February 2, 2010

Alt deciding between hockey and football

By now, most recruits know what they're going to do tomorrow as the entire college football world focuses on National Signing Day. But Saint Paul, Minn., prospect Mark Alt faces an interesting twist - play football or play hockey. He's committed to Minnesota for hockey but has a football offer from Iowa …

The two-star quarterback is ranked the No. 37 American skater in the NHL Central Scouting Service Midterm Rankings (meaning he'd be a likely second-round pick this June). He's considered the third-best Minnesotan available for the draft. Yet, the football player in him - he's the quarterback for five-star offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson at Cretin-Derham Hall - has him reconsidering his future.

"I'm not going to sign a letter of intent tomorrow," the 6-3, 199-pound defenseman told CollegeHockey247.com. "I'm going to wait until we get closer to the NHL Draft, probably in April for the next signing period, to give me a little more time to make this decision.

"I like hockey a lot and I know I have a great future there, but I'd want to play football first. And if I had to, I'd grayshirt and begin my football career next January."

Alt has been hearing from Stanford, UCLA and Wisconsin, in addition to Iowa, for football. He's heard some rumblings he could play both hockey and football at Minnesota but no Golden Gophers' coach has formally approached him with the idea.

"I really don't see why he couldn't do both; there are obviously guys that play football and basketball in college and those two sports overlap also," football coach Mike Scanlan said. "I used to be a hockey guy and I know he's a special talent, but he's a big-time quarterback too and I think he could have an outstanding college career in football."

Minnesota hockey fans and Iowa football fans will just have to wait a little longer to see what this unique athlete will do.

"I'm not doing this for any other reason than I just don't know right now what I want to do," he said. "I need a little more time."

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