A lot will change between now and the Eagles' season opener on (presumably) Saturday, September 5, 2015. Addazio and the staff still have to ink the incoming 2015 recruiting class, award any 5th years with scholarships and there'll undoubtedly be some roster attrition throughout the year. There might even be another impact grad transfer in the offing.
Regardless, let's take a first crack at projecting what the Eagles' two-deep might look like on opening day of the 2015 season.
1. Darius Wade (6-0, 201, So.)
2. Troy Flutie (6-0, 182, RS-Fr.) OR Elijah Robinson (6-2, 185, Fr.) OR Jeff Smith Jr. (6-0, 162, Fr.)
We hardly knew ye, Tyler Murphy. Just as quickly as he joined the team back in August, the ACC's all-time single season quarterback rushing leader is gone after just 13 games in the maroon and gold. Hopefully at some point over his short BC career he pulled Wade aside and gave him pointers on how to run the way he ran this year. Wade probably doesn't have the legs that Murphy does—few QBs across the country did—but he should prove a serviceable dual-threat QB over the next three years, particularly if he's a bit more accurate in the passing game.
With Bordner graduating, Wade is the only QB on the roster who has taken any snaps under center at the collegiate level. That's a scary proposition. We've yet to see what any of the other three backups, including a pair of incoming recruits, can do, so who knows what we have in Flutie, Robinson or Jeff Smith Jr. But this seems like Wade's job to lose. I doubt the staff is going to trot out a redshirt or even true freshman that weighs in at less than 200 pounds for the opener.
1. Jon Hilliman (6-0, 215, So.)
2. Myles Willis (5-9, 203, Jr.) OR Marcus Outlow (5-10, 207, So.)
Willis has been listed as the starter for much if not all of the 2014 season. But it's no secret that Hilliman has emerged as the feature back for this offense. Willis and Outlow will probably get most of the other touches, with guys like Rouse, Wilson and incoming freshman Jordan Gowins having a much more limited role. BC is stocked in the backfield though. The future looks promising.
1. Bobby Wolford (6-2, 248, Jr.)
2. Sean Burke (5-11, 234, Sr.)
No change from last year. Does a guy like Burke earn a scholarship going into his senior year? It's unclear how the incoming recruiting class breaks down in terms of guys that were recruited for other positions but could eventually make the shift to fullback, so let's leave the rest as is for now.
1. Bobby Swigert (6-0, 197, Gr.)
2. Nat Dixon (6-3, 172, So.) OR Gabe McClary (6-3, 185, So.)
1. Charlie Callinan (6-4, 220, So.)
2. Harrison Jackson (6-2, 205, Jr.) OR Thadd Smith (5-9, 168, So.)
1. Dan Crimmins (6-5, 237, Sr.)
2. Drew Barksdale (5-11, 195, Jr.) OR Sherman Alston (5-6, 163, So.)
Exit Josh Bordner and Shakim Phillips. Welcome back, Drew Barksdale, Harrison Jackson and Bobby Swigert? This is a unit with a ton of question marks but also a lot of talent returning. Should Barksdale, Jackson and Swigert return to form following season-ending injuries, this unit can improve on last year's receiving output. The receiving corps should also get a big boost from 3* wide receivers Nolan Borgersen (Westwood, N.J.) and Chase Pankey (Cincinnati, OH). Borgersen, an early enrollee, could challenge for playing time early.
Sounds like Swigert may have been granted a 6th year by the NCAA. If healthy, he should factor into the starting rotation along with Callinan and Crimmins.
1. Michael Giacone (6-5, 262, Sr.)
2. Louie Addazio (6-3, 253, Sr.) OR Joel Rich (6-3, 255, So.)
No changes here. BC does lose a guy like Jarrett Darmstatter, but none of these guys are your traditional pass-catching TE. Curious to see how a pair of 3* incoming recruits—TE Jake Burt (Danvers, Mass.) and Chris Garrison (Groton, Mass.) will also fit into the mix.
1. Dave Bowen (6-7, 291, Sr.)
1. Jon Baker (6-3, 281, So.)
1. Frank Taylor (6-6, 304, Jr.)
1. Harris Williams (6-3, 299. Gr.)
1. Jim Cashman (6-7, 301, Jr.)
Hard to say right now where the other OL dudes project: James Hendren (6-7, 287, RS-Fr.), Sam Schmal (6-6, 287, RS-Fr.), Wyatt Knopfke (6-2, 265, Fr.), Chris Lindstrom (6-4, 236, Fr.), Aaron Monteiro (6-6, 308, Fr.), Anthony Palazzolo (6-5, 330, Fr.), John Phillips (6-6, 275, Fr.)
This is a unit gutted by graduation. Betancourt, Vardaro and Kramer are all gone. So is Gallik, the center of the Eagles line for four years, as well as Silberman, who completes his one grad year on the Heights. Not all is lost for the Eagles, however, as graduate student Harris Williams was granted a sixth year after suffering a season-ending ankle injury in the opener against UMass.
Does Williams shift from his usual spot at right guard to protect Wade's blind side at right tackle? Or does that job go to a guy like Jim Cashman? There's some experience with the starters, but BC will have to rely on the past two years' recruiting classes (Hendren, Schmal and Baker in 2014, Knopfke, Lindstrom, Monteiro, Palazzolo and Phillips in 2015) to fill the gaps on the two-deep.
