Monday, July 28, 2014
How many 5th years is too many?
BC's best teams have always been experienced. But in the past most of those classes were made up of rosters that redshirted and developed in Chestnut Hill. For a variety of reasons BC rarely had JUCOs and transfers. With the rise of the post-graduate 5th year transfer, BC finally has a sweet spot to fill in the roster gaps. Addazio grabbed Matt Patchan last year and backfilled the roster this season wtih Tyler Murphy, Ty-Meer Brown, Shakim Phillips, and Ian Silberman. The benefits of 5th years are well discussed: no academic risk, short scholarship commitment, phyical and mental maturity. However, we rarely address the risk associated with the strategy. Addazio needed an influx this year and will probably need more next year, but at what point does BC want to start weaning itself of 5th year transfers?
The biggest challenge posed by depending on 5th years is knowing who and how many are available. BC lucked into Murphy and a lessor extent to Shakim Phillips. Without them we would be starting a freshman at QB and have little depth at WR. Prior relationships with both players helped get them to BC, but both had options and both could have gone elsewhere. Unlike recruiting a high schooler or even a JUCO player, the annual 5th year pool lacks depth. Thinking you can pick up a quality player to fit critical needs is foolish. One day your luck will run out.
The other issue is the holding back scholarships for 5th years. BC has plenty of scholarships right now due to roster imbalance and attrition, but in most years there won't be four spots. BC will have 99% of their scholarships committed early in each recruiting cycle.
I don't know what's ahead for BC recruiting. As the roster turns there should be less need to grab older 5th years. All the players will be Addazio's and he'll be responsible for scholarship distribution.
I applaud Addazio's aggressiveness and creativity. Without them, we wouldn't be as strong a team. I just hope we soon get to the stage where BC has so much talent in house that we don't need to scramble with 5th years.