Frank Spaziani reported to work on Sunday. No big deal, you say. That’s what the football coach at Boston College is paid to do.
If you listen to Spaziani’s critics–and they are out there, venting on a steady basis–Spaziani has not done a very good job in his first three years running the Eagles’ football program.
They talk about lack of imagination on offense, poor recruiting and, of course, last year’s 4-8 tumble which knocked BC out of a bowl bid for the first time since 1998.
The Internet buzz is that Spaziani and his staff must at least win six games (which will get the Eagles a bowl bid) to save their jobs. There is even chatter that the house cleaning could go deeper into the administrative end.
Needless to say, there is a sense of urgency in the athletic offices of the Heights. BC has to win games–starting with the opener against Miami on Sept. 1–and it needs to win them now, not next season.
The Eagle roster that checked into the football offices at the Yawkey Center is still dominated by youth–46 percent of the roster is compromised of freshmen ore sophomores. There are only 16 seniors–which suggests a rebuilding mode. Not good.
You have to look hard to find someone who is ready to be a star–there are no Luke Kuechly’s or Matt Ryan’s walking into the locker room. At least, none that anyone can see right now.
Which is not to say there isn’t potential for one to emerge. Junior QB Chase Rettig would like to fit the role. After two average-and some would suggest mediocre–seasons as the starting QB–Rettig knows that he must step up his game, his role as a leader.
“It’s Chase’s huddle, Chase’s team,” said senior starting left tackle Emmett Cleary, who knows how to fill a leadership role on the team.
Other players must emerge. WR Colin Larmond Jr., after two-injury plagued seasons, must re-emerge as the bright, almost cocky and effusive personality he was as a freshman.
RB Andre Williams, with Montel Harris now gone from the equation, must take on a bigger role, stay healthy and run the way he did in his brief appearances as a freshman two seasons ago.
Someone must emerge from the LB corps and establish a presence the way Kuechly did from almost the first day he put on pads in summer drills three years ago. We are going to play a hunch here and say it might be someone who has not played a down for the Eagles yet–Steve Daniels.
Daniels, a St. Xavier (Ohio) product, just like Kuechly, was recruited by the Spaziani last year, but spent the year at Worcester Academy getting his grades up to speed. “”I’ve liked what I’ve seen so far,” said Spaziani. “He’s a bit more mature now.”
The bottom line is that the Eagles do have potential to turn 4-8 into 8-4. There is talent on campus. Now it needs to be nurtured, and developed. It also needs to produce.
Not much is at stake–just Spaziani’s job and the specter of another major reconstruction of a BC football program that is on the edge.
Eagles will be in helmets for a few days, conduct their media session and be in pads for the first time on Friday and hold their first scrimmage on Saturday…Early training camp battles: primary running back, LB, primary wide receiver. Offensive line looks fairly set.
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