Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Where is the one that got away?

While we've struggled recruiting Massachusetts players this year, we've cleaned up in Connecticut and in Ohio. Those local kids (or other lay-up recruits) we miss generate plenty of frustration but they happen every year. What's fortunate about our misses though, is that very few have come back to haunt us. When was the last time a great recruit spurned BC and became a star? I can think of a few over the years, but most of the recruits that "got away" had middling careers elsewhere.

Some recent examples of guys who spurned us include Graham Stewart, Arthur Lynch and Joe Boisture. All three committed to BC at one point only to rethink their decisions and go to bigger programs. Stewart washed out at Florida and is now sitting out a transfer year at UConn. Boisture is out of football altogether. Lynch has been a backup at Georgia. He has a chance for a bigger role this season, but so far has not lived up to the hype that surrounded his recruitment. Even with our terrible offense, Chris Pantale has had a much more productive Tight End career.

The closest thing I can think of to a recent recruit who had success elsewhere is Virginia OT Oday Aboushi. But should he even count? He didn't spurn BC. Our admissions office turned him down after he verbaled to BC. Prior to that, you would have to go back to Dorian Bryant. But like Aboushi, his case was less about being seduced by a bigger, flashier program and more about not meeting BC's minimum standards for admissions at one point in time.

Where these guys all over-hyped by the recruiting services? Where they wrong fits at their post-BC choices?  I don't know. I do think a program like BC is probably more patient with players than some of the bigger programs. We won't rush a guy out of the program to free up a scholarship. We prefer to redshirt. And I think the nature of a program -- with good academic support and less of a big school mentality -- keeps kids from falling through the cracks. Every recruit thinks they are going to be a star, so selling them on development and a safety net doesn't sway many, but it should. If anything BC should use a guy like Marcus Grant -- a local kid who left a Big Ten program to come "home" as an example to Massachusetts recruits. Massachusetts kids keep leaving to play at the "highest level." Our counter should be that we will develop them for life and the NFL (the real highest level) and not chew them up and spit them out like a football factory.

I am sure that there will be a guy in the near future who decommits from BC and becomes a star. Or a guy we should have had who leads another team to glory. Right now I am just glad that we have very few regrets  when it comes to old recruits. Our recruiting still has major challenges, but that's one area where things have broken our way.

[Note to commentors: let me know if you think I missed any recruits who "got away."] 


El Suape said...

Ryan Williams is the one that always comes to my mind... I know he never committed but he came pretty damn close. Although losing out on Williams did open up room for Montel to get a scholarship offer. Montel was great but I don't think anything he did compares to Williams in 2009.

BCMike said...

Good call on Ryan Williams. We were in his final two and he went with VT. Worked out well for both, but it wouldn't have been a bad problem having that much talent in the backfield.

El Suape said...

Also...when he hasn't been injured or ineligible Devon Ramsay has been a solid player for UNC..nothing spectacular though (a a fullback). I think he decommitted when TOB left. Probably best that we missed out on him.

Seamus Folan said...

How far back to you want to go?

Joe Morris
Mark Bavaro
Greg McMurty
Matt Rogers
Todd Collins
Rudy Harris
Mike Croel
Rob Konrad
Lofa Tatuppu
Omar Easy
Jonathan Goff
Aaron Hernandez
Jermaine Wiggins
Stephen Cooper
Mike Flynn

I guess it depends on how you define "got away". At some level all of the above players could/should have been BC recruits.

eagle1331 said...

Tahj Boyd, QB, Clemson? He is finally getting the shot to prove himself this year, I believe, but he came down to us and them.

On another recruiting note, while we are cleaning up in OH, it sure as heck seems we are taking a ton of "under the radar" types early in the cycle...

ATL_eagle said...

I didn't count Williams or Boyd because I don't think either was seriously considering BC. Boyd never even visited.


I think the strategy is to fill up the class before the season, so if an under the radar guy is willing to commit, we will take him.

mod34b said...

Graham Stewart should be a BC guy.

He had a fun year at Florida and a wild punt block too. But then came the realization that Florida recruited him to be a practice squad/Special teams guy and he was never going to get much PT. Florida mislead him. too bad

And also too bad BC did not take Stewart back. or did Stewart not want to come to BC? Why would Stewart want to go to UConn in the new BE??

I wonder if Kuechly had gotten his ND offer and went to ND, if he would have blossomed like he did at BC? I am thinking No. Even as great a talent as Luke is, it was the early PT at BC and the heavy responsibility he shouldered that turned Kuechly into NFL gold.

mod34b said...

I think one of the best players that "got away" was NFL HOFer Howie Long.

"Howie Long was supposed to attend Boston College on a scholarship, but backed out when coaches told his uncle he'd lose his scholarship if he were injured. Long feared he'd end up back in Boston, working on the shipping docks or doing something worse. Long never lost that drive, even after he excelled in college and became a second-round draft choice of the Raiders in 1981.ESPN article

Legal Eagle said...

Wasn't Brian Cushing a near commit? I thought Toal almost had him convinced to join him at the Heights.

Knucklehead said...

Graham went back to Connecticut to be closer to family.

Cushing was not from MA.

EL MIZ said...

Cushing & Toal went to HS together. i remember Cushing took an official visit to BC and toal hosted him. i do think we were 2nd to USC.

i'm not sure if its true, but a former ZBC commentator once told me that dirk nowitzki took a trip to BC and a month or two later got a "guarantee" from don nelson that the mavs would draft him.

BCMike said...

Williams absolutely was considering us. We were in his final two. There was a lot made about this...he was big on both programs.

Scoop said...

El Miz,

Cushing and Toal did NOT go to the same high school in NJ. Cushing went to Bergen Catholic and Toal went to Don Bosco. While the two might be friends off the gridiron, the two schools are bitter arch-rivals.

Knucklehead is right, Cushing shouldn't be in the "got away" category since he's from NJ not MA. I wouldn't even put him in the "almost got him" category either. My son knew him at Bergen and Cushing had his pick of any school in the country.

Jim Foley's list above is a good list of got-aways.

EDawgBC07 said...

Joshua Adams, WR, went to UNC