Every year senior starters graduate and leave holes at their various positions. The mark of any good program is being able to plug those holes with new players that can assume the tasks and responsibilities...sometimes even performing them even better than the players that had them before.
Here we'll look at guys who weren't starters for BC in 2009, but look to be starters and impact guys in 2010. As always, please leave your thoughts an opinions below--except if you're that weird Chinese dude who keeps spamming every BC blog. You can keep your opinions to yourself, Mr. 李蔡文山家榮.
* Please note that Wesley and I agreed that the most obvious and glaring selection for this draft, Mark Herzlich, was removed as we all know what Herzy brings to the table. This draft was more about younger guys getting a chance to step up and step in.
1M) Nathan Richman, C (last season spot-starter at OG)
Richman saw some time on the O-Line last year, but not in a starting role. He’s impressed many in the offseason including Anthony Castonzo, who said that Richman was “…athletic, strong, and smart…it’s tough to lose with that combination.” Matt Tenant’s departure will certainly hurt the OL as he was the architect of the OL (to borrow from Castonzo again), but Richman’s teammates seem confident in his ability to rise up and lead the O-Line in 2010. He’ll be key as the Eagles will rely heavily on the run to set up the pass this year.
2W) Jonathan Coleman, WR (last season red-shirt)
I am biased, I will admit it, when I heard the background story about Jonathan it really was hard to not root for him. New to the game of football, great but raw talent, just read our story on him a while back and you will definitely see where I am coming from on this. Well opportunity has presented itself for Jonathan, with the loss of several senior Wide Receivers by way of graduation and a year of red shirting. 2010 is prime to see if that great raw talent bears fruit…
3M) Emmet Cleary, OG (last season spot-starter at OG)
Nice call on Coleman for sure. After interviewing him last year on BCDraft, it’s near impossible not to root for the kid. I would have taken him right around here as well.
Cleary has consistently progressed throughout his time at The Heights so it should be of no great surprise who would be the other starting guard complimenting Thomas Claiborne. Cleary did struggle at times, particularly early in the year but again, I feel like he progressed through last season and is ready to become a full fledged starter. There are no questions about Castonzo, Claiborne, or Lapham, so it’s up to the two new guys on the line to make this one the best in the ACC and pave the way for Montel Harris if the Eagles are going to have a special season.
4W) Jim Noel, CB (last season spot usage in nickel packages)
Lets go ahead and put the comparisons out there.. Jim is constantly compared against a taller Marty Bowman.. I’d definitely say that’s a strong compliment.
Playing as a true frosh means something, especially when surrounded by some serious talent in that area last year. Jim also got some serious time on Special Teams.
I see that doing nothing but increasing, Noel’s stock is definitely headed up.
5M) Clyde Lee, WR (last season, spot usage)
Really? Jim Noel? While I like his promise, I don’t think he’ll be taking over any starting CB duties this year. The one CB spot is absolutely DeLeon Gause’s, but the other I feel confident will remain with Donnie Fletcher. Through no rhyme or reason, I’ve always liked Fletcher’s play and I expect big things from him this year as well. I think Noel could be a nickel back again or possibly challenge for the strong safety position, but if I were a betting man I think he gets his first starting job next season when the talented Wes Davis vacates the Free Safety position.
While the pundits like to point out the lack of consistency in the QB position and those more knowledgeable bring up concerns about RB depth and DL pass rush, the biggest loss to me this past season on the BC Eagles team was WR Rich Gunnel. We’re talking about the all-time leader in receptions and yards here, folks. Whenever we needed a big play, Richie was there. Now Larmond, Jr. has big home run potential and I love his upside, but we still need a guy who is going to be shifty and go through the middle and cause havoc. I think Lee – or C-Lee-3 – is just the guy to do it.
6W) Michael Marscovetra, QB (last season, spot usage)
BCMike, don’t get mad when all my choices are golden and you are sitting there scratching your head, I am solid on the Jim Noel call.
And on top of that, I am going with an easy late choice here... Marscovetra. There is a QB controversy going on in Beantown in case you weren’t aware.
I like Marsco, but I am all for whoever deserves the job based on leadership, performance, and results. Marsco excelled in the spring game, but Coach Spaz has definitely let everyone know that the job is Shinskie’s to lose. Regardless of what happens, I expect Marsco to get a decent amount of playing time.
7M) Dominick LeGrande, SS (last season spot usage at LB)
Great call on Marsco there, Wesley. I think we both, as many Eagles fans do, expect there to be quite the QB competition in the near future. If I had to put a number on my guess on who starts by opening day, I’d probably say Shinskie 55%, Marsco 40%, Rettig 5%. If Marsco gets the job out of camp I think you may have well won this round regardless of the other picks!
The other big loss BC had last year was one of my favorite players from the 2009-2010 season: Marcellus “Boomkat” Bowman. Bowman was a huge hitter and a great player that running backs—let alone WR’s—never wanted to go up against. Last season LeGrande filled in and while undersized, did an admirable job helping a LB corps depleted by injury and illness. This year I believe LeGrande will shift back seven yards to his more natural CFB position, Strong Safety. He’s got a nose for the ball and while his speed isn’t very likely going to track down handfuls of interceptions, he’ll contain the short passes and help tremendously in run support.
8W) Nate Freese, K (last season RS)
Boston College’s all time points leader has played four years? Sid Vicious is no longer there for kicks, and as we all have probably seen Quigley’s warm up attempts before games from over 50 yards, the competition is on..
Nate got the opportunity to Red shirt in 2009 to work on his leg strength and accuracy. I am going a bit out on a limb here, but I feel Freese will definitely see some action in 2010
9M) Ifeanyi Momah, DE (last season WR)
You know Wesley, up until recently I would have taken Freese much higher in the draft given how important kicking is to the college football game (as much as we all like to pretend that it’s not), however it looks like the place kicking duties are P Ryan Quigley’s to lose…so this could be a big home run or strikeout pick for you here…we’ll have to wait and see which one it is!
If you’re unfamiliar with Boston College football, you’re probably assuming the above is a typo. It’s not. Ifeanyi Momah was a WR last season that the coaches believed could best help the team on the other side of the ball in 2010. While I had some severe doubts about his ability to succeed in this new role, I have to say I was surprisingly pleased with what I saw in the spring game. Not only does Momah have a quick release off the line—which one would expect from his former position—but to me most impressive was his ability to swat down balls. He had excellent vision to the backfield and very good timing on jumping up to fully utilize his lanky 6’6” frame to bat down numerous passes. How effective he’ll be in actual game situations is still yet to be seen as he clearly lacks the bulk to take on the run, but could turn out to be a highly effective 3rd down pass rusher. Plus—can you imagine the flexibility to zone blitz and drop a 6’6” lanky WR into pass coverage? Could be very fun to watch.
10W) Isaac Johnson, CB (last season, spot start CB)
Momah, good call, excited to see how all that works out, id love to see a lot more sacks than in 2009
With my final choice, gonna go with Isaac Johnson. I think we all remember him most vividly for the last moments of the Wake Forest game last year, when it seemed like stopping the go ahead TD was futile, well inside the 10 IJ stripped the ball from the seasoned Riley Skinner, and secured a very important Eagle victory.
I see IJ getting some more reps this year, and hopefully making some serious impact plays!
BCMike drafted: Richman, Cleary, Lee, LeGrande, Momah
Wesley drafted: Coleman, Noel, Marsco, Freese, i-J