Last Saturday, Boston College football finished up their spring practices with their annual Jay McGillis Spring Football game. As the team moves into late spring-summer mode, let’s take a look at some of my position projections moving forward. Again these are not set in stone, they are just projections, and the coaching staff may think differently then what I am writing here. But here we go, today we are going to review the running backs, and over the next few weeks I will post on every other position on the team. These posts are going to include nuggets/stats from the Spring Game, but will be in lieu of a full game recap.
Previous recaps can be found here: Quarterbacks
Additions: Patrick Garwo (Fr.)
Projected Starter: A.J. Dillon (Jr.)
Projected Backup: David Bailey (So.) & Travis Levy (Jr.)
Additional Depth: Ben Glines (Sr.) Javian Dayne (R-Fr.), Peter Stehr (Fr.), Andrew Strader (Sr.)
Notes: Clearly going into this season the focus of the offense is going to revolve around AJ Dillon. Last year was an up and down year for the preseason All-ACC back, he had his moments with big games against Wake Forest and Temple, but was banged up for most of the season, missing the NC State and Louisville game, and never looking completely healed for the remainder of the season. He looked like himself against Boise State in the First Responders Bowl, but that of course wasn’t a complete game, but we did see glimpses of what he does for this offense when he is close to 100%. Dillon is a back that needs touches, but I think most will agree that Addazio leaned on him too hard after the injury. Dillon at 60-75% is still a good back, but he wouldn’t be the gamechanger that he is when healthy. This spring he broke off numerous huge runs in scrimmages, didn’t really play in the Spring Game, and should be ready to roll at 100% against Virginia Tech in the fall.
Behind Dillon are some solid backs that should all see playing time this year. David Bailey appears slimmed down this spring, which could help him continue to develop as a back. He had a huge Spring Game, rushing 12 times for 91 yards. In my opinion he is the perfect back to use when Daz wants to continue trying to wear down and be physical on defense while Dillon needs a break. Hopefully this season, Bailey is featured more, not only because he showed glimpses last year of being an every down back, but because his playing will keep the treads on Dillon even longer, something that needs to be a focus on this year’s offense.
Travis Levy will again be the third down back this year for the Eagles. Just like Bailey, he showed he deserves more touches after an explosive game against Virginia Tech in 2018. He led all backs on the team with 19 receptions in 2018. Redshirt freshman Javian Dayne exploded this spring, and was possibly the MVP of the Spring Game rushing 21 times for 102 yards. He is another big physical back, who is punishing to defenders and given that Addazio needs a full stable of runners, will definitely be someone we see this fall. Ben Glines had his moments in 2018, including a huge game against NC State, and could be used as either a running back or wide receiver this fall, depending on what the offense needs.
4* Patrick Garwo hasn’t arrived on campus yet, but his high school stats should get Boston College fans excited. He finished his senior season with 1,922 yards and 29 touchdowns for his program, breaking school records. Like Bailey last year, he may see playing time immediately when he steps on campus.
The running back is such a physical position that BC could use all the healthy bodies that they can get. Steve Addazio has at least five backs that could see meaningful playing time going into the 2019 season. Each bring a slightly different skill set, but all have shown that they can be featured if need be. The run game is crucial to Steve Addazio’s offense, and this could be the most talented group of backs he’s had since he arrived on campus.