As Austin Tedesco first reported, Max Ricci has left the team. Don't worry about our depth chart at DT. Unless the new staff is a bunch of miracle workers, Max Ricci wasn't going to become great and we have enough guys to patchwork this hole. Beyond the depth chart, Ricci's departure is symbolic. I don't blame him for our downfall, but he is the type of player and recruit that led to Spaz's slide and he's the type of guy that has a tendency to wash out when a new staff takes over.
Spaz was not a good recruiter and Ricci captures some of his issues. Under the old regime BC rarely landed their top choices, never had enough guys on the back burner and then scrambled to find players willing to play for BC. BC was the only BCS program to offer Ricci a scholarship. When a guy is as big as Ricci and plays on a team that got a lot of recruiting attention, and no one aggressively recruits him, there are probably some red flags. At the time of his signing, Ricci's weight was an issue. You don't want your DTs petite but you also want them to be able to use their bulk and not have it slow them down. The second issue was desire. If coaches across the country were stopping by Lawrence Academy and came away questioning Ricci's desire or love of the game, maybe there was an issue there too. To Ricci's credit he was decent at BC and didn't miss any time. But he never slimmed down and never became the next Raji or Brace. And because he wasn't a BCS talent and he was surrounded by a bunch of guys who probably weren't or aren't BCS talent, we started losing more games. I know that BC has won with diamonds in the rough before and I am not saying we shouldn't give guys a shot. But if a guy doesn't have BCS offers, I would rather it be because of his size or speed, not because teams question his dedication. Any flyer we give out should be a football junkie who can't wait to play.
Ricci won't be the latest guy to leave. I predict at least two more will bail after summer practices. It is the nature of a transition between coaches and also speaks to the lack of desire among some Spaz recruits. Football is a brutal game and a huge commitment. You have to love it to keep playing. The new intensity and higher expectations are going to leave a lot of guys asking themselves why they keep playing.
I welcome the attrition. Outside of Rettig and Andre Williams, this season is not riding on any one player. Flushing out guys who don't want to be here won't dramatically change our record and will only allow Addazio to reshape the roster with his guys faster.