November 3, 2011; Chestnut Hill, MA, USA; Boston College Eagles head coach Frank Spaziani on the sideline during the fourth quarter against the Florida State Seminoles at Alumni Stadium. Florida State Seminoles won 38-7. Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE
Montel Harris' dismissal from the football team is just one of a long line of Boston College football players from the Class of 2008 to leave the program. The 2008 class was Jagodzinski's first full recruiting class. The pro-Gene, pro-Spaz camp chalks up BC's recruiting failures to the previous coaching staff, but the '08 class was actually the highest ranked class since 2004, ranked 33rd by Rivals.
When you take a look back at this class though, it's incredible to find the list of players that have either left the program, been pushed or forced out due to disciplinary issues.
Of the 29 member Class of 2008, a total of 11 players saw their BC careers cut short due to transfers or dismissals. Another seven never saw the field. Players that never saw the field: Chris Hayden-Martin, Jerry Kelly, Christian Klein, Patrick Neumann, Ugo Okpara and Mike Stone. Eric Reynolds was signed in the class but instead decided to enroll at Temple over the summer of 2008.
That leaves 22 players, of which 11 either voluntarily left, were pushed or dismissed after Spaziani took over as head coach. Here's the list:
- DE Nick Halloran - transferred to Bentley
- RB Isaac Johnson - left program due to "personal issues"
- WR Clyde Lee III - dismissed due to "academic issues"
- LB Alexander DiSanzo - transferred to Towson
- DB Okechuckwu Okoroha - dismissed for "disciplinary reasons"
- DB Dominick LeGrande - dismissed for attitude issues
- DE Max Holloway - curiously foregoes senior season and declares for NFL Draft, goes undrafted
- OL Mike Goodman Jr. - not offered a scholarship as a fifth-year senior, left program
- RB Montel Harris - dismissed for "repeated violation of team rules"
After factoring out the players that either never saw the field (7) or the players that left the program (11), we are left with just 11 players -- DB Stephen Atkinson, QB Codi Boek, LB Nick Clancy, OL Emmett Cleary, ATH Donte Elliott, DB Donnie Fletcher, WR Colin Larmond Jr., DT Bryan Murray, TE Chris Pantale, K Ryan Quigley and DE Kaleb Ramsey.
Two thoughts here.
Spaz apologists will point to all these defections and players that never saw the field and paint a picture where the program's cupboard was bare, Jags didn't recruit "BC Guys" and the coach was given the reigns with little to work with. I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
Every class is going to have some percentage of attrition but having nearly 1/4 of one of your predecessors final recruiting class not even hit the field seems to be an abnormally high attrition rate. And yes, I'm conveniently setting aside the fact that Spaz was on a staff that recruited these kids.
Fret not, anti-Spaz camp. I got a tidbit for you too. The other thing that strikes me here goes the other way: has Spaz had issues with some of the kids recruited by Jags, dismissing or otherwise forcing out some of these players at an absurd clip?
Certainly not all of these transfers or dismissals fall on Spaz. But could Spaz have worked with Tuggle and Haden more in 2009? Possibly. Isaac Johnson was from Everett, while DiSanzo was a linebacker from Bosco. Spaz couldn't find a spot for both of these players? Okohora and LeGrande had a run-in with Spaz last fall, while Clyde Lee III was dismissed due to "academic issues."
Max Holloway forgoes his senior season to enter the NFL Draft. He goes undrafted. Spaz decides not to extend a scholarship to Mike Goodman Jr. -- granted, a marginal player -- but replaces Goodman on the roster with a bunch of recruited walk-ons? And finally, the school's all-time leading rusher is dismissed a month after spring ball wraps up due to "repeated violations of team rules."
Eleven total players. Again, I'm not suggesting that Spaz is responsible for all of these defections, but I do think it all adds up to a pattern of roster mismanagement and poor coaching performance. Shouldn't Spaz and the coaching staff (past and present) shoulder some of the blame here that we couldn't find spots for nearly 40 percent of the Class of 2008 to play their full four (or five, Harris) years on the Heights?