Thursday, February 08, 2007

Jags’ first batch of 'BC guys'

While I am a general skeptic of recruiting rankings and recruiting sites, the finding and signing solid football players is the foundation for any programs's success. Jags and BC announced their 18 new commits in a press conference Wednesday. Despite being tired, Jags came off really well. Here were a few of the concepts that jumped out at me. [The transcript is not online so I am paraphrasing here.]

-- “put on weight – the right way”
Jags worked this idea in a few different times. He specifically mentioned looking for lineman in the 6’3-6’6 range weighing 245-265. Big kids, but not the monsters we’ve become accustomed to. The idea is to get them bigger, yet keep them nimble. A nice change from the later days of the TOB era where TOB targeted mammoth kids and asked his Strength & Conditioning Coach to make them more nimble and flexible. I prefer getting natural athletes bigger.
-- “O-line U”
As a former NFL line coach and former line coach at BC you knew this would be an emphasis of Jags’ pitch. I remain flabbergasted at our inability to land lineman the best few recruiting classes. I don’t think it will be a problem going forward.
-- Jags' personality and sense of humor
As he has stated recruiting is about selling your school and building relationships. Jags’ personable reputation continues to shine through in these press conferences. Whether it was his little joke about “soft commit” when talking about poached recruit Mark Spinney or referring to guys on his staff as “Billy” instead of Bill [McGovern] or “Jimmy” instead of Jim [Turner], you get the sense he is an extrovert who will win over kids on the phones and in the living rooms. Winning is not all about everyone liking you (just look at Bill Belichick). Xs and Os still mean more. But I think Jags being Jags will help our recruiting get better each season.
-- “they’re my guys now”
I didn’t hear the exact question that sparked this response, but from how he elaborated, I assume it was something to do with winning or hold on to TOB commits. Jags kept emphasizing he wants guys that want to be here> I say good riddance to the kids that bolted. I don’t want to see any kid transfer away, but if they don’t want to be part of what the new staff is doing, they should leave.
-- New look at QB
With the exception of Paul Peterson, every QB that saw the field under Dana Bible had a similar mold and profile. Tall with an NFL frame. White. From the Northeast. Camped with BC. Could come in and work his way into the system and roster. I think those days are over. Jags signed two guys who are clearly raw but have tons of athleticism and upside. Based on our depth and ambitious QB targets for next year’s recruiting class, I question if either of them will see the field as passers, but it does signal a shift. Jags is willing to take risks and err on the side of athleticism. It should make things interesting.

Who’s who?
As Jags said, they are all “his guys” now. However, TOB’s staff deserves credit for some of this talent. Here is a quick grouping of the new faces.

TOB commits
Lars Anderson
Billy Bennett
Dominick Magazu
Dan Mulrooney
Kenny Plue
Nathan Richman
Nick Schepis
Will Thompson
Dan Williams

Guys that TOB wanted, but Jags closed
Corey Eason (Jags said when he walked into Eason's house he thought "now that is what these guys are supposed to look like")
John Elliott

The first true Jags guys
Anthony Castonzo
Dominique Davis
DeLeon Gause
Chris Johnson
Ifeanyi Momah
Mark Spinney

The Globe had a nice write up and Eagle Insider has a few articles that you can preview.

Finally welcome to the new guys. Regardless of what happens on the field, you’ve all been given a wonderful opportunity and we’re glad you are now a part of the BC community.