Blue and Gold Illustrated

June-July 2019

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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38 JUNE/JULY 2019 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY MIKE SINGER Notre Dame landed its future long snapper in Alex Peitsch, who ranks as the nation's No. 1 long snapper and a five-star recruit according to Kohl's Professional Camps, the foremost authority on special teams prospects. The Washington (D.C.) St. John's College High standout visited Notre Dame in February and was in close contact with special teams coordi- nator Brian Polian. After Polian watched the rising senior work out at St. John's in April, he extended an offer. It took just a few days for the 6-2, 220-pounder to decide on Notre Dame after receiving that tender. Peitsch announced his commitment to the Fighting Irish April 24. "I had a couple of other schools looking at me, but as a specialist, you don't get 30-plus offers. It's very lim- ited," he said. "So with Notre Dame — how can I get [a school] better than that?" Peitsch felt a strong connection with Polian, who will be his posi- tion coach at Notre Dame. He likes how the Irish special teams coach is a straight shooter and doesn't sugar- coat his message. "He said that this is a school where you're just going to get a football ma- jor," Peitsch explained. "You're going to get a good education and work hard in school. "I really appreciated that and the emphasis on the academics. Notre Dame is something special, and if you want to start for four years, you have to put in the work." The prospect knew that a schol- arship offer was probably on the line when Polian came out to see him work out in April. It didn't faze Peitsch, though. "I did my thing. He liked what he saw and offered me," Peitsch said. "Mentally, the second he said that, I knew in my mind I was going to Notre Dame. "I didn't want to come off as too anxious and commit on the spot." There's a night-and-day difference between what a top specialist's re- cruitment looks like compared to a top prospect at any other position. Peitsch would know, since two of his teammates are five-star players and several more are sought-after recruits. However, prep prospects ul- timately can only pick one school and having the option to go to Notre Dame meant the world to Peitsch. "It really is special, and it's hum- bling too," Peitsch explained. "I started snapping pretty diligently in sixth or seventh grade. You don't get too much traction from colleges, and then junior year, still no offers, but I've been going to camps and show- ing that I'm the top guy. "It was a little frustrating, but I re- alized that's how it is as a specialist. It was really rewarding and surreal when I got a scholarship to one of the top football schools in America." Northwestern, Stanford, Vander- bilt and Virginia were other schools that showed interest in Peitsch (and it should be noted, all four are high academic schools as well). "If all of those schools offered me, where would I go? My answer was Notre Dame, so why not commit and show my loyalty? That was my rea- soning," he said. Peitsch plays for one of the top high school football programs in the country, and St. John's College High is loaded with recruits. Safety Mordecai McDan- iel officially visited Notre Dame this spring, and the long snapper will try to re- cruit him and other team- mates to join him in South Bend. "Yes sir, I will definitely try," he said. "It would be nice to have some guys that I know to come in with. They're all good guys, too." Notre Dame doesn't have a need for long snapper in 2020, thanks to the pres- ence of John Shannon, who will be entering his fourth season handling snapping duties that fall. But landing Peitsch continues a trend for Notre Dame since head coach Brian Kelly has ar- rived. Notre Dame lands what it consid- ers the top long snapper, it redshirts him for a year to build up his body, and then he takes over for the next four seasons. It began with Scott Daly in the 2012 class, continued with Shannon in 2016, and now it is Peitsch's turn. Peitsch was one of three April com- mitments for the Irish; he followed wide receiver Jordan Johnson and drop end Jordan Botelho. ✦ FILM ANALYSIS Strengths "Alex Peitsch has put himself in a league of his own and is truly one of the most impres- sive snappers we have ever seen. He snaps a consistent ball that is unmatched by anyone else in the country. "Peitsch recently competed against the best 2020 snappers at our Underclassman Chal- lenge and was unbeaten. Through all of the Kohl's National Ranking Camps, Peitsch has finished with the top overall charting score for all ages. "He has a great frame and has shown the ability to cover down field. Peitsch is one of the best high school snappers Kohl's has ever seen and will be a day one starter for any pro- gram in America." — Kohl's Professional Camps COMMITMENT PROFILE ALEX PEITSCH Nation's No. 1 Long Snapper Joins Notre Dame's 2020 Class Peitsch is ranked as the class of 2020's No. 1 long snapper by Kohl's Professional Camps, the foremost authority on special teams prospects. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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