Just after the 2013 Boston College football season, the matter of how the Eagles planned to replace Chase Rettig at quarterback in 2014 was answered with Darius Wade and/or Troy Flutie.
It seemed clear that the team would play one of these freshmen, Wade or Flutie, and get them experience while the team rebuilt. That is not what happened, as head coach Steve Addazio convinced Florida’s Tyler Murphy to transfer to Boston College.
The result of that was Wade learning the ropes as a backup, Flutie redshirting, and Murphy helping the Eagles get back to a bowl game. Though the 2014 season could have been better than it was, it also could have been rockier with a true freshman at the helm. As a one-year transition move, Murphy coming to Boston College did a lot of good to keep the program afloat.
Now, as we approach the 2015 season (granted, approaching from afar), we are in the same position we found ourselves in a year ago: wondering who the new quarterback will be. The same names, Darius Wade and Troy Flutie, come up, but the word “transfer” keeps arising. In a way, one cannot blame anyone for mentioning it: Tyler Murphy worked out fine for Boston College, and added experience on the roster never hurts.
At the same time, one of these days, Boston College is going to have to develop a quarterback on their own rather than just getting an annual one-year rental. What good quarterback is going to want to come here and stay if a transfer is going to keep taking the starter’s job from them?
With word that Braxton Miller was looking to leave Ohio State, getting him to come to Boston College would have been a major coup. It seems very unlikely that this will be the case, as he will have his choice of high-profile suitors. A few in the Boston College realm even talked about Jeff Driskel, who downgraded in conference, though our program could have done better. It is just proof that talk of another quarterback transfer has not gone away.
Given that he was the backup throughout the entire 2014 season, Darius Wade is the prohibitive frontrunner for the job in 2015, though Troy Flutie is also present and there is least one incoming freshmen who will compete, including Elijah Robinson. Wade and Flutie will be sophomores next season, while Robinson, recruited as an athlete, will be a true freshman.
As a dual-threat quarterback, Robinson accounted for about 3,000 combined passing and rushing yards last season, totaling 43 touchdowns through the air and on the ground. He might not play as a freshman, but he does have something to contribute from a talent perspective, and he fits the mold of what Boston College offensive football now is.
Jeff Smith is another inbound quarterback for the Eagles in 2015. Another “athlete” who is actually a quarterback, the Floridian is a three-star recruit who held offers from Wisconsin, Indiana, and Iowa State.
At this point, unless a transfer of major consequence like a Braxton Miller or similar were to end up at Boston College, forget that possibility when it comes to quarterbacks. There is no need to get a quarterback to transfer just for the sake of it. The Eagles have quarterbacks on the roster already, and the scholarship will be free for use on another position of need — the coaches have their pick.
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Transfers can help at other positions, and one or two a year, say, on the offensive or defensive line or at wide receiver are not going to cause problems. Boston College could use the help, and the inbound Matt Patchan and Ian Silberman both helped maintain a solid offensive line in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Yet, we also do not want to become known to quarterback recruits as a school that will recruit you and then play some guy who comes for his senior year.
Whether it’s Darius Wade, Troy Flutie, Elijah Robinson, or whichever other warm bodies are in the mix, Boston College can and should turn back to exploring its own internal quarterback options for 2015. The obvious problem that might arise in so doing is “what if none of them pan out?” There is only one way to know that for sure. Unless someone comes along who will hugely and unquestionably upgrade the Eagles at the position, we can roll with what we have.