UND’s Alm adjusting to life on offense
GRAND FORKS — When Logan Alm spent time with former high school teammates and coaches this offseason, he gave them the news he’s now a tight end.
Alm played on the offensive and defensive lines at Hawley (Minn.) High School. He said he hasn’t touched a ball in a game since he was in eighth grade and hasn’t played tight end since before that.
Alm, now a sophomore at the University of North Dakota, is in his first fall at tight end after transitioning from the defensive line.
And Alm wasn’t joking with his Hawley friends. He might play a factor at tight end for the Fighting Hawks this season.
For a player who hasn’t caught a pass in a game in years, he’s turned heads at Memorial Stadium during fall camp when big No. 93 makes a grab.
“I was excited to hear all that,” Alm said of the decision to change positions. “I got right to trying to lose weight and doing more routes and run blocking rather than attacking.”
UND’s thought process with the move was tied to the team’s strong depth at defensive line.
“When he became available, I quickly said we’ll have him,” UND tight ends coach Shawn Kostich said.
Kostich said Alm’s transition made sense because he had the measurables the team looks for at tight end — his speed was in line with the rest of the tight ends and his weight room numbers also fit the mold.
UND’s coaching staff, Kostich said, has the offensive philosophy that they can take an athlete with the right measurables and coach them into a valuable asset.
Beyond that, Alm has value for the travel roster because he’s the team’s emergency long snapper and can play in the shield on punt protection and block for kick returns.
Alm said after boosting his weight to 270 pounds as a defensive lineman, he lost 25 pounds over the summer.
His biggest challenge, though, is grasping the mental part of the position.
“I came from Hawley, and we didn’t do a whole lot scheme-wise,” Alm said. “I’m still struggling with that right now … reading the defense in block and pass. I’m hesitating on going on my routes because of the uncertainty.”
Not only did Alm play on the line in high school, he only played in three games his senior year after surgery put screws in both of his feet.
The injury derailed his recruiting process.
“Of course my confidence is way up here my junior year, getting letters all the time,” Alm said. “My senior year, they all kind of disappeared except for UND. That’s why I came here. UND was always checking on me. They were great recruiting-wise.”
Alm came to UND as a walk-on. He hopes to change that some day.
“Right away that was a huge goal of mine to get a scholarship, but it’s a privilege to be on the team,” Alm said. “I’m working my butt off to get on scholarship.”
Kostich said Alm has added value to his tight ends, but also sees the mental hurdle.
“I think he’s learning that it’s challenging mentally at times,” Kostich said. “He has to work on his speed of the game.”
Aside from his special teams value, Alm also brings a range of ability to play all four of UND’s tight ends/fullback positions.
“We value guys who can move the line of scrimmage,” Kostich said. “He has the power. He just has to learn the position.”