Boston College running back AJ Dillon and Ben Petrula were both named as ESPN Freshman All-Americans this morning. Many could have seen this coming for Dillon. The bell-cow back has been the face of the Eagles this season, rushing for 1432 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was the runner-up for the ACC rushing crown to Lamar Jackson, the reigning Heisman Winner, and was 12th in the country in rushing yards.
Petrula flew more under the radar, if only due to the nature of his position. The freshman filled in for BC’s captain Jon Baker after a week one injury having never played center. He excelled. Despite a few early hiccups with snapping the ball, Petrula and the offensive line improved every week during the season. Then everything came together against Louisville and the unit never looked back, paving the way for a 5-1 record in the second half of the season.
If anyone had said that the Eagles would have two offensive freshman All-Americans this season, they would have been laughed out of the room. Many expected Dillon to be a solid contributor and Petrula to be an important piece on the offensive line after a redshirt year. Instead BC got two immediate stars. With talented youth at other key positions the future is as bright as ever for the Eagles.
Congratulations to both Ben and AJ for the recognition. We all hope to see more in the coming years.