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Boston College Football: Who’s New and Who’s Gone for 2023?

An active transfer portal makes for a promising roster

Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl - UCF v Florida Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The new roster for Boston College football has just about shaped up after the 2023 NFL Draft took place and the transfer portal is starting to peter out. The Eagles have lost a few familiar faces and have added some important pieces that will play vital roles for this upcoming season. Let’s take a brief look at some of their most important moves.

Key Departures

Zay Flowers, WR: Everybody knows the story with Zay. The all-time Boston College great set all three major receiving records at BC and then was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in this year’s NFL Draft. There is absolutely no way to replace what Zay brought to this team on and off the field, but there are at least a whole group of promising receivers ready to step up to the challenge.

Phil Jurkovec, QB: Boston College’s offense will have a different face behind center in 2023. After holding the QB1 role for three seasons on the Heights, Jurkovec missed his final few weeks as an Eagle due to injury in 2022 and transferred to ACC-rival Pitt in the offseason. His back-up, Emmett Morehead, is the presumed starter in 2023 and showed promise when he was thrust into the action suddenly last season. There were still a lot of problems with Morehead’s play, but Jurk was very far from perfect himself, so the loss at QB may not actually be a downgrade.

Jaiden Woodbey, S, Josh DeBerry, CB, & Jason Maitre, S: The Boston College secondary lost three of its stalwarts in Woodbey, DeBerry, and Maitre. Woodbey signed with the Los Angeles Rams, while DeBerry and Maitre found new homes in the transfer portal at Texas A&M and Wisconsin. DeBerry especially was one of the ACC’s better cornerbacks, earning All-ACC second team honors in 2021 and usually covering the other team’s top threat. Head coach Jeff Hafley is a specialist with the secondary and relies on these veteran leaders to implement his vision, so losing all three at once is a big hit.

Marcus Valdez & Chibueze Onwuka, DL: BC lost some important vets at the front of their defense, too, as both Valdez and Onwuka joined the New York Jets at their rookie mini-camp. The Eagles will keep around their most important defensive lineman in Donovan Ezeiruaku and have brought in some new guys to fill in these slots, though, so their departures aren’t heartbreaking.

You can read more about all of BC’s departures in our tracker here.

Key Arrivals

Ryan O’Keefe, WR - from UCF: O’Keefe will probably be the most exciting new arrival at Boston College in 2023 after lighting up the field at UCF for the past two seasons. He started all 26 games in 2021 & 2022, leading the Golden Knights in receiving yards with his lightning quick speed and impressive cutting ability. Although he only has one season of eligibility remaining, the star WR will look to make a huge impact for an offense losing its previous star WR.

George Rooks, DL - from Michigan: BC is adding Rooks to pair with Ezeiruaku on its defensive line, which should make for an impressive combo. Rooks was a 4-star recruit that transferred to BC after not getting much playing time on a stacked Michigan defense in his first two seasons. He’s an athletic beast that should help solidify a Boston College front-seven that can often struggle to stop the run.

Kyle Hergel & Logan Taylor, OL: The story of Boston College’s 2022 season was the offensive line. They couldn’t establish any kind of running game and had a terrible time protecting the QB. In response to last year’s disaster, Jeff Hafley has brought in Hergel from Texas State and Taylor from Virginia to solidify his OL and hopefully get his entire offense back on the right track. With the added return of Christian Mahogany from injury, this line could look at least 60% different from last season, including a new OL coach.

Khari Johnson, DB - from Arkansas: The BC secondary lost its three most important players from 2022, but Khari Johnson from Arkansas is slated to be a good replacement for the Eagles. The Boston-native is a former 3-star recruit that earned himself a lot of playing time in the SEC after starting out his career mostly on the bench. Hafley has brought in a whole host of other transfers for his defensive backfield, too, and should be able to coach up this new group.

Thomas Castellanos, QB - from UCF: While BC QB Emmett Morehead is the presumed starter for the Eagles in 2023, nothing is guaranteed. Boston College brought in the sophomore QB Castellanos in the transfer portal from UCF after he competed for the starting job and evidently lost it for the Golden Knights. He’s a dual-threat option for BC should they decide to go that route, or at least provides them an insurance option if Morehead goes down with injury. Freshman Jacobe Robinson is another option at the position, too.

BC will have a large group of freshmen that will be making a difference on the Heights in 2023. You can get a glimpse of those players here.

You can read more about the rest of BC’s transfer arrivals in our tracker here.