While Zay Flowers begins his conquest of the NFL, Boston College must find some assortment of pass catchers to fill his void. Now these are enormous shoes to fill so it will take a village. Here’s a look at the wide receivers and tight ends who are the next ones up.
Stacking reps. Stacking days. pic.twitter.com/oMbUxE4PbG— Boston College Football (@BCFootball) August 18, 2023
Ryan O’Keefe, Dino Tomlin, Taji Johnson, and Jay Brunelle are our eldest statesman here. O’Keefe is the big offseason arrival. following his former coach now in the same role at BC in Darrell Wyatt. The former UCF product brings elite speed and open space athleticism. He totaled 73 catches for 725 yards last season, and tacked on over 20 yards a return. He’s been named to the preseason watch list of the Hornung Award for the country’s most versatile player.
Dino Tomlin has been steadily earning playing time since his arrival from Maryland in 2022. In limited routes, he always seemed to come clutch and Hafley has rewarded him for his game time performance and steady hands, starting the final two games of the season. He ended with 10 catches for 181 yards. Johnson has been playing in each game in some capacity since his arrival. He ended last season with nine catches and did return one kick, and always does what’s needed. Figures he’s been named to college football’s watch list for the Wuerffel Trophy for community service. Jay Brunelle returns home to Massachusetts after playing at Notre Dame and then Yale as well.
Jaden Williams, #0 is a prime candidate to step into Zay’s shoes. He has the speed and has already proven himself more than capable since his true freshman season. In his two seasons, he’s had five touchdowns, 30 catches, and nearly 400 yards. He’s also dabbled in the return game as well.
Dante Reynolds, Lewis Bond, and Joe Griffin Jr. It starts with Joe Griffin Jr. here. The true sophomore is the primary big target on the squad and built quite the rapport with Emmett Morehead at the end of last season. His size and speed are top notch. He started five games in his freshman season and came down with five touchdowns including the game winner against NC State. He will feature prominently this season.
Bond and Reynolds arrived together from Chicago and will look to make a splash this season. Bond, Lewis showed some of his best stuff hauling in a beautiful catch recently in practice. Hafley remarked that he’s really ‘emerged’ this offseason. Both former three-stars have played in a handful of games since redshirting their freshman season.
Ismael Zamor, Nate Johnson, Jaedn Skeete, Montrell Wade, Reed Harris: Zamor is a former top local prospect and the only redshirt of this crop. The 6 foot 191 pound receiver will have the opportunity to see the first action of his collegiate career. The four freshmen hail from different parts of the country and bring in different elements that could be called upon a la Griffin last season, and Williams before him. Harris is the all around athlete and former quarterback from Montana with the size, while Johnson brings that Zay Flowers Florida speed. Different parts of the state, but a connection no less. Skeete and Wade have similar profiles but Skeete stayed local while Wade followed the Jaden Williams route via Texas.
George Takacs didn’t factor as strongly as he may have liked last season, but the 6-6 former Notre Dame-r still can figure to be a reliable safety blanket. He reeled in 26 catches for 256 yards and one touchdown. The veteran tight end will have another crack at this and should be more comfortable on the Heights this season.
Charlie Gordinier, Hans Lillis, Andrew Landry, and Tommy Birmingham: All redshirt juniors, Gordinier and Birmingham have seen limited action on special teams, while Hans Lillis played nearly all last season and recorded his first catch in the game against UConn.
Jeremiah Franklin: The 6-3 Franklin was a strong prospect out of Maryland. He played in nine games last year finishing with five catches for 27 yards including two against Clemson.
Matt Ragan and Holden Symonds: The local product Ragan was a four-star recruit and the second best player in the state when he committed to BC. He redshirted last season, but figures to make a step to be the next in a line of recent Eagle tight ends. Symonds is a true freshman, but is already only rivaled by Takacs in terms of size.