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Sunday, April 21, 2024
The Observer

Joe Alt declares for 2024 NFL Draft

Notre Dame offensive lineman Joe Alt (76) prepares to block during the game between Notre Dame and Marshall at Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022.

Notre Dame football lost another key member of its roster on Wednesday morning. This time, it wasn't to the transfer portal. Nor was it unexpected. Junior left tackle Joe Alt announced he will not play in the Sun Bowl or return for his senior year. Instead, Alt is heading to the NFL Draft. He will look to become Notre Dame's first player selected in the first round since Kyle Hamilton in 2022.

Alt was not even a unanimous four-star recruit when he arrived in South Bend three years ago, with ESPN and Rivals giving him a three-star rating. It didn't take long for Alt to prove those ratings inaccurate. It took Alt just five games to earn a starting role, something he never lost for the rest of his collegiate career. He was named a Pro Football Focus Freshman All-American, the first of numerous accolades Alt earned for the Irish.

In 2022, Alt was named a second-team All-American by the FWAA and Walter Camp, among other outlets, while earning a first-team All-American honor from the Associated Press. All three outlets agreed Alt earned the first-team designation in 2023. Pro Football Focus rated him as the country's second-best offensive tackle.

Alt's departure isn't shocking given all of those accomplishments. Alt is projected as a first-round pick by numerous outlets with the potential to go in the top 10. The Irish haven't had an offensive lineman be selected in the first round since Quenton Nelson and Mike McGlinchey went three picks apart at No. 6 and No. 9 to the Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers, respectively, in 2018.

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