Spring football is under way at the Heights, and the coaching staff is feverishly evaluating talent, working on form and figuring out who will be the starters come the fall. The Eagles lost a lot of talent, and there will be numerous position battles underway in Chestnut Hill. There are at least five names to look out for this spring, and they could be the players who make that big jump this fall.
1. Darius Wade, Quarterback: As Steve Addazio has said numerous times, the quarterback position is wide open for competition. The candidates are Darius Wade, Troy Flutie, and true freshman Elijah Robinson. Robinson is a raw talent, much more in the style of Tyler Murphy. Flutie appears to have made some jumps, and it appears that Wade is ready to jump up to the starting position. He has the more refined arm, he can hit targets, and can move his feet. Reading between the lines, it appears that Wade is Addazio's guy in 2015; however, he is going to need to earn it. If Flutie or Robinson come out like barn burners, Wade could lose that battle.
2. Truman Gutapfel, Defensive Tackle: Another of Addazio's favorites, Gutapfel took a major step in the right direction last fall. He bulked up, but what was most impressive was his technique, as he formed a formidable duo up front with Connor Wujciak. With CW returning, and Mehdi Abdesmad rehabbing, could this year be the Truman Show? BC had a top 5 run stuffing defense last year, and it all started up the middle. Gutapfel might be poised to take that talent jump from good to great. He should be a fun defensive player to watch.
3. Thadd Smith, Wide Receiver: BC's wide receiving corp was completely revamped in 2014, with Josh Bordner, Charlie Callinan, Sherm Allston, and Shakim Phillips taking the major snaps. They are going to have to do this all over again in 2015. Harrison Jackson and Bobby Swigert may return from injuries, but their output is questionable. That leaves room for one of the underclassmen to step up. Enter Thadd Smith. Addazio has been really high on him already, complementing him as one of his fastest wide receivers. With the WR corp so depleted, he may stand out and make some big plays that leads to reps with the first team offense.
4. Frank Taylor, Center: The offensive line may not be in as bad of shape as some may predict. True, BC lost a lot of talent up front with the graduations of Andy Gallik, Seth Betancourt, Ian Silberman, and Aaron Kramer, but they will be bringing back Harris Williams and Dave Bowen (who played in jumbo sets all year). The key again may be the power in the middle. Taylor has waited patiently for his turn, transitioning from a tackle to center. His time has arrived. Can he be the glue that Andy Gallik was in 2014?
5. John Johnson, Defensive Back: There is going to be a lot of turnover in the defensive secondary in 2015. Manny Asprilla, Ty-Meer Brown, Dominique Williams, and Sean Sylvia have all graduated. Someone is going to have to step up in the secondary. We have seen what Justin Simmons can do, so he isn't much of a question mark. However the corners lack of experience may be concerning. Johnson is the one guy that has significant experience at the position, and he definitely showed glimpses of being a good CB. Will we see that jump this season?