Class of 2023 offensive tackle Olaus Alinen (6’7”, 315 lbs) has a background that’s slightly different from other recruits in his class. His native country is Finland, but that isn’t stopping him from getting a ton of interest from top football programs around the country, including West Virginia.
Alinen recently moved to the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut. He is yet to play in a football game in the United States, but his film from his time playing in Finland has impressed enough coaches to make him a hot commodity in the class of 2023.
Alinen’s father, Klaus, played tight end on the Atlanta Falcons practice squad. He was the first Finnish football player to receive an NFL contract.
Offensive recruiting coordinator Scott Gasper offered Alinen in early April. Alinen says he thinks they will have a good relationship.
“I think it’s a great program,” Alinen said about West Virginia. “[It’s a] really traditional football school with passionate fans.”
Alinen has a connection to the West Virginia football team through freshman defensive lineman Edward Vesterinen, who joined the Mountaineers from Helsinki, Finland. Alinen and Vesterinen played on the Finnish U-19 national team together. When Alinen was asked about the possibility of teaming up with Vesterinen again, he was optimistic.
“[It] would be amazing, honestly,” Alinen said in an exclusive interview with Mountaineer Maven. “[Vesterinen] said it’s an awesome place.”
Alinen talked about the differences in football culture between Finland and the United States. He’s impressed with the passion American football fans have. Regardless, he’s proud of schools like West Virginia who have tapped into international recruiting.
“I think it’s great. There is so much talent overseas that goes with low recognition, but the culture is changing right now,” Alinen said.
Alinen said he feels like his game has no weaknesses. He’s a talented all-around athlete who plays with a lot of strength and moves well.
In addition to his offer from WVU, Alinen has offers from Michigan, Oregon, Penn State, Virginia, Boston College, Nebraska, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Georgia Tech, Arizona State, and Michigan State. He says that he’s been talking to Oregon, Virginia, Boston College, and Michigan State the most, but he’s interested in all of the schools that have offered him.
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