The final unit preview of the 101 Days is one that had some problems in 2011. Boston College’s defensive secondary took consecutive knocks before the season even began, losing Dominick LeGrande and Okechukwu Okoroha approximately one year ago today. This led to some new faces working their way into the rotation, and while some were pleasant surprises, others did not impress. What’s in store for this group in 2012?
Boston College Secondary, 2012
Tom Boudreau, grad assistant
Sean Welch, grad assistant
* – coming off of major injury; status a matter of dispute
† – being converted to running back
The Eagles secondary got some mixed reviews against opposing teams last season. While they did rank 37th in the nation in pass efficiency defense and 43rd in interceptions, they came in 81st in passing yards allowed. This unit was led then by Donnie Fletcher, a senior captain who did not have the kind of finish he would have liked, though other new faces stepped up. For example, Manny Asprilla had a solid season as a true freshman, making 30 tackles, breaking up three passes, and even coming up with a sack.
The player who led the secondary in tackles last season was Spenser Rositano, a true freshman who racked up 40 of them. Rositano’s season hit its peak on a special teams play when he blocked a punt early in the season. Unfortunately, and he was not alone in this, there were some plays he had last season that didn’t belong on a personal highlight reel.
Boston College, since the start of the Spaziani days, has been partial to the “cushion” style of play in this area of the field. Defenders play well off the receivers, allowing other teams to collect some extra yardage before the tackle. Some years you can live with it, and some years you can’t. In the past, the Eagles have been able to bend but not break, though last year, they broke a little more often, being closer to average in scoring defense.
Now, this group will be without Al Louis-Jean for at least the first few games, and might also be without CJ Jones, though his status remains a mystery. As mentioned elsewhere, give Jones a little honeymoon period when he does get back into the lineup after his major injury. Nevertheless, like in most other areas of the team, a lack of depth is being exposed back here. The guys who are supposed to be starting are fine on their own, but behind that, you’re throwing a lot of inexperience out there. The fact that Jim Noel is the only upperclassman in the entire secondary does stand out. If ALJ and Jones return and no other harm comes to this group, BC can get by, but if there’s a wave of injuries here, Boston Collge will be in a most undesirable position.