ACC Recruiting Breakdowns: Boston College Eagles

"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.

2020 Class:
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.

ACC Grades:
Syracuse - C
Boston College - B

DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Comments

I think I would be more surprised then not if BC doesn't have a good defense. That seems to be their staple.

BC ranked 6th and 5th in 2017-18, respectively, in the ACC in total scoring defense. Last season they ranked 13th at over 32 pts/game. They won 7 games in 2017-18, and 6 games in 2019.

It's the staple of the program, but it hasn't really been enough to grab them extra W's in the past few seasons. I think that's ultimately why they decided to go in a different direction at head coach. Even when that classic BC defense was decent, they were only winning 7 games.

Today we're traveling over to New England to take a look at the Boston College Eagles.

Just make sure y'all are social distancing yourselves.

Comment Disclaimer: My comment are meant to be taken as-is. If you cannot handle it, do not hit โ€˜Reply All.โ€™

"When all this is over we're traveling over to New England to take a look at the Boston College Eagles."

Good catch, social distancing is cool!

Tangent:

Kevin Pyne is VT All American Jim Pyne's nephew.

Thanks, Erik. Very Cool.

I mentioned this in a thread a couple of years ago, but my son's football team from the Cape played Millis (Pyne's original high school in MA) in the state Division 4 playoffs. Think really small school football, where it isn't uncommon to find 5'9", 170 lb linebackers. My son was a junior at that time, a baseball pitcher masquerading as a lineman on both sides of the ball, and Pyne was a freshman that stood 6'7" even back then. Pyne was already getting a ton of hype, but honestly, he played like most freshmen probably would if they were that big at such a young age. Tentative, awkward, slow of foot, etc., but if he got his body on you, you were buried. He really wasn't all that good back then, fast DE's could pretty much run around him. I know he missed at least one year due to a knee injury, and ended up transferring to another school, evidently to follow his coach.

I know VT was after Pyne at least at one point, but frankly I didn't hear too much about him up here his last couple of years. Again, there is not much in the way of football talent up here, so I think he was still probably the #1 prospect in the state.

Would love for VT to build our program so we could regularly beat this trash team.

Yeah, I think the record against BC is one of the most disappointing things about the Tech program over the past 7 years. Combine that with the record against Miami over that time (also 3-4) and that's a losing record against two of your biggest rivals. Big oof.

Personally I think our 6-1 record against lolva in that same period is the most disappointing, but that's just me.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jet Sweep

7 years? Go back much longer. We are 12-8 in our last 20 games with a team that had 1 good year and a bunch of mediocre years.

From 2012-2019, our ACC record is 36-29. That puts us around a 55% win pct in ACC play. Compare that with our first 8 years in the league (2004-2011) where we were around an 81% win pct in conference play. Now the final four years of Beamer were pretty bad (right at .500), but the first four years of Fuente are trending slightly better (.61). But, still not around the win percentage we were at during the good years. We need to average around 1.75 more conference wins per year to get back to where we were, which realistically is winning two more games per year than we are now. That 1-3 GT record, 2-2 Miami record, and 2-2 BC record over Fuente's first four years needs to improve.

I mean seriously, think about it this way. Let's say our GT record the last four years was 3-1, BC 4-0, and Miami 3-1. That's five more ACC wins, so assuming nothing else changed, 2016 is 11-3, 2017 is 10-3, 2018 is 8-5, last year is 9-4. Significantly better already. That means we beat GT in 2016 and 2017, BC and Miami in 2018, and BC in 2019. All were extremely winnable games. We would only need three more conference wins in those seasons to be at the target win percentage. Most of the ground can be made up avoiding a lot of the head-scratcher close losses we have seen.

My biggest gripe is the suck that has become the ACC the last few years and how poorly we continue to do in ACC play. in that 04-11 window the league was far more competitive than one ranked team in clemson like it is now.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I agree. A couple of those teams from 2012-2017 should've been 9 or 10 win teams that just lost a bunch of close games (OT losses to UNC and Duke in 2015) and one, 2016, should've been in a NY6 bowl had they not crapped the bed in the Carrier Dome.

That 2016 team crapped the bed in all three regular season losses. We would have run UT off the field in Bristol had we been able to hold on to the ball. Then total collapses at Syracuse and vs GT late in the season.

