"Aaanndddd we're back!" Kudos if you know what popular podcast that's from.
Today we're traveling over to New England to take a look at the Boston College Eagles. BC is replacing not only a top-tier running back in A.J. Dillon, but also a very mediocre coach in Steve Addazio (who finished 4-3 against the Hokies, just saying.)
New Head Coach Jeff Hafley will look to bring in some fresh ideas while also facilitating the hard-nosed culture that has allowed BC to stay afloat over the past 10 or so seasons. Sounds weird to say, but BC is one of the more interesting teams in the ACC next season.
ACC Rank: 13
National Rank: 63
# of Signees: 15
Average Recruit Rating: 0.8529
Top Recruit: Ozzy Trapilo, OT, Boston MA (0.9242)
Biggest Need: "Dudes" on Defense
Okay, Steve Addazio and his formula for mediocrity are gone. In steps Jeff Hafley, a defensive minded coach that did wonders with Ohio State in 2019. He brings a wealth of NFL experience and is filling his coaching staff with NFL guys. He'll most likely stick to his NFL defensive scheme at Boston College. In the most basic sense, it's a scheme that takes away big plays and relies on linebackers and DB's swarming to the ball and making open field tackles. You give the QB/running game everything within 5 yards and you create backfield pressure by only rushing 4 with dominant edge rushers. If you watched the Ohio State vs Clemson game, the announcers did a great job of highlighting this scheme. It works, if you have great open field tacklers with lots of speed and Chase Young rushing the QB.
BC will have a veteran defense this season but will have to replace a ton of production for the 2021 season. The best defensive recruit they signed is LB Korey Smith (0.8837, Highstown NJ). Other than that, there's not much in terms of ACC starter that you can see in this class. That spells trouble if you're going to run an NFL scheme.
Most Exciting Recruit: Phil Jurkovec, QB, Notre Dame / Gibsonia PA
The Eagles said goodbye to Anthony Brown and hello to Phil Jurkovec. The Notre Dame transfer was stuck behind Ian Book but was widely considered to be a great option for the Irish had Book gone to the NFL early. His eligibility is still up in the air, but he is currently on campus.
Jurkovec is a pass first QB, but at 6'5" he still has the wheels to be able to hurt you on the ground. It's been a while since BC has had a solid QB. Frankly, only when a Heisman caliber QB has been at the helm in Chestnut Hill have the Eagles really competed on a high level. Not saying that Jurkovec is the next Doug Flutie, or Matt Hasselbeck, or dare I name he who shall not be names (Matt Ryan), but he could be the best they've had in a while. A solid defense, power running attack, and a QB that doesn't suck? That's when BC gets good.
Early Contributor: Kevin Pyne, OT, Milford MA, and/or Ozzy Trapilo, OT, Boston MA
The right guard spot is wide open for the Eagles. Two 2020 recruits, Kevin Pyne (0.9022) and Ozzy Trapilo (0.9242) should battle it out for that spot. Trapilo is the highest rated recruit to come to BC since 2011. He has monster size at 6'7" 275lbs. and can really move. Kevin Pyne, another 6'7" 275lbs. monster, is already enrolled at BC, so he'll have the inside track heading into summer camp. Regardless of who wins, they will probably be an All-ACC guy by the time they graduate because it's BC and that's just the way this stuff works.
Sam's Grade: B
On one hand, BC failed to make any sort of splash at a skill position with this class. That's not very surprising. On another hand, they grabbed two 4* OT's, one of whom is the highest rated recruited in almost a decade. They did so in the wake of a coaching change, which is no small feat. BC also threw a line in the transfer portal and fished out Phil Jurkovec, who very well could start against Syracuse to open up the season.
Did this class do anything to bolster BC past mediocrity? Probably not. But it did add to the foundation of the program on the OL, and potentially filled the QB void that has been missing from the program since the Matt Ryan days. That may be enough to get things moving back to the old BC.
Syracuse - C
Boston College - B