Boston College fell 38-31 to Duke under the lights last Friday to sink the team to its fourth-straight loss, all but ending any remaining hopes of a bowl game. It has been a miserable season for Hafley and Co., and the injury bug continued to plague the Eagles as QB1 Phil Jurkovec and OLs Jude Bowry and Nick Thomas all missed the game. Despite the many issues and weaknesses of this Eagles roster, however, Friday night provided a glimmer of hope for Eagles fans as a number of young players made their impact felt. In an effort to stay positive, let’s take a look at some of these young guys who form the future of the program:
QB Emmet Morehead: Morehead stepped up to start his first game since his junior year of high school, and promptly made a statement. He completed 27/45 pass attempts for 330 yards, while becoming the first BC QB to throw for 4(!) touchdowns in his first career start since 1981. Now, I am not saying he is the next Matt Ryan. Morehead looked incredibly raw and a little overwhelmed in the second half against UConn, and his stats against Duke were certainly padded by the fact that Duke was up by two scores for most of the game. But in other respects, I liked what I saw. Morehead has clear arm talent, and his connection with true freshman Joe Griffin Jr. (see below) is something that will be fun to watch in the coming years.
WR Joe Griffin Jr.: Griffin Jr. is a 6 ‘4 true freshman who has seen his playing time increase dramatically in recent weeks given the (mysterious) absence of Jaden Williams. On Friday, though, he stepped up and was “one of the best players on the field,” as Hafley put it. He reeled in 5 catches for 103 yards and 2 TDs. He’s third on the team with 232 yards and now has 4 touchdowns, too. His ability to haul in contested catches is a gamechanger to the BC offense (especially in the red zone), and he compliments Zay’s YAC prowess beautifully. He will be a focal point of BC’s offense for years to come.
RB Alex Broome: Like Griffin Jr., Broome is a true freshman and like Griffin Jr., Broome has seen his playing time increase as the season has gone on. He broke out with a 83-yard performance against Louisville, including a 40-yard touchdown dash. Against Duke, he and Garwo effectively split the backfield carries, with Broome getting 10 and Garwo 9. Broome also offers value as a checkdown receiving back, and along with Morehead and Griffin Jr., there’s a promising offensive core developing on the Heights.
DE Donovan Ezeiruaku: One of the biggest questions heading into the season was how the Eagles were going to improve a lackluster pass rush. And though the unit has had its share of struggles this season, sophomore Ezeiruaku has taken a huge step forward in year 2. He leads the team with 6 sacks (no other player has more than 2), and he’s also forced 3 fumbles. He’s made several timely stops and tackles this season and he will be a key member in the future of this BC defense.
CB Amari Jackson: Yet another true freshman, Jackson has been forced into more playtime as injuries took its toll on the secondary. He’s still raw, but the 6’0, 177-pound freshman is an impressive athlete. He’s got 3 pass deflections already and the experience he’s gaining will be vital. With Jaden Woodbey, Elijah Jones, Jason Maitre and Josh DeBerry all set to graduate, Jackson’s improvement and play will be critical to the Eagle’s future defense.