A look back at the 2009 Eagles football season and look ahead to 2010 ...
Brian: If there’s one place the Eagles will have to retool next year, it will be the BC wide receiving corps. With key losses of Rich Gunnell, Justin Jarvis, Jeff Smith (well, more of a return guy) and Clarence Megwa (never really the same after his leg injury) to graduation, the Eagles will lose over 50 percent of their receiving production - both in yards and receptions - in 2010.
I know a lot of Eagles fans are pegging their hopes in 2010 on incoming true freshman quarterback Chase Rettig. But whether Spaz goes with Rettig or sticks with Shinskie next season, their success will be limited by the talent we return at wide receiver and tight end. Who do you expect to step up in 2010 to replace the production we will lose from guys like Gunnell and Jarvis?
Boston College Eagles Receiving
Lars Anderson (Jr.)
Rich Gunnell (Sr.)
Josh Haden (So.)
Montel Harris (So.)
Justin Jarvis (Sr.)
Colin Larmond Jr (So.)
Clyde Lee (Fr.)
Ryan Lindsey (Jr.)
John Lowell (Jr.)
Jordon McMichael (Jr.)
Clarence Megwa (Sr.)
Chris Pantale (Fr.)
Jeff Smith (Sr.)
Jeff: Next year, Shinskie will be the Eagles' quarterback and hopefully Chase Rettig is good enough to also get some meaningful time and perhaps challenge for the starting job. With Shinskie we know we have at least what we got this year and hopefully he improves a lot in the offseason. If not, with an improving team around him and an easier schedule, BC is in for a good season next year anyway.
On to the receivers. The only issue is losing Gunnell. When was the last time we worried about someone who accounted for 200 yards rceiving or rushing or less. Younger players will step up in the spots vacated by everyone except Gunnell. Gunnell has been a go to receiver for the Eagles for several years now going back to his sophomore year. I look forward to more balls being thrown to the taller Larmond Jr. next season personally, but Gunnell will still be missed.
As missed as Gunnell will be though, he was affected by a case of the drops this season that plagued the entire team. Whoever passes are being thrown to next season, I really hope that we do not see half as many drops next year as we saw this season. Nothing is more disappointing than dropped passes on third down.
Brian: I agree that this team will miss Gunnell but disagree that the Eagles' won't miss other contributors like Justin Jarvis simply because he only tallied a little over 200 yards receiving this season. Guys can get underutilized (see: Ryan Purvis' senior season) or the quarterback might not be able to get them the ball (as was the case this year), or, as you mentioned, wide receivers have their fair share of drops. I expect the Eagles will greatly miss the production out of Rich Gunnell and Justin Jarvis, but certainly won't miss the number of dropped passes the Eagles had this season .
Who do you expect to have a breakout season and step up as a leader in the receiving corps next year? Larmond Jr.? Momah back from redshirting this season? And what are your expectations for standout WR recruit Shakim Philips in 2010?
Jeff: I expect Larmond Jr. to be the #1 option all season next year with Momah playing an important role in the red zone. For Momah, I expect him to be the #3 receiver overall with Pantale #2 in receptions. Between Larmond Jr. and Pantale I expect them to have 1,200 to 1,500 in receiving yards. I hope that Shakim Phillips will ultimately be a big factor in the BC passing game but I do not expect him to start from the beginning of the season next year. At the end of the season, Phillips might be top 4 or 5 in receptions which would be great and anything more than that would be a pleasant surprise.