2013 is really interesting with how close we truly were to another double-digit win season for Beamer. Other than Bama which the defense played extremely well in despite little to no offense, we easily could have won vs Duke, UMD, and BC. Had Brewer not gotten hurt in 2015 I feel like that season could have gone much differently as well.

If Fuente can figure out ways to get difference makers the ball and win more these tight conference games we seem to keep losing at least three of per year, we could really seize control of the division again and be in annual conversations for NY6 bowls. So far we are only marginally better than Beamer's last years in ACC play. It has to get better. I don't think anyone expected Fuente to roll in and win the natty right off the bat, but I believe the expectation was that we would be in conversations on how we take that next step and beat Clemson in the ACCCG. Take care of business in these type of games and I think we will get there.

2013 is really the season I think we should have won 10 games. The Duke and Maryland games are ones we had no business losing, but that year really came back to having nothing on offense. The line was average, Logan was good, and everything else was a giant pile of blah. If we didn't turn it over and give the other team a short field we were in good shape, otherwise we were going to struggle to score 24 points.

I think people ignore how bad the defense was in 2015. Other than the Pitt game when Brewer was out, the offense played pretty well. Couldn't get ECU off the field in a driving rain storm with a WR at QB, let Brad Kaaya average 10 yards an attempt in Miami, required two dead cat bounces in a row to stop UNC from marching up and down the field, Justin Thomas punched a guy when they were in game winning field goal territory, and even UVA averaged over 6.5 yards a carry on 40 attempts.

In hindsight, that 2016 needed one more year. 2017 could've been the yer Tech got back to the national stage. A bummer so many of those guys decided to go pro early. But, that's the way this college sports thing goes.

Would love for VT to build our program so we could regularly beat this all the trash teams.

FTFY.

I never really can understand BC. They had Flutie, who is known for 1 play. And not much else in their history. They have 1 conference title and that was something like a 5 way tie, that didn't result in them going to a BCS bowl.

Their winningest coach left because it sucked and BC wanted better than 8-5. They hired the best coach they've ever had not named Frank Leahy and fired him because he interviewed for an NFL head coaching job. He's never even sniffed another HC job, which is utterly mind blowing. Tom Coughlin was a coach there and has two superbowl rings as a HC and was only slightly better than the coach they just fired.

BC wants BC guys and a BC guy wants to be at BC. They have pretty much failed at this. And while getting rid of a .500 coach is understandable, they are 9 games under 500 since firing Jagazinzki. But historically they arent even a .600 win team so they are chasing a peak that they cant reach.

Well, Doug Flutie won the Heisman, O'Brien, and Maxwell awards in '84. So I wouldn't say he's just a one play QB.

Although they haven't won much in terms of filling a trophy case, they've always managed to be competitive. I think the DNA of run the ball + good defense is the only way they can continue to compete. It works other places too, like Stanford. I think they are capable of making a bowl 3 out of 4 years and wining 9 games one of those. I think that's what the program is shooting for and it's clear they weren't reaching that under Addazio.

Wasnt trying to diminish Doug Flutie, but to an 18 year old, it's really the only thing shown for a BC highlight.

run the ball + good defense is the only way they can continue to compete

I remember when we were competitive with this formula.

Tech was dominant with that formula

At the time, I was like

But then

And now I'm like

yep pretty much :)

Yet they give us fits and push us around the field. Go figure

I think this post highlights where we are as a program.

If we can't beat BC consistently (and without sweating it out) then we're obviously not in the upper echelon of the ACC a la FSU and Clemson. Which we all know yadda yadda yadda.

The biggest issue to me is that we've been competitive with them in all the games we've played them but we've largely seemed ill-prepared / undisciplined relative to them. I'm a big Fu fan myself so not necessarily trying to knock him, but if we have better talent and we're losing due to lack of preparedness / discipline then that's another indication of what we clearly need to solve to be consistent week by week.

I think my post is just a long way of saying I wish we were more consistent week after week lol.

Last season it was turnovers. Season before it was d-line/linebacker play. When you play a team that can just run the ball down your throat, you have to play a complete game or they'll just control the clock and run on you. There's a reason running the ball is the key to winning at a high level in football.