Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Blog: Alec Lindstrom Works and Eats His Way to Boston College

By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

As Alec Lindstrom began thanking all his friends, family, coaches and mentors before signing his National Letter of Intent to play college football for Boston College, you couldn't help but sense a theme.

The All-State offensive lineman thanked seemingly everyone in attendance for cooking for him, or for taking him out to eat. As much as Lindstrom is known for his tireless work ethic and fierce competitive nature on the field and in the weight room, it may have been his appetite that turned him into a Division I football player.

When Lindstrom began high school, he weighed about 120 lbs, a suitable weight for, uh, maybe a kicker. But today, as he prepares to follow in his brother Chris' footsteps at BC, Alec tips the scales at 240 lbs, and is slowly morphing into the lineman he always saw himself as.

"I ate so much," Lindstrom said with a smile. "My dad (coach Chris Lindstrom Sr.) was on me, everyone was on me, and I had to make weight every day and every night. Going to practice, they wouldn't let me practice if I didn't get to a certain weight. So, I just ate and ate. I gained 40 pounds every year I was in high school."

Lindstrom, who would regularly eat six meals a day, needed every one of those calories. While Shepherd Hill is loaded with talent at many spots, a lack of experienced depth along the offensive and defensive lines forced Lindstrom into extensive action. Starting at both center and defensive end, the future Eagle rarely left the field.

"There's a quote I read on Twitter," Shepherd Hill Offensive Coordinator and Associate Head Coach Ryan Dugan said to the crowd gathered inside the school's library. "And it said, 'the dream is free, but the hustle is sold separately.' That quote really applies to Alec and Chris."

Indeed the Lindstrom brothers are known for their work ethic, and Alec brings many of the same strengths that helped his brother contribute immediately for the Eagles. With quick feet, long arms, outstanding awareness and the ability to block second-level players in space, Lindstrom has the look of a future starter along the interior of the BC line.

While he will need to continue to add weight (at least another 40 lbs, if conventional wisdom holds up), Alec may have a chance to contribute right away. The Eagles graduate their long snapper this year, and will be looking for a replacement after the Quick Lane Bowl on December 26th. With experience long snapping, it's conceivable that Alec could become the second Lindstrom to start as a freshman for the Eagles. And heck, he's enrolling early, so he'll be on campus ready to work come January.

The Bottom Line

BC is getting not only a potential gem of a player, but a great kid and hard worker. It's impossible to project how every prospect will pan out, but Alec clearly has all the intangibles to be a very good player at the ACC level, and all of the tangibles he's lacking (ideal weight and strength) are clearly going in the right direction.

I mean, the kid doubled his weight from freshman year to now. I can't even wrap my head around that.

He certainly looks like a player who could use a redshirt year, which would give him three semesters in BC's lifting program before he would even see the field, and by that time he could be at a more traditional college lineman weight.

I was very high on his brother Chris when he came out of Shepherd Hill a few year back, and both Brendan Hall and I chatted very prematurely about how he could develop into an NFL lineman. But neither of us thought he would start as a freshman and be where he is today. Alec is a bit smaller, so his chances of starting right away aren't as good, but he matches Chris in terms of toughness, athleticism and competitiveness.

There's no reason to believe he won't be a success at the Heights, but his work is just beginning.

Some credit also needs to go to the Shepherd Hill coaching staff and people working behind the scenes to get these kids not only ready for college, but ready to enroll early. The Rams have now sent Chris, Alec and Sean McKeon (Michigan) all to major college programs a semester early, which has allowed them to get a significant head start academically, and on the field.

It takes a great effort from all involved to have these guys graduated early and ready for the demands of college football, so major props to everybody over at Shepherd Hill. Now attention will turn to a number of Rams seniors capable of continuing their football careers at various different levels, including star running back Kevin Mensah, and to juniors like Brendan McKeon and Zack Magdis, for whom the process will really start to heat up over the next few months.

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