With the 2013 recruiting class set and ready to go, it's time for Steve Addazio to make his mark with his first class, the Class of 2014. Much has been said about where Addazio needs to go in the future, but in actuality a solid game plan that will lead to success isn't that hard to plan out. Here are some suggestions for his next recruiting class.
1. Build That Fence. During his National Signing Day press conference, Addazio emphatically stated that he was building a fence around Massachusetts, and he was not going to do let these recruits get away. Going into this next season there are three to four recruits that Addazio needs to make sure end up in Chestnut Hill. Offensive Tackle James Hendren, linebacker Connor Strachan and OG Jon Baker are all three star recruits, and should be all attainable for BC. In some cases like Hendren, Addazio just needs to offer, as he has been all over Twitter talking about his affinity for BC.
2. Aim Big And Follow Through. BC needs to go ahead and go after 4 star recruits. They have done it in the past, unfortunately with poor results (see Jim Unis, Shakim Phillips, Okechuwu Okoroha). That should not deter BC for aiming at these caliber of recruits now. Early reports show that BC are going for these recruits. They have made offers to Jonathan Hillman, Thaddius Smith and Trent Harris, all who hold offers to bigger BCS programs. The key will be that Addazio is going to need to press for these guys, and not just let them go like Spaz did year after year.
3. Recruit against your neighbors/peer programs. One of the biggest criticism of Frank Spaziani's recruiting strategy is that he constantly went after MAC quality talent. If you look at the current class of recruits, there is a ton of offers from schools like Toledo, Ohio and Akron. Those should be the guys used to fill out the class, but they should not be the kind of player that fills out your roster. BC can no longer be pushed around by schools like Syracuse, Rutgers and UConn, they need to show recruits that the Eagles have a program with a richer history of success, and convince them to come here. If Addazio is the recruiter everyone says he is, that shouldn't be all that hard.
4. Emphasize the defense. BC needs help almost everywhere on the defensive side of the ball. They have solid players at almost every position, but with inevitable injuries their lack of depth will quickly be evident. BC added some depth this year with Tevin Montgomery and Truman Gutapfel were recruited as defensive tackles, Kevin Kavalec and Joel Rich on the ends, and Matt Milano at safety. But with BC moving away from linebackers playing DB--a McGovern/Spaz staple--they are going to need more depth at secondary, and DT needing much more quality depth.
5. Rebuild those Pipelines. Look we may want the moon, but the realistic truth is that most schools, students and coaches have seen what a trainwreck BC has become over the past three years. Kids don't want to play for a school that loses. It's up to these coaches to go out there and sell the pitch that BC has changed, and that it will return to the top of the ACC again. Hopefully BC has hired a group of charismatic recruiters that can reverse this trend. Al Washington is a great step in the right direction, but the rest of the coaches are going to look to Addazio for that motivation. It's up to him to provide that model.
6. Dont forget your roots. As much as we want to bring in high profile recruits, we also want to bring in "BC guys" as well. That should not disqualify many recruits, but you obviously want kids that a) want to be at BC and b) will represent the Eagles with class. Addazio again spoke to this at the NSD press conference, but it should be clear to all recruits that he is going after. QB's like Morgan Mahalak have been very vocal about wanting to be at BC. He would be a perfect fit.
7. Grab guys early. Big time programs have already started landing recruits, while Boston College has yet to land one yet. Even Spaz nabbed a commitment from Andrew Isaacs in December 2011 (though he later lost him to Maryland). Addazio will want to get a few commitments soon, and they need to be solid guys, which could help BC in the later recruiting. If he gets guys with BCS offers, he can use that as a tool to show other recruits that BC has turned the corner. Would love to see
If Steve Addazio and his recruiters use these seven steps, he will put together a class that will not only "wow" fans, but also return BC recruiting to the national stage. He came to the Heights touting an impressive recruiting record at UF, it is now time to put his money where his mouth is.