Freshmen Spotlight: Mark Alt

Last season, the Gophers were lacking size, especially on the blueline. Incoming freshman defenseman Mark Alt is 6-foot-3, 194 pounds and should help the Gophers become a more physically imposing team this year.

Mark Alt, of Cretin Derham Hall, is a natural-born athlete. His father, John, played offensive tackle for the Iowa Hawkeyes before playing for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1984-1996. Mark Alt was also a great football player in his own right. As a quarterback for the Raiders, Alt led his team to a 2009 state championship.

Coming out of high school, Alt had to decide whether to pursue hockey or football in college. His upside in hockey showed, becoming the 53rd overall pick by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2010 NHL Draft.

Alt will be a great addition to the Gopher blueline this season. Last year, the team was lacking legitimate size in its defensemen. At 6-foot-4 Seth Helgeson has a large body but did not seem to possess a large amount of physical aggression.

Alt is a big, strong kid who can throw his weight around. He has college-ready size and knows how to use it to his advantage. Not only does Alt have great size but he also uses his athleticism as a great skater. He doesn't use his speed and skating ability to lead the offensive rush but instead uses it to beat defenders to the puck and to keep himself in a good defensive position.

Alt is a steady defender who will be able to use his size and speed to make an impact this season for the Gophers.

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