(Note: sometimes in college football, the distinction between left and right tackles or even “offensive linemen” is blurred; in this article, I will list those on the team whom I know are left tackles, and in the right tackle article [Part VIII], I will list all other offensive tackles regardless of the side of the center upon which they’ll land.)
The left tackle position for Boston College football in 2011 will see some new blood. The obvious reason for that is because the Eagles lost senior Anthony Castonzo to the NFL, so a new guy must be broken in. I suspect it’s never easy being the guy replacing a good player, much less one who was drafted in the first round of the draft, which means we’ll probably have to give that player a wide berth, so to speak.
Who are the left tackles on the team, you ask? That’s a good question, and one not easily answered, since the school’s roster isn’t quite as specific as “left tackle” (they opt for just “offensive tackle,” which could of course mean left or right). Furthermore, there was no spring depth chart released to my knowledge, so they’ve given us the task of figuring out who Castonzo’s starting replacement will be in 2011.
Wetzel was the second-string left tackle behind Anthony Castonzo, and in 2010, he appeared in eight games. He was also the second-string man in 2009, which would ostensibly make him the heir apparent to Castonzo’s old job, though nothing has been decided as of yet. If I’m going to be completely honest, since he’s played so little, I can’t tell you a great deal about his game from my own two eyes, though I am at the understanding that he’s not as maneuverable on his feet as he should be. What I do also know about him, however, is his size at 6-8, 303 lb, and if you look at his measurables coming in, he’s bulked up considerably. This is quite similar to Castonzo who comes in at 6-7, 311 lb., so he’s where he needs to be in physical size, but when it comes to talent and skill, that’s something we’ll all have to find out together if he is going to be the starter.
Goodman has not played in an NCAA football game since 2009, when he appeared in eight games as a backup. His 2010 season was wiped out due to injury, so I would be somewhat confident in suggesting that he is probably going to be behind Wetzel in the depth chart. Goodman is measured at 6-6 and 319 lb. In an interesting side note, he has only been playing football since his junior year of high school, when I assume because of his size he was welcomed onto the team, and quickly excelled in his new sport, enough to become a four-star recruit.
Given the information we have, I would make a guess that Wetzel will inherit Castonzo’s old job this season, but I’m certainly not confident in that. The Eagles could slide someone else over into this position – say, Emmett Cleary. Whomever this person is will have some tough shoes to fill, as Castonzo was one of the rocks of BC’s offensive line for the last several years, but I’m more than willing to give him a chance to prove his stuff. Over the years, I’ve found myself more pleasantly surprised than not with some of the talent BC has found up front, and so too will both of these guys have the chance to rise to the challenge.