When former Boston College Athletic Director Gene DeFilippo announced the hiring of Frank Spaziani as the next head coach of the football program, Spaz was lauded as the loyal, long-time defensive coordinator that would continue BC's success on the recruiting trail. Someone who could hit the ground running. Someone "to make this a great recruiting class and next year's even better."
Four years later and it's hard to defend Spaz's record on the recruiting trail.
With Boston College struggling on the field, particularly the offensive line and on D (two of the Eagles' recent areas of strength), I wanted to see where Boston College stood in the recruiting rankings so far in 2013. As of Monday night, Scout ranks Boston College's class 63rd in the nation. Rivals looks on the 2013 class more favorably, ranking the Eagles current class 50th overall.
When compared to the rest of the ACC, the Eagles are firmly in the bottom tier of the conference recruiting rankings. Per Scout, Boston College ranks 12th, ahead of only Wake Forest (68) and ACC newcomer Syracuse (73). The Eagles class fares only a bit better according to Rivals, placing 11th in the conference, ahead of Duke (57), Wake Forest (73) and Syracuse (80).
Here's how Boston College's classes have fared over the past few seasons (Rivals.com listed first, followed by Scout.com):
2013: 50th / 63rd (in progress)
2012: 63rd / 71st
2011: 38th / 36th
2010: 47th / 43rd
Spaz / Jags transition
2009: 70th / 81st
2008: 33rd / 22nd
Jags / TOB transition
2007: 46th / 50th
2006: 37th / 44th
2005: 49th / 58th
2004: 53rd / 42nd
2003: 24th / 27th
Spaz's failures in recruiting extend beyond stars and recruiting rankings. This staff's inability to retain top in-state talent over the last two classes is a trend that will take years to unwind. Spaz is now 0-for-9 in landing the state's top five rated recruits (per Rivals.com) over the last two seasons, with only Tabor Academy's DT Tevin Montgomery still undecided. What's worse is that conference opponents and peer schools have landed those very same recruits -- LB Abner Logan (Maryland), ATH Canaan Severin (Virginia), OL Eric Olson (Northwestern), OL John Montelus (Notre Dame), OL Jack MacDonald (Virginia) and TE Brendan O'Neill (Wake Forest). Depending on the next hire, it may take the next staff years to rebuild relationships with the area's high school coaches and players after the program has sat by and watched recruits bolt for other ACC and peer programs.
The Eagles are also dangerously thin on the defensive line and at running back after Spaz lost a couple of kids late (and burned DE Malachi Moore's redshirt in a 51-7 loss to Florida State). Spaz recruited just one RB in last year's class (George Craan) and zero defensive tackles. This year, DT Truman Gutapfel is the only player in the current class projected as a tackle, while LeShun Daniels is the only current commitment listed at RB.
There's still plenty of time between now and National Signing Day, but the challenge the next Boston College football coach will face is trying to keep the commits the program already has while trying to sign a few more impact players before Signing Day to improve the class' standing. Three 2013 commits -- TE Andrew Isaacs (Maryland), WR David Coggins (uncommitted) and RB Josh Tapscott (uncommited) -- have already decommitted from the program. Who knows how many more kids will bolt before signing once Dr. Bates mercifully fires Spaz.