Notre Dame 99-to-0: No. 44 Alex Peitsch, junior long snapper

Alex Peitsch Notre Dame
@AlexPeitsch
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Listed measurements: 6-foot-1 ⅛, 210 pounds.
2022-23 year, eligibility: A junior, Peitsch has all four seasons of eligibility remaining thanks to the universal pandemic eligibility waiver creating a pathway for him to yet preserve a season of eligibility in 2021.
Depth Chart: Peitsch will back up fifth-year former walk-on Michael “Milk” Vinson as Notre Dame’s long snapper.
Recruiting: Widely considered the No. 1 or No. 2 long snapper in the class of 2020, the Under Armour All-American committed to Notre Dame eight full months before signing.

CAREER TO DATE
Peitsch played in the 52-0 blowout of South Florida in 2020 — a pertinent moment as the season progressed and multiple teams across the country, like the Bulls that Saturday, were undone by substitute long snappers when health and safety protocols sidelined their starters — but did not appear in a game in 2021.

NAME, IMAGE, LIKENESS

WHAT WAS PROJECTED A YEAR AGO
“While Vinson should remain the starter, Peitsch may see more mop-up duty this season. Even in a year with some roster uncertainty, the Irish should blow out the likes of Toledo, Navy and Stanford, at which point every backup should get work, even if doing so jeopardizes a kicker’s percentages or net yardages.”

2022 OUTLOOK
Vinson approached Marcus Freeman in December about returning for a fifth season, expecting it to be as a walk-on, somewhat tentative Freeman would suggest it was time to move on and for the Irish to turn the page to Peitsch at long snapper. Instead, Freeman expressed some level of relief that a steady on-field presence and steadier locker-room voice would return and rewarded Vinson with a scholarship.

Thus ended Peitsch’s hopes of starting in 2022. Vinson has never displayed any erraticism, so it is hard to even fathom a situation where Chuck Knoblauch needs to be benched, so to speak.

DOWN THE ROAD
2022 will be Vinson’s last at Notre Dame, at which point Peitsch will finally get his chance. The Irish did not expect a scholarship long snapper to need to wait this long to play consistently; in fact, as Peitsch arrived in South Bend just as John Shannon left, who did so just as Scott Daly left, the plan was for Peitsch to play right away.

Him not doing so has been a luxury created by Vinson’s skill and consistency.

One player’s success does not foreshadow another’s struggles. There is no evidence Peitsch will struggle once the role is his in 2023, and it should be his for at least two seasons, with a third possible but unlikely given it would take a sixth year, and at some point he will presumably want to tackle the next stage in his life, a la Shannon skipping his final season of eligibility.

NOTRE DAME 99-TO-0
From Blake Grupe to Braden Lenzy, the offseason countdown begins anew
No. 99 Blake Grupe, kicker, Arkansas State transfer
No. 99 Rylie Mills, junior defensive lineman, a tackle now playing more at end

No. 98 Tyson Ford, early-enrolled freshman, a defensive tackle recruited as a four-star end
No. 97 Gabriel Rubio, sophomore defensive tackle, still ‘as wide as a Volkswagen’
No. 92 Aidan Keanaaina, a junior defensive tackle who tore his ACL in March
No. 91 Josh Bryan, sophomore kicker
No. 91 Aiden Gobaira, early-enrolled freshman defensive end, four-star recruit
No. 90 Alexander Ehrensberger, junior defensive end, a German project nearing completion
No. 88 Mitchell Evans, sophomore tight end
No. 87 Michael Mayer, junior tight end, likely All-American
No. 85 Holden Staes, incoming freshman tight end
No. 84 Kevin Bauman, junior tight end
No. 83 Jayden Thomas, sophomore receiver, former four-star recruit
No. 80 Cane Berrong, sophomore tight end coming off an ACL injury
No. 79 Tosh Baker, one of four young Irish offensive tackles
No. 78 Pat Coogan, sophomore center, recovering from a meniscus injury
No. 77 Ty Chan, incoming offensive tackle, former four-star recruit
No. 76 Joe Alt, sophomore starting left tackle
No. 75 Josh Lugg, sixth-year offensive lineman, likely starting right guard
No. 74 Billy Schrauth, early-enrolled freshman offensive guard coming off foot surgery
No. 73 Andrew Kristofic, senior offensive tackle-turned-guard
No. 72 Caleb Johnson, sophomore offensive tackle, former Auburn pledge
No. 68 Michael Carmody, junior offensive line utility man
No. 65 Michael Vinson, long snapper, ‘Milk’
No. 65 Chris Smith, defensive tackle, Harvard transfer
No. 59 Aamil Wagner, consensus four-star incoming freshman offensive tackle
No. 58 Ashton Craig, incoming freshman center
No. 57 Jayson Ademilola, fifth-year defensive tackle, coming off shoulder surgery
No. 56 Joey Tanona, early-enrolled offensive guard coming off a concussion
No. 56 Howard Cross, senior defensive tackle with heavy hands, and that’s a good thing
No. 55 Jarrett Patterson, fifth-year offensive lineman, three-year starting center, captain
No. 54 Jacob Lacey, senior defensive tackle, now lighter and a starter
No. 54 Blake Fisher, sophomore starting right tackle, ‘ginormous’
No. 52 Zeke Correll, senior center or perhaps left guard
No. 52 Bo Bauer, fifth-year linebacker, Ironman
No. 50 Rocco Spindler, sophomore offensive guard
No. 48 Will Schweitzer, sophomore end-turned-linebacker
No. 47 Jason Oyne, sophomore defensive end-turned-tackle
No. 44 Junior Tuihalamaka, early-enrolled freshman linebacker, consensus four-star recruit
No. 41 Donovan Hinish, incoming freshman defensive tackle, Kurt’s brother
No. 20 Jadarian Price, early-enrolled freshman running back with a ruptured Achilles
No. 9 Eli Raridon, incoming freshman tight end with a torn ACL