Spring fever its Boston College
By BJ Bennett
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SouthernPigskin.com Columnist Warren Lent looks at Boston College beginning spring practice.
By Warren Lent
SouthernPigskin.com Columnist Warren Lent looks at Boston College beginning spring practice. Share your thoughts on the SouthernPigskin.com Message Boards. Follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/SouthernPigskin. Become a fan of us on Facebook at the SouthernPigskin.com Facebook Page
On a nearly perfect spring day in Chestnut Hill MA, Boston College kicked off their 2010 campaign with the first of fifteen spring practices. Like many teams, Boston College is faced with multiple inquiries. Even with many questions yet to be answered, coaches and fans alike take solace in the fact that they are dealing with nearly no off-season controversy. Heck, the closest we got to controversial at BC was a depth chart; and while it is important, let us put everything into prospective here. Some programs suspended their best players for a whole season such as Oregon (Masoli, Jeremiah) and Boston College is lucky enough to have all of our eagles on their best behavior since January.
Published on March 17th, the spring depth chart outlines what we should expect from the Eagles early on in this new experiment of the 2010 season. As expected for any team during the month of March, questions about this team and each position nearly sprang up after just a quick read through.
For this week, I will breakdown the favorites at each position on offense as well as some possible underclassmen sleepers that have the potential to add even more intrigue to a college football season that cannot seem to come fast enough.
***Since some freshmen are not officially apart of the team yet, I will not evaluate them as a favorite (if and only if they are in fact a favorite)
Favorite: Dave Shinskie: I am going to be labeled a hypocrite by saying this, but I do believe that Shinskie is a favorite to keep his quarterback duties this year. He does have much more college experience than any of the other quarterbacks vying for that position. While he does have many areas to improve in, I think that with the right instruction, Shinskie can manage this team to a greater extent in 2010.
Dark Horse: Chase Rettig: Arguably the best recruit to come to the heights that were apart of the 2010 recruiting class, Chase Rettig has put a serious amount of pressure on himself. At the Under Armour All-American game, Chase was given the offensive game ball for his team and was raved about by scouts and coaches alike. His mechanics may need some work, but his natural ability is great enough to climb up that depth chart given the opportunity.
Vs Weber State: Barring injury, we will see Chase Rettig take the majority of the snaps for Boston College. Insightful instruction along with the help of a great supporting class will assist Rettig in his transition to the collegiate level.
Favorite: Montel Harris: If Montel “Ninja” Harris isn’t the favorite at the running back position, I sincerely do not know who it is. Harris single handily carried the Eagles on his back last year. He ended the season on a five game streak of 100 or more yards rushing (not including a 264 yard, 5 TD effort against NC State)
Dark Horse: Tahj Kimble: Along with sophomore Rolandan Finch who was out the majority of his freshman season (mono) is a solid freshman by the name of Tahj Kimble. In his film, Kimble seems like an heir apparent to Harris with his movement and his strength. If Kimble does not get a redshirt year this year, watch out for Harris type freshman stats from the fellow Florida native. Under the tutelage of Montel Harris, Tahj Kimble has the ability to surprise a few defenders who let their guard down once Harris steps off the field for a quick breather.
Vs Weber State: Montel Harris will take 70% of the rushes until the score is safe enough for the back-ups to enter the game. Harris will play at the same high level he did last year. This time around, he will have viable support from the likes of Tahj Kimble and Rolandan Finch.
Wide Receiving Corp Favorites: Colin Larmond Jr., Clyde Lee III, Shakim Phillips: Losing seniors like Rich Gunnell and Justin Jarvis will effect the rotation of the receivers to a degree in 2010, but overall I see a boost in play-making ability. With some few exceptions, Gunnell was a possession receiver and will be very hard to replace this year. Luckily, Larmond Jr. is a proven play making presence everytime he catches the ball and Lee has not seen too much time in his first few years on campus, but the coaches seem to be very high on him this year. As for the highly regarded Phillips, he is going to be joining the team on June 28th and ready to start fighting for playing time.
Dark Horse: Bobby Swigert: I dare you to watch his junior season film. Out for most of the 2009 season with a foot injury, he was not able to impress coaches to a greater degree. For BC all the evidence needed to sign him was in his film and statistics. With work and added strength, I see Swigert’s role expanding to a greater degree as the season progresses.
Vs Weber State: Just for a three deep, I see the same favorites take the field and play the majority of the game for the Eagles. Pending injury, I see the wide receivers as a very underrated group in the ACC. Larmond is explosive and has great hands. Watch out for Lee III as a potential sleeper, and Phillips is joining the program as a highly regarded recruit that totaled 26 D-1 offer before he committed to BC.
Favorite: Chris Pantale: After blooming as a freshmen last year, Chris Pantale will be a favorite target through out the whole year for whoever throws him the ball. With great height (6’6”) and a frame that keeps on getting stronger, look for Pantale to possibly be a George Bryan type player this year. Last year, Bryan was a nearly automatic reception wherever he was on the field for the NC State Wolfpack and was a savior for a young quarterback such as Russell Wilson.
Dark Horse: Jordan McMichael: I say this every year, but last year spectators were finally able to see the type of talent that lies in the hands of Jordan McMichael. With his tantalizing grab against Wake Forest, McMichael vaulted himself into highlight reels through out the country. Sadly, his whole career has been plagued by injuries (bum hip) but if we’re able to see just another glimpse of the talent he showed us last year then I will be truly satisfied.
Vs Weber State: Chris Pantale: Just too consistent to leave him off the starting eleven this season. His stats last year don’t even begin to tell the whole story. He was a great blocker last year (for his weight) and will most likely make and even greater impact after a full offseason with the BC training program.
Favorites: LT Anthony Costanzo, RT Rich Lapham, LG Emmett Cleary, RG Thomas Claiborne, C Nathan Richman. With three out of five having major college experience, O-Line U is set to takeover the reigns in the ACC. The same expectations were given to this squad (minus Matt Tennant) last year, and they failed to fully regain their name. The intelligent play of Costanzo and Lapham coupled with incomparable ferocity in Thomas Claiborne, not too many defensive lines stand a chance with these boys on a given Saturday.
Dark Horse: Emmett Cleary: Right now he is a favorite to start, but I would like to shine some light on this sophomore. Measuring in at 6’7” 297 pounds, Cleary clearly stands out as a versatile offensive lineman. While Cleary is not the tallest on the team, (Lapham is 6’8”) he still possesses traits that could make him valuable at many other offensive line positions if another lineman gets injured. He scored a 32 on his ACT’s before he came to Boston College, and could possibly play Left Tackle if Costanzo cannot participate. Watch out for big things in the future from the redshirt sophomore out of Arrlington Heights, Illinois.
Vs. Weber State: We will see the same starting five outlined above. Chemistry was a pretty pressing matter for this unit last year, but with senior leaders both vocal and silent, look for another strong year for the Eagle’s protectors of the pigskin.
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