Boston College Football Countdown: 86 Days to Go


86 days remain between you and Boston College Eagles football. Oh, and today is D-Day, for those who wanted a broader historical perspective on these countdown articles. Giving you BC football history is one thing, but our campaign to win the Second World War began 69 years ago today. Anyway, 86.

Who Wears 86 Now

Marcus Grant, WR, sophomore

Grant returns home to Massachusetts after having initially gone to play for the Iowa Hawkeyes during the 2011 season. He played as a true freshman in five games for Kirk Ferentz, making one 12-yard catch against Tennessee Tech. His new school hopes much bigger things are in store.

He was a top New England player as a senior who turned down Boston College the first time around, but then, he announced this on Twitter a few years back:

"I have decided to transfer from Iowa due to Family issues, it was a personal decision for me and had nothing to do with any coach or PT"

Grant’s first year of BC eligibility is 2013.

Notables Who Wore 86

Bobby Swigert, WR, present. Used to wear #86; now wears #10.
Jim Ramella, TE/DE, 2005-09. Scanlan Award winner.
Ray Hilvert, FL/SE, 1987-90. 1990 team captain.
Dave Kashetta, TE, 2002-04. 2004 team captain; did not get ATL stamp of approval.
Scott Nizolek, TE/P, 1979-82. Ex-Flutie teammate; son plays Major League Lax.

One More Bowl

Jack Bicknell was coach at Boston College through the 1990 season, but the last time he made a bowl was 1986. (We know a thing or two in modern times about BC head coaches overstaying their welcome.) This version of the Eagles went 9-3 and won the Hall of Fame Bowl over the Georgia Bulldogs; with the win, they finished ranked #19 in the AP.

Fall of Troy

’86 was the senior season of Troy Stradford, who at the time was the top Boston College running back ever. He finished his Eagle career at the top in rushing yards with 3,504, going well beyond Mike Esposito’s old record. Today, only Montel Harris, Derrick Knight, and Mike Cloud have more yards on the ground as an Eagle.

And of Shawn

1986 was also the last year for Shawn Halloran, the successor to Doug Flutie. He finished his Eagles career with 5,252 passing yards, which is now sixth on the all-time list. Halloran had two 4-touchdown games during the ’86 season.

And of Kelvin

While we’re talking about guys who wrapped up their BC careers in ’86, there’s also Kelvin Martin. (Young BC folks, please don’t confuse him with other Kelvin Martins you’ll see on Google.) Martin, eventually a 4th-round NFL draft pick, finished as the all-time leader in touchdown receptions (28), a record he still holds. He was also an electric punt return man who still holds the return yardage records for career, season, individual games, and individual plays as well.

Drafted in ’86

• Mike Ruth (2nd round; New England Patriots)
• Scott Gieselman (4th round; New England Patriots)

Taking Them Down

86 is the number of tackles Sean Sylvia had last season; third on the team behind Nick Clancy and Steele Divitto.

Also in ’86

I was born. So, there’s that.