The third part of our look at BC's depth chart and recruiting, focusing on the defensive line and linebacking corp.
Over the past week, BC Interruption has looked in depth at the roster, position by position. We have analyzed where Steve Addazio needs to make improvements, and what positions he has some depth to play with. On Monday, we started the series off looking at the offensive skill positions such as quarterback, wide receivers, running backs, and tight ends. Yesterday we finished off the offense by checking out a struggling offensive line where BC has no recruits coming in.
Today we start by looking at the defense. The first three groups that we will explore are the defensive ends, defensive tackles and the linebacking group.
Status: One of the most damning stats of 2012 was BC's total sacks: 6. To say that the Eagles' pass rush was inadequate would be an insult to bad pass rushes everywhere. Opposing quarterbacks had all the time in the world, and some of this had to do with talent, but a lot of it was on Frank Spaziani and Bill McGovern and their complete reluctance to blitz. Kasim Edebali will be coming back for his senior season, and he was easily the most talented of the group, making a few big plays. Mehdi Abdesmad still looks overwhelmed at points, and Brian Mihalik had flashes of solid play but injuries kept him out for games. One of Spaz's biggest boneheaded roster decisions was burning freshmen Malachi Moore's redshirt, especially when you consider that Moore didn't even play that much after his redshirt was burned.
Commits: Kevin Kavalec, Joel Rich
Targets: Alquadin Muhammad, Kiser Terry (Temple?),
Thoughts: Honestly I think we a good defensive coordinator BC should be okay with this position next year. I think Edebali has a lot of talent, he just needs to be put in the right schemes. Give him a chance on some overload blitzes and teach him a few moves and he might really step up next year. Abdesmad is a project, Moore is young and Mihalik is a monster (one who is oft injured), between the two I think they will find their other starter. Kavalec and Rich by all accounts will be here next year, but I wouldn't hate if Addazio tries to grab another end, or has one lined up in case one of the commits bolts.
Status: Not to pile on the defense, but I am going to pile on the defense. The tackle position was as bad last year against the run as the ends were against the pass. BC's run defense ranked 113th in the country, allowing an average of 213 yards a game. Bryan Murray who started most of the season has graduated, so it will be up to some of the younger kids to step up and play. Max Ricci showed promise at points, and Dominic Appiah had a disappointing season after a strong freshman campaign. Kieran Borcich also saw extensive playing time up front. Safe to say that none of them "wowed" anyone in 2012.
Commits: Tevin Montgomery, Truman Guptafel
Targets: Kevin Maurice, Mike Williams, Averee Robinson (Temple)
Thoughts: The addition of Tevin Montgomery is absolutely huge for BC. Here is a relatively highly touted defensive tackle from Massachusetts, this has the size and ability to step in immediately if needed. At 6'5 nearly 300 pounds, he could be that force up the middle that BC desperately lacked last year. With the sloppy play up front last year, I find it hard to imagine that Addazio redshirts him in 2013. From what I have read Kevin Maurice has been high on BC, so don't be surprised for him to join up if a spot opens up. Hopefully, one of the other upper classmen steps up next year in a new system because another year of a struggling defense will be hard to watch.
Status: BC will be graduated one of the nation's top tackler, Nick Clancy, who finished the season with 145 tackles. Certainly he was a talented player, but much of those numbers were due to the fact that a) BC couldn't get off the field so he was forced to tackle a lot and B) the front four couldn't tackle. In his place next year are a bevy of talented linebackers. Kevin Pierre-Louis has done an admirable job at WLB though the injury bug slowed him down for a second straight season. Sean Duggan was a mystery, after a great freshman season, he was buried on the depth chart. Steele Divitto was active last year, but struggled against the pass and option teams (but who on this team didn't). Steven Daniels got to see some playing time, and showed some potential. Nick Lifka and Andre Lawrence saw some snaps as well.
Commits: Jack Cottrell, Marquis Little
Targets: Delando Johnson, Buddy Brown (Temple)
Thoughts: BC has plenty of depth here at linebacker, so I think the crew that they have established now will be adequate. Cottrell is the higher ranked of the two linebackers, but you have to imagine with BC's depth that both will most likely be redshirted in 2013. Temple like Boston College ran a 4-3 last year, so unless Addazio changes things up, you have to imagine that will remain the same at the Heights. Hopefully next year Duggan and Daniels see the field more, because they may be the most talented linebackers on the team.