From today until the player and coach previews end, the 101 Days of BC Football will double-dip with two articles a day.
All Boston College sports fans are familiar with Patrick Heckmann, the rising sophomore who came to play for Steve Donahue from Germany. That may be his most noted biographical fact, but he was not the only Boston College athlete to be born in Deutschland. Kasim Edebali, a junior defensive end, hails from Hamburg.
Edebali’s life story is an interesting one. Growing up in the Hamburg city-state, the kinds of sports that he probably watched included soccer, maybe some basketball, and whatever else they play over there. Perhaps he even caught some NFL Europa games before the league went room-temperature. In any event, Edebali was introduced to the game of football in his teens while still living in Germany and played quarterback or tight end for various teams, including the 2006 U19 national team.
In 2007, Edebali swung across the Atlantic to Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, NH, about half an hour away from Dartmouth. He joined the team there as part of an international football student exchange program, and he made the most of his two years. In both, he was named to the All-Evergreen League team and was its Most Valuable Lineman in 2008, amongst other awards. Boston College could not help but notice that a kid like this, so new to the game and yet so productive, was in their territorial backyard.
Jack Bicknell, Jr. was the coach who initially brought Edebali on board, and he redshirted for the 2009 season. It took Edebali some time to round into shape and learn the game, but once he did, he was able to step in and become one of the better players on BC’s defensive line. He has appeared in all 25 games between 2010 and 2011, recording 27 tackles last season while breaking up five passes. Notably, however, the sack column is empty.
Edebali is currently listed as the starter at left end. Last season, he started at right end, but has shifted following the departure of Max Holloway, which allowed Brian Mihalik to take his old starting job. Edebali was perfectly fine last year, but I expect bigger things from him this year.