Yesterday, Boston College football announced its 2012 recruiting class of sixteen high school players. First and foremost, all Boston College fans wish to welcome these young gentlemen to the Heights and wish them the best of success during their time here.
Those players are, in alphabetical order:
• Jim Cashman, OL (NJ)
• Dan Crimmins, TE (NJ)
• Steven Daniels, LB (OH)
• Dave Dudeck, SS (NJ)
• Mike Giacone, TE (NJ)
• Marcus Grant, WR (MA) — transfer
• Win Homer, OL (VA)
• Harrison Jackson, WR (VA)
• Bryce Jones, CB (OH)
• Tim Joy, LB (MA)
• Malachi Moore, DE (NJ)
• Justin Simmons, DB (FL)
• Mike Strizak, LB (NJ)
• Frank Taylor, OL (PA)
• Bobby Wolford, LB (FL)
• Karim Zoungrana, WR (QC)
Leonard Skubal, long snapper, was a late addition.
What has been entirely unavoidable has been criticism of the composition of the class. For one thing, 16 recruits is enough if you do it right, but not a huge number, and it is not only less than their stated goal, but is in fact the smallest class in the conference. Unfortunately, it gets worse, as Rivals has rated BC’s incoming recruiting class as the second-weakest in the Atlantic Coast Conference behind Wake Forest. One needs not put too much stock into “star” ratings, as they are not necessarily an ironclad projector of how a recruit will play, but Boston College’s is 2.80, and only Duke and North Carolina State had lower.
Other sites were just as uncharitable, if not more so. 247 Sports panned BC’s class, putting it dead last in the ACC, with or without future members Syracuse and Pittsburgh thrown in. Overall, BC was ranked 81st by said site, which is second-worst in all BCS AQ conferences (only UConn is worse). Other websites didn’t have us even sniffing the top half of FBS.
Of note, with regards to the composition of the class, is that there are no quarterbacks and no running backs. There are also three in the secondary and just one defensive lineman. The quarterback thing doesn’t make a ton of sense, but what makes even less is no running back. We had one, Akeel Lynch, but he bailed for Penn State. For this year, BC is fine, despite the fact that Montel Harris will attempt to return despite having his last two seasons end due to knee injuries. It’s future years, however, that need to be stocked for depth, and that was ignored.
So, where is our depth? It’s at linebacker, for one place. That has been Boston College’s leading position on defense, even with Luke Kuechly now about to hit big bucks in the NFL. The problem is that BC is looking kind of thin on the defensive line and in the secondary. Having a bunch of linebackers is great, assuming Steven Daniels is even able to qualify academically (which is still a matter of dispute), but Boston College did not meet its goals elsewhere on the defense.
The offensive line and tight end positions added depth as well. BC did a good job bringing in three linemen and two more tight ends, including prying away Rutgers defector Mike Giacone.
Giacone, like many others on the list, is from New Jersey, but what about Boston College’s state, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts? It only appears on that list twice, and one of the guys is a transfer from Iowa. That’s actually shocking, that the school one would assume is the most appealing program in Massachusetts and New England only roped in two commits from its own backyard, with many opting to go elsewhere. As ATL succinctly put it, “That doesn’t speak well to BC.”
To say Boston College did not meet its recruiting goals would be a fair assessment, especially given the fact that four players — Lynch, Sam Grant, Jaxon Hood, and Donovan Henry — all retracted their verbals and went elsewhere within the past few weeks. This class also left several areas of the team unattended, and finally has not been well received by outside sources that evaluate recruiting classes.
Of course, Boston College fans want these players and anyone who dons the maroon and gold to succeed, but this was one of the weakest classes in the conference. It does not assess several areas of need, the attrition we already saw prior to Signing Day was concerning, and there may in fact be more attrition in the summer (if last year repeats itself, that is, but one cannot count on it).
It’s not that the class is without talent: it’s that there wasn’t enough (or any) in some of the right places and it did not succeed on its home turf. Perhaps these kids will surprise us all, and that hope is about all we’ve got when this program is in the boat it’s in.