Boston College opened up their spring practice yesterday as they prepare for the 2015 campaign. It's a very exciting time as Addazio and company have loads of questions entering the season. Today let's look at some of the biggest questions entering the summer camp:
1. Rebuilding The Offensive Line: If you have read any national magazine this summer, they have honed in on the biggest question for the Eagles. The young and inexperienced offensive line. First, the Eagles only have one lineman with significant experience, Harris Williams, but he is also coming back from a major injury. What can he give the Eagles in 2015? Secondly, will Jon Baker be ready to step up from a backup, and injury fill in, to a starter? Also, Addazio has been very high on true freshman Chris Lindstrom and redshirt freshman James Hendren, are they ready to step up? Finally, Frank Taylor looks to be the center, will he make it out of camp as the starter? All major questions, all storylines to watch as the month goes on.
2. Growth in the secondary: BC was dominant up front last year, and had one of the nation's best rushing defenses. The secondary on the other hand came in at 68th in yards allowed, not bad, but still pretty middle of the pack. The Eagles lost Ty-Meer Brown, Dominique Williams, Sean Sylvia and Manny Asprilla in the secondary. That leaves Justin Simmons as the only player with extensive experience, and John Johnson, Kamrin Moore, and Isaac Yiadom as the other two who've played in game. Who will be the shut down corner? Where will Justin Simmons play, corner or safety? What other players will jump in to the mix?
3. The Wide Receivers: The Eagles leading returning wide outs will be Charlie Callinan and Sherm Allston, after the losses of Josh Bordner, Nat Dixon, Shakim Phillips and Dan Crimmins. There will be plenty of space for other players to jump in to the starting roles. First, can Harrison Jackson and Bobby Swigert are coming back from major injuries, will they be ready right away or need to gradually work their way back? Secondly the underclassmen, who jumps in? Will we be seeing Nolan Borgersen, Thadd Smith? All worth watching.
4. Expanding The Roles Of The Running Back: Addazio has a plethora of options at running back, and the most exciting part is that they bring all different roles to the team. Jon Hilliman is a fast bruising back, Marcus Outlow can catch passes and is very quick, Myles Willis is a jack of all trades. Now that Addazio and Todd Fitch know what they can do, they are going to need to do what they do best, adapt the offensive playbook to highlight more of these strengths. Screen passes, motion, multiple backs, see what they are capable of doing.
5. The Emergence of Darius Wade: After spring practice, Addazio named sophomore Wade as the quarterback, and since then he has praised him up and down. He clearly has a better arm than Tyler Murphy, but he isn't the flashy runner that Murph was. How will Addazio get him integrated in the offense? Will he allow Wade to get his feet wet against Howard and Maine, or go full octane to get him ready for Florida State? With a new offensive line and a bunch of new receivers, it may make more sense to have him gradually get used to game speed. But then again, taking the safety wheels off quicker may get him more prepared for a defense like the Seminoles. We shall see.
Number 5a: The kicking game. Because we don't need to go over that anymore.