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Wide Receivers & Tight Ends - 2022 Boston College Football Preview

Phil Jurkovec is making an NFL push, and his receiving corps can help him to the next level

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 13 Boston College at Georgia Tech Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Zay Flowers

Zay Flowers, by a wide margin, is set to be Boston College’s #1 pass catcher in the 2022 season. Flowers has led the team in receiving yards and receiving TDs in each of the past two seasons, and his 746 yards last season were over double the next closest receiver’s total (Trae Barry, 362). With the return of a healthy Phil Jurkovec for what hopefully should be a full season, Zay Flowers returns for his senior campaign looking to make his case for a 1st-round NFL Draft pick. His explosive speed and lateral quickness is something special among Boston College’s history, and he very well may go down as the Eagles’ greatest ever WR.

His connection with Jurk doesn’t need much more analysis than that. We’ve seen it in action and we know it’s dynamite. Something I’m paying particular attention to this season, though, is the amount of touches Zay gets in the backfield. Flowers had a surprisingly low 7 rushes last season despite his explosive play and ability to make his way upfield in open space. Eagles fans should hope that new offensive coordinator John McNulty sees the value in using Zay from the backfield, because magic can happen when he does:

Other WRs

Jaelen Gill is a veteran and is entering what could be his final season as a Boston College Eagle. Gill came in as a transfer from Ohio State in 2020 and made an immediate impact as one BC’s depth WRs. His role expanded even further in 2021 and, with the added departure of CJ Lewis in the transfer portal this offseason, Gill is in line to potentially be Jurkovec’s #2 option in 2022. The former 4-star recruit is a terrific physical threat downfield in an offense that is constantly utilizing the deep ball to burn opposing defenses. That strategy was very hit-or-miss with Dennis Grosel or an injured Phil Jurkovec starting at QB (though that didn’t stop them from trying it every game), but a fully-healthy Jurk should have a much easier time delivering strikes to Gill down the field.

Jaden Williams is an up-and-coming star in the Boston College WR room. The rising sophomore put together a surprisingly solid freshman campaign, securing multiple catches in most games despite the many experienced mouths to feed in the Boston College offense. He finished behind Flowers, Barry, and Gill as BC’s WR4 in the 2021 season and is poised to take another step up in what should be a high-powered offense. Keep your eyes on Williams not only to be a potential breakout this season, but also to be the Boston College WR of the future.

Dino Tomlin, son of Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, transferred from Maryland this offseason and should be an interesting player to watch. He didn’t get much playing time at Maryland at all, but he could be one of the smarter players in the WR room making a lot of high-level football decisions. Not only is he the son of a great football mind in the NFL, but what struck me is that his short offer sheet as a high school recruit included well-regarded academic schools like Brown and Columbia. We don’t know a whole lot about what Tomlin brings to the table, but it’s promising in that aspect.

Other names to keep an eye on are redshirt freshmen Lewis Bond and Dante Reynolds. They both came in as generally well-regarded recruits, and their roles can expand this season now that their redshirt seasons are over. The eventual departure of Zay Flowers and Jaelen Gill will leave a lot of room for new receivers to make an impact next year, and the 2022 season could be a good sign on who is ready to step up.

Tight Ends

There are two or three names to keep an eye on for the TE position in the 2022 season for Boston College:

George Takacs is a transfer from Notre Dame who followed his Fighting Irish TE coach John McNulty to the Heights when McNulty was hired as BC’s new offensive coordinator. Takacs didn’t get much playing time in South Bend, appearing in just 9 games in 3 years and maxing out at 3 receptions in a season. The graduate senior came into college as a well-regarded 4-star recruit, and certainly has the physical traits to succeed as a bruising 6’6” 247 lbs player, especially as an effective run-blocker on the edge. Getting stuck behind 5-star sophomore Michael Mayer on the Notre Dame roster, among others including future NFL starter Cole Kmet, has more to do with his lack of playing time than anything else. Look for him to make an immediate impact in Chestnut Hill, where he’ll be sure to get more opportunities.

Joey Luchetti is the BC mainstay that has been working to earn his spot in the starting line-up over the past 4 seasons. After seeing very limited action in his first few seasons, Luchetti began to see the field more in 2021 as the back-up to starter Trae Barry and was catching about one or two passes per game. He also played a role as an effective blocker for Patrick Garwo III and other BC RBs, something Trae Barry was less adept at in his one year stint on the Heights. No doubt Luchetti will have to compete for the newly-open starting spot, but it would be a sweet story to see the Massachusetts native get to play more in his senior season for the hometown Eagles.

Spencer Witter is another New Englander, hailing from Connecticut, that’s been on Boston College’s roster for multiple seasons and is still looking for his big break. His story is much like Luchetti’s, but he’s one year behind him in development. I wouldn’t expect to see a ton of Witter this season, but he could be a surprise factor if his game has developed well behind the scenes.