Thursday, April 15, 2010

4/15 Draft: Top things to look for in the Spring Game

The early enrollment guys are in. The juniors are back. Guys from the practice squad and hurt house are back in the mix. We'll tackle the top ten things that BC fans need to look for in the Spring Game here....

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1M) Improved QB play…either from Shinskie or elsewhere

As a BC fan, you have reason for some serious optimism heading into the '10 season. Last year, in what was billed as a rebuilding year by most, and a two-win year by some (will Andre Ware ever live that down? EVER?), the team overcame much adversity to put up a very respectable record and a bowl berth vs. USC. The only thing that was constantly lacking consistency last year on offense was QB.

...but there's hope..

Shinskie now has another year under his belt as a collegiate quarterback. Another year under Tranq. Marsco does, too. Rettig has been, as much as we can gain from first-hand accounts--as good as advertised. Still more have hope for Bordner as a natural talent and leader. IMO, the question here isn't IF someone will step up, but WHO will step up. It's Shinskie's job to lose, but don't think for a minute that Spaz & Co. won't put in the least tenured guy in place of the most. Heck, Shinskie has by far the most experience and he's a "true" sophomore.

This team, if you look at the talent and the schedule, has a chance to be pretty special. The big question of "how special" will be answered by our starting quarterback...let's find out who that is.


2W) Jonathan Coleman/ Clyde Lee filling the shoes of all the departing senior Wide-outs.

When people think of offensive questions, people are going to think of the Quarterback automatically, and that’s understandable..

But too often the person he will be looking for is overlooked. A good Wide Receiver can make a slightly off Quarterback look good.

Last year we had a senior laden Core of WR’s , which helped a true freshman QB look formidable, with that core out, some of the younger ones are going to have to step up their game. I’ll be very happy to see one or both of Coleman and Clyde step up in that mix.

Coleman has been said to be a great raw talent, with great moves, height, and range. The biggest fault against him is that he didn’t pick up football soon enough. But he seems to be filling in the voids fast, and taking a workmanship mentality to the gridiron.

Clyde Lee is a bit more of a mystery, last year this time we heard he is the one who is really going to springboard into the season. But I honestly can’t remember 5 plays he was in. But this year seems it could be different, there are more voids to be filled, and we are hearing that CLee III is coming out strong in the spring again. His speed and nose for the ball has the potential to be a very good on field display.. If either of these players consistently excel this spring, it should almost without a doubt translate into some serious playing time this fall.


3M) Finding an edge rusher

Good call on the wide-outs, Wesley. I am certainly going to miss Richie Guns going across the middle and making the big play when we need it. I hope some of the younger guys step up and embrace the role as he did last year.

For me here, I'm going to have to say the other glaring weakness from last year. On offense, we didn't get consistent contributions from the QB. On defense, I have to say it was our edge rushers.

The BC D, or the Spaz D now run by Govs works great if you get pressure on the QB. It makes them make quick decisions and very often, our D is in the position to capitalize on either bad throws or bad mental errors by opposing QB's. What happens when we don't actually get a rush is the QB has time to read his options and, if he's a smart and/or veteran QB, read the D and take the easy 8-10 yard gain we typically offer. No turnovers, just moving sticks.

For our D to really tweak up the turnover game, we need better pressure from the outside guys. We're never going to blitz a lot so it's up to the front four guys to generate it. Let's find out if one of the youngsters can provide a much needed spark in that department.


4W) Find who will be giving Montel a breather!

I felt bad for Montel last year, heck even coach Tranquill felt bad for Montel last year.
But with his “this is how we do it” mentality you knew he would pound through about anything.

After Phifer red-shirting last year, and Deuce only getting an appetizers worth of reps, you’ve got to wonder who fills the void.

Most Division 1 College football programs have at least 3 RB’s that you can trust to hold the rock a decent amount of carries, and really some have more than that. BC’s goal will be to find at least another two. Right now my gut feeling is we don’t find this out until the fall practices, but I am hopeful we do beforehand.


