With the end of the 2017-18 athletic season for Boston College Athletics in the rear-view mirror, BC Interruption will be releasing its yearly awards over the upcoming days. The awards were voted upon by the members of the BC Interruption staff. Awards range from Male and Female Players of the Year to Players to whom we feel most represent what it means to be a member of a Boston College team.
The first award we are releasing is the Male Rookie of the Year award, which is awarded to freshman running back A.J. Dillon of the Boston College Eagles football team.
A.J. came to the Heights with a ton of fanfare. He was a local student, who had originally committed to the Michigan Wolverines, but in a stunning change of heart he decided to stay closer to home and ended up choosing Boston College. Going into the season it was assumed he would be a factor, but most figured he would be behind Jon Hilliman on the depth chart.
And that is exactly what happened. When BC opened the year against the Northern Illinois Huskies, Hilliman had 26 carries, while Dillon only had 5. He had a ho hum game, averaging just 4 yards. Dillon became the feature back in game 2 against Wake Forest, but the offense was a complete mess and he was stifled with 15 carries for only 43 yards, a 2.9 average. He shared duties with Hilliman against ND, scored his first TD against Clemson, and finally had showed a glimpse of what he was capable against Central Michigan with 128 yards. It seemed the season was over when Dillon only had 35 yards on 10 carries against the Virginia Tech Hokies, a game that was painful to watch. The offense seemed stagnant, head coach Steve Addazio and OC Scot Loeffler didn’t appear to have an answer, and fans were back to calling for their heads.
But then things came together, and it was beautiful.
Against Louisville, the world was introduced to A.J. Dillon. A human wrecking ball, Dillon led an offensive explosion that included 39 rushes for 272 yards as the freshman went toe to toe with defending Heisman Winner Lamar Jackson on the road. Probably the most infamous moment of the game was when he bull dozed a defender on his way to a long touchdown run. Watch it again, it’ll still give you goosebumps
Oh my. AJ Dillon just sent a defender straight into the turf pic.twitter.com/BQh67iso9N— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) October 14, 2017
And he was just getting started.
Against NC State, quarterback Anthony Brown went down for the season with a leg injury and it was Dillon who put the team on his back combining for 589 yards over his final three games, along with six touchdowns. Against Iowa he did the best he could given the field was a skating rink and would have had another huge run but slipped. He finished his rookie campaign 9th in the FBS in total rushing yards, with 1589 yards and 14 touchdowns.
The sky is the limit for this freshman, and he is already in the talks for Heisman this year, and has brought excitement back to the Heights as many are dying to see what he does next.
A.J beat out fellow teammate Anthony Brown and hockey player Logan Hustko for this award.