Last week BC had their annual Gridiron Club Recruiting Dinner, and as reported earlier there was big news about one of their graduating wide receivers. However, it was just learned that there was even more news released at the event. According to a source, the coaching staff announced that senior wide receiver Spiffy Evans, senior defensive tackle Dominic Appiah, senior cornerback C.J. Jones, transfer wide receiver Marcus Grant, and sophomore Nigel Matthews are all leaving the team.
Obviously the biggest, and most surprising names on the list is Spiffy Evans, who had his season cut short in 2013 with a broken clavicle but managed to return for the bowl game against Arizona. He finished 2013 with only 7 catches for 97 yards, but was a dynamic returner on punts/kickoffs when he healthy. His departure leaves Myles Willis, David Dudeck or one of the freshman running backs (Sherm Alston) to do the returns.
C.J. Jones played in 12 games last season, missing the Army game due to injury, and finished the season with 18 tackles. He was primarily a backup cornerback, usually spelling Bryce Jones at right corner. Dominic Appiah is also a bit of a surprise, as he was a starter for a chunk of the season playing in 12 games as well, and finished off his junior season as the starter at defensive tackle.
Marcus Grant doesn't surprise me at all because he transferred to BC from Iowa during the Spaziani years, and probably came here expecting to play in a wide open spread offense that we saw with Doug Martin. Clearly last year we didn't see much of that, and combining that with injuries that plagued him this season, and it's not hard to see why he is no longer with the team. Nigel Matthews was nothing more than a late add on to a Frank Spaziani class, and not someone I ever expected to see much of the field for the Eagles.
These moves are a mix bag for the Eagles, but again not something that was completely out of left field. Many of the Spaz recruits probably wanted to wait around and see what the new regime would look like, and when it became clear that their role wasn't what they expected they began to look elsewhere. Unfortunately for the program the loss of these five, along with others (Mack Lowrie, Tevin Montgomery, Al Louis Jean) shrinks the depth for the team, especially at wide receiver and defensive tackle. However long term, these losses give Addazio and company some flexibility, and allows him to go back out this year and recruit yet another big class.
No ill will to the five players leaving the program, and best wishes moving forward. Go Eagles!