Yesterday the great Bud Elliott examined what would constitute a successful recruiting year for all the new coaches in FBS football. Of course Steve Addazio was addressed, and Elliott had this to say:
Boston College's recruiting was on a steady decline under Frank Spaziani, and Addazio has a decent reputation as a recruiter. That's a good start.
Boston College shouldn't be expected to beat Florida State, Clemson, N.C. State or Louisville for much talent, due to a number of factors including in-state resources, but BC absolutely should be able to top Syracuse and Wake Forest. And if it does that, going to a bowl game more often than not is doable.
Two important areas for Boston College will be running back and defensive end. Addazio has shown that he will ride one running back if the player is good enough, and that should attract a good prospect or two for Addazio's run-heavy offense. Pass rush is an obvious need, and playing time can be a major selling point here.
Hard to argue with Bud here, he hits on two of the biggest needs BC has going into the future. BC should be able to recruit against most other teams in the ACC, including Virginia Tech, Virginia, and NC State. Though I don't know about the "can't recruit against Louisville" factor, I think they will be a challenge, but they are a Charlie Strong-to-an-SEC team away from being knocked down a peg. In terms of BC's current state of recruiting Spaz dragged the schools reputation through the mud, and just looking at what Addazio has been doing currently, I think BC is on the path to redemption.
Also a key that wasn't addressed is fortifying the pipelines that have been leaking because of recent difficulties. Massachusetts recruits should be a slam dunk, and all it takes is a confident head coach to keep most of these kids local. Addazio needs to do that. Also, hit up the Catholic Schools across the country, find a few new ones and cultivate the coaches so that they become a recruiting hotbed for BC.
What was interesting was Elliott's list of needs. I completely agree with his assessment of the importance of the running game. At Florida, Addazio did a good job utilizing elite running backs such as Jeff Demps, to Chris Rainey. It should be an easy sell to a running back, especially in the current state of college football that heavily emphasizes the passing game. BC has two solid running backs for the next year with Andre Williams and Rolandan Finch, but after this season there are major question marks going forward. Myles Willis, Tyler Rouse and George Craan are all on the roster, and may be the answer, but they haven't played a down yet. Addazio should be using this for his advantage. Marcus Outlow is a great start, but he is going to want to compliment him with another elite running back in this class.
Bud's second point is spot on as well. BC's pass rush was putrid last year, and there isn't much on the roster to point to this improving. Kaleb Ramsey is graduating after this year, and no one else on the roster has shown the ability to be that pass rusher. Don Brown's new scheme may help put the spotlight on a player who was overshadowed in Spaz's passive system, but we don't know that yet. Addazio has to find that player. Noah Beh a 6-6 end out of
The biggest need I see for the 2013 recruiting class that Bud didn't mention was finding a replacement for Chase Rettig. If Addazio and Ryan Day are serious about finding a dual threat QB they are going to need to find one that can legimiately start in the ACC. The recruiters have been busy bringing in quarterback recruits from all over the country almost all with legit FBS offers. Could Mackay Lowrie, James Lowrie or Christian Suntrup be the answer? Certainly, but again we don't know that yet. You want to have as many bullets in the chamber as possible when you are looking for a starting QB. Grabbing a four star QB like Will Ulmer, or a guy that fits the system perfectly will be crucial.
Finally, a piece that Addazio has to address, is rebuilding O-Line University. Last year Frank Spaziani/Addazio recruited exactly zero offensive linemen (unless you count Matt Patchan), which is a bit disconcerting given the play of the line over the past two seasons. Big burly linemen have been a trademark of Boston College for years, but that hasn't been the case lately. There are plenty of options on the team that could step in (Frank Taylor, Win Homer), but it's going to be up to Addazio this year to add more depth going forward. He has two perfectly good options that are available in state in Jon Baker and James Hendren. Snag them both, and I would be feeling a lot better about BC's future.
Elliott's post did an admirable job highlighting some of the needs BC has going forward, but with a 2-10 team coming off four years of poor recruiting can leave a team with more needs than say an NC State who went to a bowl game last year. Addazio has his hands full, but he and his staff have done an admirable job already pushing for recruits that last year Spaz would have passed on. Where BC will be in January remains to be seen, but recruiting season certainly has taken a different shape.