1. Malachi Moore (6-7, 274, Sr.)
2. Joseph Vitiello (6-4, 250, RS-Fr.) OR Kevin Cohee (6-2, 245, RS-Fr.)
1. Mehdi Abdesmad (6-7, 297, Gr.)
2. Truman Gutapfel (6-3, 289, So.)
1. Connor Wujciak (6-3, 300, Gr.)
2. Noa Merritt (6-0, 268, So.)
1. Kevin Kavalec (6-3, 242, Jr.)
2. Harold Landry (6-3, 257, So.)
Mihalik is gone, as is grad transfer Seyi Adebayo, but this is a unit that returns a lot of talent from this year's squad. Guessing Malachi Moore will assume starting duties at left end for Mihalik. I haven't heard anything about a possible 5th year for Mehdi Abdesmad, but it sure would be nice to plug a healthy Mehdi back in there at DT.
However, my guess is his career is over. Edit: sounds like Mehdi expects to be back.
Wild guess, but plug redshirt freshmen Joseph Vitiello and Kevin Cohee into the mix at end, though I wouldn't be surprised to see sophomore Jack Cottrell or even incoming freshmen DE Wyatt Ray (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) or DT Ray Smith (San Diego, Calif.) crack the front four two-deep.
1. Matt Milano (6-1, 220, Jr.)
2. Christian Lezzer (6-0, 210, So.)
1. Steven Daniels (6-0, 249, Sr.)
2. Connor Strachan (6-2 231, So.)
1. Mike Strizak (6-2, 229, Jr.)
2. Ty Schwab (6-1 212, So.) OR Tim Joy (6-1, 229, Jr.)
Keyes and Duggan, key pieces of the Eagles linebacking corps, are gone. The good news is that BC seemingly reloads every year at LB after having to replace the team's top linebacker tacklers from the previous year. Getting a guy like Tim Joy back from injury will certainly help the unit's depth.
The staff might decide to shift players around a bit here. Could Strachan or Joy make the transition to SAM? Do guys like redshirt freshmen Kevin Bletzer, Hunter Forte and Noah Penders fit in at all? Also wouldn't be surprised to see one of the Eagles' three incoming LB recruits crack the two-deep either—2* Sharrieff Grice (West Hartford, Conn.), 3* Tanner Karafa (Ashburn, Va.) and 3* Jimmy Martin (Maitland, Fla.).
1. Isaac Yiadom (6-1 170 So.)
2. Atem Ntantang (5-11, 188, So.)
1. Kevin Bletzer (6-2, 198, So.)
2. Cameron Seward (6-0, 219, RS-Fr.)
1. Justin Simmons (6-3, 188, Sr.)
2. Allen Dawson (6-0, 193, RS-Fr.)
1. John Johnson (6-0, 194, Jr.)
2. Kamrin Moore (5-11 186, So.)
The much-maligned unit is another one that suffers heavy roster churn next season. Starting LC Manny Asprilla, starting SS Dominique Williams, backup SS Sean Sylvia and backup FS Ty-Meer Brown are all gone, leaving Addazio and Brown to plug quite a few holes in the Eagles' secondary.
Do guys like Atem Ntantang, Allen Dawson or Cameron Seward make the next jump onto the two-deep, or will incoming freshmen Lukas Denis (Everett, Mass.), Davon Jones (Shrewsbury, Mass.), Taj-Amir Torres (Amherst, Mass.) or Michael Walker (Naples, Fla.) impress? Also wondering whether it makes sense to move a guy like Matt Milano back to his natural position in the secondary given the lack of experience in this unit.
Caveat to the next three positions is that something is clearly not working and must be fixed in the offseason. That much is painfully obvious. That doesn't mean that players should be benched and left to ride the pine until they run out of eligibility based on last year's failures. The kicking game isn't just on the kicker, but also requires a good snap and a hold. Let's work over the offseason to improve all three phases of the kicking game.
1. Mike Knoll (6-0, 214, So.)
2. Alex Howell (6-5, 206, Sr.)
1. Alex Howell (6-5, 206, Sr.)
2. Mike Knoll (6-0, 214, So.)
I'm not giving up on Knoll, who was BC's most consistent kicker of the three all year. 100 FGs a day for the next 248 days should just about do it. Personally I'd prefer to ditch the rotation and stick with Knoll on all FGs and PATs and leave the kickoff and punting duties to Howell.
1. Troy Flutie (6-0, 182, RS-Fr.)
2. Charlie Callinan (6-4, 220, So.)
I trust the coaching staff enough that if there were obvious issues with Murphy's holds—yet the coaching staff continued to trot him out as the holder on PATs and FGs—that it wasn't clear to the staff just who else on the roster possesses the ability to catch a snap, place the ball and hold the kick. Maybe the staff didn't want to burn Flutie's redshirt so he could just hold place kicks. Whatever the reason, last year is in the past. Spend the year identifying who those players are. Since Flutie will be the presumed backup heading into the season, he's going to have to be ready to go anyway. Start practicing on those fake FG TD passes, lad.
Callinan was listed as this year's backup holder.
1. Leonard Skubal (5-10, 201, Jr.)
2. Austin Stevens (6-3, 256, RS-Fr.)
1. Sherm Alston (5-6, 163, So.)
2. Thaddius Smith (5-9 167, So.) OR Marcus Outlow (5-10, 207, So.)
1. Myles Willis (5-9, 203, Jr.)
2. Sherm Alston (5-6, 163, So.)
I personally like having Alston handing punt returns and Willis kickoffs, so let's go with that. It never made any sense to me when Bryce Jones was listed as either the punt return or kick return guy. There's plenty of talented running backs that will be fighting to get on the field next year. If Alston or Willis aren't the answer, let's plug in a guy who can get the job done.