It's never too soon to begin thinking about the 2012 Boston College football depth chart. First, let's consider the various roster moves since the regular season finale against Miami.
-- The ACC grants medical hardship waivers to RB Montel Harris, DT Kaleb Ramsey, DB C.J. Jones and LB Connor Wujciak. This gave Harris, Ramsey, Jones and Wujciak an extra year of eligibility.
-- LB Luke Kuechly declares for the NFL Draft as a junior
-- Junior DE Max Holloway also declares for the NFL Draft
-- The NCAA denies Ifeanyi Momah's request for a medical redshirt waiver and a sixth year of eligibility. NCAA, we aren't speaking anymore.
-- CB Donnie Fletcher, FB Dan Williams, P/K Ryan Quigley, LB Will Thompson, C Mark Spinney, OG Nathan Richman and TE Lars Anderson are all out of eligibility
After factoring in all of the above, let's look at how the offense breaks down for 2012.
By now we all already know the drill, fourth offensive coordinator in three years. Doug Martin, former head coach at Kent State, and OC at New Mexico State University has a whole new slew of coaches to work with. Gone are Ryan Day, Dave Brock and Ben Sirmans who have been replaced by Aaron Smith and Sean Desai. BC's offense was atrocious in 2011, ranking 112th in scoring, 82nd in rushing offense, and 100th in passing. Even the stingiest pessimist can't imagine BC's offense could decline even further, especially with a healthy Montel Harris and a new offensive coordinator. However, how much improvement can be expected when coaching strategies continue to be in flux?
Returning: Chase Rettig will once again be asked to run whatever offense Frank Spaziani throws at him this season. Last season Rettig made strides near the end of the year, but his body of work was not all that different than his freshman campaign. Josh Bordner, showed he can scramble, but his arm strength and accuracy remain a mystery. Christian Suntrup will be on the roster after We already know what we are getting from Dave Shinskie and Mike Marscovetra, and there is always Shane Cranmore.
2012: Spaz has made it clear that the QB job is Chase Rettig's to lose. Will Doug Martin bring in a new playbook, and how will Rettig react? Will Bordner continue to be used like he was in 2011? If Rettig really struggles will Spaz turn the reigns over to Christian Suntrup?
Returning: Montel Harris received an additional year of eligibility and will look to break the ACC's all time rushing record. Deuce Finch made a name for himself in 2011 rushing for 705 yards, but suffered from a case of the fumbles. Andre Williams was expected to be the go to running back last year, but really struggled shake tackles. Tahj Kimble also saw some action as a tailback. Jake Sinkovec who changed position from linebacker, is expected to return as the fullback
2012: BC lives and dies by the running game, which means they are going to need a better year out of their running backs. A healthy Montel Harris could be a big difference maker for the Eagles, and BC will be trotting out one of the most talented stables of running backs in the ACC.
Gone: Ifeanyi Momah
Returning: Bobby Swigert was the go to wide receiver in 2011, as he led the Eagles with 44 receptions. Colin Larmond Jr. will be back for his senior season, and he hopes to be the deep threat BC desperately needs. Alex Amidon, Spiffy Evans, Donte Elliot and Jonathan Coleman will all also return.
Incoming: Marcus Grant, Harrison Jackson, and Karim Zoungrana
2012: The loss of Momah is tough, but Spaz did address the lack of depth here recruiting. Whether any of these guys can contribute in 2012 will be up in the air. The lack of a deep threat is scary, but if BC plans on doing lots of dink and dunks the guys they have should be sufficient.
Gone: Lars Anderson
Returning: Chris Pantale is the only returning tight end with any playing experience. Pantale spent most of the season backing up Anderson, and in those situations he mainly was in to block. However Pantale exploded in the Miami game scoring two touchdowns. Brian Miller, Alex Foxen, Jarrett Darmstatter, Mike Naples are all expected to be on the roster.
Incoming: Dan Crimmins, Mike Giacone.
2012: It's going to be Pantale and a whole bunch of question marks. Doug Martin should utilize Pantale for more than just blocking, but that is all dependent on the efficiency of the offensive line. Who will step in to be the backup? My guess will be Brian Miller.
Gone: Nathan Richman, Mark Spinney
Returning: In terms of players with experience the following will be returning: Bobby Vardaro, Emmett Cleary, John Wetzel, Seth Betancourt, Jaryd Rudolph, Harris Williams, Ian White and Bryan Davis. Phew that was a lot.
Incoming: Win Homer, Frank Taylor, and Jim Cashman
2012: Many adaptations, and with new offensive line coach Jim Bollman there are a lot of question marks going into the upcoming season. BC struggled mightily on the line last year, but had more success near the end of the season, will that continue in 2012?