Cretin-Derham Hall’s Mark Alt, who quarterbacked the Raiders to the Class 5A state championship in November, recently visited Iowa, where coaches offered him the opportunity to grayshirt. A grayshirt is a term applied to a player who signs a letter of intent in February, participates in spring practice but doesn't report in the fall for practice. Alt can delay enrollment until the spring of 2011 thereby postponing the start of his NCAA eligibility clock.

Alt continues to research his college football options despite previously giving a verbal commitment to the Gophers hockey team.

Key dates are ahead. National signing day is Feb. 3, a date that gives college football coaches a more clear picture of their incoming freshmen classes. Other schools, including Kansas, have shown an interest in Alt that could intensify around signing day.

And Alt, a defenseman, will learn his pro-hockey potential during the NHL Draft June 25-26.

“It’s a good position to be in, to have interest from programs that are among the best in college hockey and college football,” said John Alt, Mark’s father and a former Iowa football standout. “He’s in a good spot, it’s just a little complicated.”

John added: “I have nothing but good things to say about Iowa football, obviously, but it’s not my decision. One of the things Mark said early on is everything has to be apples-to-apples. It has to be a top football program in the country for him to even consider passing on hockey at Minnesota. A lot of schools were eliminated early on because they weren’t up to the standard that Minnesota hockey is at."