are my feet, my physical strength, and my intelligence on the field. Right now it has lead to nine or 10 schools who are going to offer me this summer according to their coaches. It is still very early, and most schools are projecting me as a center. I don't have any film at that position as I played tackle last year. I do, however, have confidence that I can play center very well and I am looking forward to that challenge. The coaches have all told me that once the first offer comes, several will quickly follow. That's why the first offer will hold a special place for me."

Despite the lack of an official offer yet, Alt has heard quite a bit from a number of schools including Duke. In fact the Blue Devils have been as active as any program with the Pennsylvania standout.

"I am really impressed with Duke and the coaching staff there. I came down to the Alabama game last year and I was impressed that they had their guys continually fighting against Alabama even though they were clearly overmatched in that game. They never backed down and the coaches kept coaching and working the entire game. After the game the recruits were invited into the locker room. It was very impressive to see. I have been to schools where if the team loses, you just go home, but Coach Cutcliffe and his staff had us in the locker room and shook our hands and thanked us for coming. They also said that better days were ahead."

"When they did that I truly believed him. It is easy to shake a recruit's hand when you win the game, but to do so under those conditions really left an impression on me. I got to see first hand how a great coach handles adversity and doesn't hide his face. He just goes forward. Coach Cutcliffe has won everywhere he's been, and he'll win big at Duke. I really believe that."

Alt's inclusion in the list of recruits at the Alabama game wasn't the first time he had a chance to meet the Duke coaching staff either. It was simply the next step in a process that had been on going for several months, and is still on-going.

"I am being recruited by Coach Knowles. I met him last summer when I came through Durham after I camped at some nearby schools. I met with him for around 90 minutes and talked about Duke and the direction of the program and the passion the coaches have for finding success at Duke. I also had a chance to meet Coach Cutcliffe that day when he invited me down for the Alabama game. A few weeks ago I visited Duke again when I was down in the area for junior day at another school. I got to sit in with Coach Luke for morning meetings. Over the course of the past year we have emailed a few times per month. He's a very cool coach."

Right now Alt says the Duke recruiting pitch is a chance for a recruit to come in and play Division I football at a great University with a staff that cares about the entire student athlete.

"Most coaches say the same things, but it seems to ring a bit more sincere from Duke. Plus, being from Pennsylvania, the weather would be a definite improvement."

In general Tyler says he's got a basic idea of what he's looking for in a school, especially after taking so many visits over the last two years.

"A great fit for me is a school that has a great academic background, a great atmosphere, and a great coaching staff that supports the student athletes as a whole. I am being recruited by a lot of Big 10, ACC, Big East, and SEC schools. I grew up in Big East and Big 10 country, but over the past two years I have visited many ACC schools to watch a number of games that have helped me become an ACC Football fan."

In the past two years I have been to Duke, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Penn State, Rutgers, NC State, UNC, Clemson, Florida State, Central Michigan, Pittsburgh, and Wake Forest. I am planning on NC State for their Spring day on April 16th. I am attending the Nike Elite Invite Camp for lineman at State College on April 30. I am scaling down camps this summer and plan to attend only 5 or 6. I am going to sit down with my Coach Muzzy Colisimo and my dad and see what schools I have the most interest in and vice versa. Right now I would say that Duke will probably be one of them."

The Devils Den Top Stories