Boston’s College kicks the football season off at home on September 3rd against Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights are coming off a 5-8 record in Greg Schiano’s second season back in charge. In spite of the five wins, the team was a substitute invitee to the Gator Bowl. They were summarily smacked by Wake Forest, but still was a successful season for the school.
The Rutgers offense was among the worst in the country in 2021. For the past two season, Nebraska transfer Noah Vedral has been the main man. Freshman Gavin Wimsatt came in for some cameos in the last few games and saw plenty of snaps in the bowl game. Vedral struggles to push the ball downfield, but is a dual-threat with experience. He went 180-303 for 1,813 yards with seven touchdowns and interceptions, and rushed for nearly 300 yards, starting all 13 games. The competition will be between these two, with Evan Simon in the mix. Wimsatt, a four-star and highest rated prospect in program history, likely has the most to offer, but his youth may give the staff pause to give him the reins so soon.
Offensive line was a major pain point for the 2021 offense. Heading into this year, they’ll see a bit of a revamped unit. Four new lineman came by way of the transfer portal, and each are going to be in the mix to help find a consistent starting five. They should provide more depth as well, with the team likely not getting Reggie Sutton back after suffering a knee injury early last season. The backfield loses their starting tailback to the NFL. Now, Kyle Monangai and Aaron Young step in. They combined for nine touchdowns last season. Young is the receiving threat, while Monangai is small but should be the lead. Four star freshman Samuel Brown and the quick Al-Shadee Salaam could also break through.
New faces will also feature in the receiving corps, but there’s a lot of promise. Taj Harris and Sean Ryan come in from Syracuse and West Virginia, respectively, joining the speedy Aron Cruickshank and the team’s second leading receiver Shameen Jones. Cruickshank is a big time special teams threat, but will be coming back from injury.
The Scarlet Knight defense may have still been in the bottom half of the Big Ten, but they do have quite a bit to offer. A new defensive coordinator in Joe Harasymiak enters the fold from Minnesota. They’ll have a solid pass rush that isn’t all too big, but are going to be now down their leading sack leader from the past two seasons. Aaron Lewis is a young end who the team will hope can break out and fill the void.
The linebacking corps will have little experience to lean on and have already lost a highly touted freshman in Moses Walker to a torn ACL. Tyreem Powell has three starts to his name and will lead the group. Schiano’s secondary though will be the strength, and will have the most experience returning. They have depth at corner with starters Kessawn Abraham and Max Melton returning. Abraham was the team’s defensive MVP. Avery Young will be in the mix as well after smoothly transitioning from safety last season. He finished with two sacks and an interception, and now has a few seasons of experience to really step up.
Australian punter Adam Korsak is the key player to watch on special teams. He was a finalist for the Ray Guy and was a Second Team All American.
There are a whole host of connections on these coaching staffs. Jeff Hafley will of course reunite with an old mentor of his in Greg Schiano. The two have been together across multiple stints, starting with the last time Schiano was at Rutgers. After following him over to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Hafley eventually succeeded Schiano as the Ohio State defensive coordinator. Quite a level of familiarity between the two. Beyond these two, both BC coordinators Tem Lukabu and John NcNulty also worked on the Schiano staff with Rutgers and the Bucs. New running backs coach Savon Huggins was a highly rated recruit for the Scarlet Knights in his playing days as well.
Last Time Out
BC owns a 20-6 record over Rutgers and riding an 11 game winning streak. The 2019 meeting in Piscataway was a 30-16 victory for the Eags.