Lately, the word coming out of BC camp was too good, so life had to reassert itself as a zero-sum game.
It was announced tonight that Montel Harris, first-team All-ACC running back and ACC preseason player of the year, will be out for the next three to four weeks due to another arthroscopic surgery on his knee. This has elevated sophomore Andre Williams to the position of starting running back until further notice.
Do the math: the season begins in two and a half weeks, so a three to four-week absence means Montel will not be available for the first one or two games of the season. We are now assured of not seeing him for the season opener against Northwestern, and we will probably not see him for the game against Central Florida. Beyond that, I am optimistic that he will return.
This is now the second time in less than a year in which he’s had surgery on his knee. This changes a few things, and brings some others into question. First, we have to ask ourselves about his effectiveness. Yes, we want him to succeed, but with two knee surgeries, it’s going to be questioned. Luckily, we have a capable backup in Andre Williams, so I think BC will be alright. It is going to be a concern of mine as he tries to work his way back, however.
Second, we have to ask ourselves about more trivial things, like whether or not he will break the all-time ACC record in rushing, or if it will affect his NFL draft stock. Neither one is a question I can answer at this point in time, but I will do my best to assess the first part. That is dependent upon when he comes back and how effective he is, but with him needing about one thousand yards to break the record, he would essentially have to come back on schedule and not have missed a beat. This goes along with the first point: You can’t expect a guy coming off of his second knee surgery to be effective right away. It would be nice if he is, but there is understandable doubt now.
While this is unfortunate news for the Eagles as they look to start their season, and it’s not the news any of us wanted to hear, I am confident that Williams will step into the role and succeed once again, just has he did last season in a similar situation. Boston College’s depth at the running back position will come in handy, and we’re going to get to see some of it on display. I think if anything is going to worry Eagles fans, it will be those questions about his season-long effectiveness. When he does re-enter the starting lineup, will he be at 100%? That’s an answer we can only get with time.