The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a roster full of players, and we want to talk about them all. One Foot Down’s player profile series will, once again, take a look at every single one of them, and hopefully we all learn a little bit more about these guys, and Notre Dame’s chances for the upcoming 2021 season.
#44 Alex Peitsch, LS
In terms of long-snapper recruit hype, Notre Dame has likely never reeled in a bigger fish* than when Alex Peitsch signed with the Irish as a member of the 2020 class.
*Pat Rick Note: pun not intended — this will make more sense later
Sure, a quick glance at Peitsch’s 247sports recruiting profile doesn’t impress too much, at least instantaneously — the 3-star prospect from Ellicott City, Maryland was ranked 2,720th overall in his class for crying out loud.
But then, once you dive a little deeper, it’s clear you’re looking at a pretty special prospect, relatively speaking. 247sports not only had Peitsch ranked as the #1 long snapper in his class, but he was also considered the #19 player coming out of Washington D.C. Yes, you read that right — there were only 18 D.C. high school football prospects ranked above A LONG SNAPPER.
Some Googling only turns up more reasons to believe in Alex Peitsch’s elite talent. He was named both an Under Armour All-American AND a U.S. Army All-American. And he has some pretty jaw-dropping videos on YouTube displaying his snapping highlights.
Or, you may just happen upon his prospect profile from Kohl’s Kicking Camp, which rated him as the 5-star, #1-ranked long snapper as the service that SPECIALIZES IN EVALUATING AND RATING LONG SNAPPERS (along with kickers and punters).
They even had this to say about him:
“Peitsch is truly one of the most impressive snappers I have ever had the privilege to coach. Peitsch finished the Kohl’s National Scholarship Camp on a high note by earning a spot in the Under Armour All America Game. Peitsch has been nothing short of dominant at every Kohl’s event he has attended. He is someone who pushes himself to be the best he can be in every aspect of sports and in life. Peitsch is truly a generational talent and will be able to make an immediate impact for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.”
The craziest thing, though? He really DIDN’T make an immediate impact for ND last year, despite being a generational talent. Because then-junior and walk-on snapper Michael Vinson earned the starting job, Peitsch only saw action in one game in 2020 — the 52-0 blowout of South Florida.
The Restaurant That Fits
Long John Silver’s
Did I choose this mostly because it has “Long” in the name and because if you conveniently and selectively ignore “John,” then an acronym for this seafood fast food chain would be “LS”?
But I also like to think this is actually a pretty complimentary choice. No one really knows how, but Long John Silver’s has managed to survive as a massive chain with 700+ locations, serving definitely-not-fresh seafood, primarily in the Midwest, for more than 50 years.
That kind of persistence and longevity is admirable as hell, and I like to think that Peitsch felt a bit like a fish out of water when he arrived at ND with such long-snapping fanfare and somehow wasn’t immediately handed the keys to the long-snapping car.
Through similar persistence and hard work and patience, though, he will eventually rule the same Notre Dame long-snapping empire that was once commanded by legends like J.J. Jansen and John Shannon. And the Irish faithful will eat that shit up like it’s a Three-For-The-Money Shrimp, Fish, and Chicken Special at their local L(J)S.
Because Vinson returns in 2021 and there were no glaring snapping issues to report from last season, Alex Peitsch is still likely to sit behind Vinson on the depth chart in the coming year. He will hopefully get more snaps in during garbage time of blowouts, but until Vinson has any issues, there’s just no reason to force Peitsch into action.
I have no idea if Vinson will be asked to stick around for a graduate year (or if he wants to do that, considering he’s a walk-on and would likely be paying for that grad degree), but otherwise assuming he moves on after this season, we should finally get to see the long snapping golden boy finally take over in 2022 (which should align perfectly with Tyler Buchner assuming the QB throne and the two of them co-leading the Irish to a national title).