When the 2012 ACC Football Kickoff ... kicks off next weekend at the Grandover Resort in -- where else? -- Greensboro, Boston College senior offensive tackle Emmett Cleary and defensive tackle Kaleb Ramsey will be joining Spaz representing the Eagles.
The opportunity to represent the program at the ACC's annual summer meetings is typically reserved for seniors, of which there aren't a whole lot on the roster. I suppose you could make the case that wide receiver Colin Larmond Jr., defensive back Jim Noel or tight end Chris Pantale could have instead represented BC, but Cleary and Ramsey seem like fine representatives for the program.
While it makes sense that Cleary and Ramsey will be in attendance representing the Eagles on both sides of the line, I question whether the absence of a skill-position player speaks to a leadership vacuum on offense for BC.
The Eagles are one of just two teams in the ACC not sending either a wide receiver, running back or quarterback to the event -- the other being Clemson, which has elected to send senior center Dalton Freeman and senior defensive end Malliciah Goodman. Half of the 12 ACC programs will be sending QBs, as will half othe Atlantic Division with E.J. Manuel (Florida State), Mike Glennon (N.C. State) and Tanner Price (Wake Forest) all making the trip.
Boston College's offense, unlike Clemson's and the rest of the division, has been dreadful the past two seasons. The turnover at the offensive coordinator position and some questionable in-game coaching decisions have been a factor, but how much of BC's offensive woes can be tied back to the fact that a natural leader hasn't emerged on that side of the ball?
In my mind, a key to this season will be the emergence of either Rettig or Pantale as the leader on the offensive side of the ball. Boston College needs the Luke Kuechly-equivalent on the other side of the ball to take charge and serve as the leader of the offense. Maybe Cleary can surprise and become that guy, but I really believe this is Rettig's opportunity to step up and lead an improved offense this season.
Since Matt Ryan left the Heights in 2007, there have been a precious few players who fit the mold of natural leader on offense. Here's hoping that a Chase Rettig or Chris Pantale assumes that role this season, leading what we all hope is a more "explosive, high-powered" Doug Martin-coordinated offense.