5M) Filling Boomkat’s void.

Arguably the biggest loss on the team next year, on either side of the ball will be Marcellus "Boomkat" Bowman. Boomkat was a playmaker and a devestating tackler/hitter. His presense will almost certainly be felt every game. How much really will be the question.

Wes Davis is the other starting safety at free, but who is going to play SS and help provide run support? After all is said and done, my money is on Dominic LeGrande, but there's a position battle back there and it's far from being decided at this point. Hopefully the spring game will shed some light on that.


6W) Finding who puts in the XP’s

I believe that Kicker is one of the most overlooked positions on the field, sure its not overly glamorous, but its like electricity, people don’t really think about it unless its not on.

After Sid Vicious spent the last 20 years kicking for Boston College, he finally has moved on.

I know I have voiced my opinion in the past about Sid, I thought he was formidable, just of course wish he had a bit more range.

I mean you have to give the guy some credit , he is the leading point scorer for BC!
This competition will be between Ryan Quigley and Nate Freese. As Quigley (or twigley as his teammates seem to call him) will be a Jr. this year I am going to have to assume he may be the favorite, but Freese was very well touted coming out of high school, and was red-shirted last year, so I would like to see what he has. Also, on a personal preference note, I would like to see some sharing of duties, having one person do all the kicks can be a little nerve-racking.


7M) Will Cleary step up? Spinney? Richman? Who will take over for Tennant?

As O-Line U sends yet another talented trencher to the NFL, the Eagles look to reload the center position with another horse from the stable. Who will it be?

Many suggested early on that Claiborne might move over a spot and the line would then need a new guard to replace Claibs, but Spaz has been pretty vocal about not moving the big guy. That means someone else will have to step in and step up their game.

The only "Center" by recruiting position was Mark Spinney, but reports have been up and down on the youngster. We've heard good things about Emmett Cleary and Nathan Richman thus far, and he's got to be the front-runner at this time. But who will wind up starting the first game of the year snapping to....well we don't know yet....we'll find out soon!


8W) Tranquill opening it up a bit

Having nothing but “fresh-meat” at the QB spot had to be a bit difficult for having a wide variety of play calls for the Quarterbacks, you want to do a few things , and do them very well. Well after a winter of focus, these guys should be able to handle a lot larger workload.

Tranquill is known for his wide-variety , and pure volume of plays. So I am curious If we will see these this spring. Maybe more things like the “Bazooka” I am not sure, just hoping to see a bit more of Tranquill’s creative side.


9M) Will Quinn elevate his game and play next to Scafe?

I'd argue that there hasn't been a recruit that created a buzz like Quinn had coming in last year since Brian Toal. Much was expected of the young man--and expected early. However, he's not yet been able to deliver on the field. It's been reported that he's had some leg/knee issues and isn't playing with the right leverage to this point, but that he's also occasionally an unstoppable beast up the middle.

I'd really like to see if the "real Quinn would please stand up" and we can find out how this young man's career is going to progress. I know most Eagles fans thought he would at the very least be starting by this his 2nd year at The Heights.


10W) A good showing at the spring game, could show some excitement to fill the stands in the fall

It pains me to even admit it, but last year I’d be lying if I didn’t say that Boston College didn’t have a problem getting fans to the stadium on a consistent basis. Even for key matchups, like against FSU the stadium was about half full at kickoff. BC can do a lot better than that!

A good telling sign in my opinion will be the amount of interest there will be for the Spring game. This could be a indicator of what to expect in the fall.


RECAP

BCMike drafted: Improved QB play, finding an edge rusher, filling Boomkat's void, replacing Tennant, Quinn
Wesley drafted: WR's stepping up, Montel's breather, who is kicking XP's, Tranq opening it up, attendance

4-15 Draft: Top things to look for in Spring Game
BCMike: Improved QB play, finding an edge rusher, filling Boomkat's void, replacing Tennant, Quinn
Wesley: WR's stepping up, Montel's breather, who is kicking XPs, Tranq opening it up, attendance
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