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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2025 CT OL Owen Aliciene Emerging Quickly

May 28, 2023

Owen Aliciene‍ didn’t just play hockey. He was a hockey player.

At least until a conversation with Avon Old Farms head football coach Jon Wholley a year ago.

“Coach Wholley came up to me and was like, 'You ever think about trying football?'” Aliciene remembers. “I was like, 'Not really, but I I would be open to the opportunity.'

“I started training in the winter with him before this season and it kind of took off from there. He took me in as one of their own. It was great.”

“Kind of took off” is a bit of an understatement.

After playing a single season of high school football, the 6-foot-7, 275-pounder currently has scholarship offers from schools like Penn State, Pitt, Kentucky, Louisville, Vanderbilt, Boston College, UMass and SMU.

He may have seen what was to come, but Wholley didn’t make Aliciene any promises.

“He didn't really tell me too much going in,” Aliciene says of his coach. “He just wanted me to keep my head down and start working. I think he tried to just keep me mellow and tried to keep me working. He didn't really push recruiting on me too much. He just wanted me to develop into a good football player and a good human.”

The recruiting process kicked off for real a couple weeks after the season, when he landed his SMU offer.

“It kind of just spiraled from there,” he says.

He’s already taken visits to Penn State, Pitt, Kentucky, Louisville, and Boston College, where he’s been twice.

He’s still working on his summer visit schedule.

Notre Dame has invited him to camp this summer and it’s one he’s hoping to make. Irish assistant Al Golden was at Avon Old Farms last week to get a look at Aliciene and other Avon prospects.

Aliciene is familiar with Notre Dame.

“Academics, their football, the culture they have around it,” he says. “It's a historically winning program, so it's a great place to be.”

If he does get to South Bend, he’ll be looking to see how offensive line coach Joe Rudolph teaches and communicates.

“That's a big part of it,” says Aliciene. “And I think just the culture, being around the players at other schools I've been to really helps me get a feel of what it's like to be there. That's pretty much what I'm looking for in school.

Hockey is in the past for Aliciene.

“I'm done with hockey,” he says. “It was a little hard in the beginning just knowing that my friends were still playing and I really love the sport. I played it for like 12 years, so it was kind of hard to let go.

“But I wouldn't trade in what I'm doing right now for the world. It's great.”

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