Friday, June 30, 2017

Landry getting big media push

If media attention is any indication of future success, Harold Landry is going to have a big year. 

SI thinks he ranked him as one of the ten best players in the country

Fansided thinks he is a first-round draft pick.

The ACC Network compiled Landry's best plays from last year.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Rutgers' collapse is perfect for Addazio

For years New Jersey was a free for all in College Football recruiting. Penn State took a ton of players, but programs like Nebraska, Miami and even Wisconsin used the Garden State to build programs. BC was also one of the programs that looked to New Jersey for key talent. All the while Rutgers was a mess and never really a factor with the state's top players. That started to change with Greg Schiano. He threw himself into recruiting and also built relationships with the high school coaches. And with that talent upgrade came Rutgers' only sustained period of success in decades. Years and two head coaches removed from Schiano, things have reverted to old and BC is taking advantage of it all.

The latest New Jersey verbal is OL/DL prospect Khris Banks. He is not some five star, must get, but he is the type of solid prospect BC has always developed. More importantly he is the type of prospect Rutgers used to get under Schiano. In fact, Rutgers offered Banks before BC did, but he still decided to leave the state.

As provincial as it may seem, Rutgers main problem in New Jersey is a lack of Jersey assistants. It is all outisiders. BC is hitting the state with former Rutgers assistant Anthony Campanile. As noted many times, Campanile is also a member of one of the most prominent New Jersey football families. That history and local knowledge is the first step in finding kids and getting their coaches and parents on board.

I don't know much about Rutgers coach Chris Ash. I don't know if he will adapt or make changes to help local recruiting. Let's hope he's stubborn and determined to do things his way. It will make our recruiting that much easier.

Mizzou game moved to KC for some reason

Missouri's 2024 game against BC won't be on-campus in Columbia. Instead it will be at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. This doesn't really impact any current player (or likely coaches) or even current BC fan. If anything, moving the game to Kansas City makes travel a little easier. This makes sense for BC, but I still don't understand why Mizzou wants to move this game to Arrowhead.

According to this article, the last Mizzou Arrowhead game was a financial disappointment. The Tigers played BYU and only 42,000 showed up. Is BC going to be that much better of a draw in seven years? We know BC fans won't buy a ton of tickets. If this is a make good to Arrowhead (as the article implies) why are they making good on a game nine years after the first problem? Should a make good come a little sooner?

My guess is Missouri doesn't want to move any conference games to a big, relatively neutral area where other schools might recruit. I also assume they don't want to move any cupcakes to a big stadium they can't fill. They probably don't want to lose homefield advantage against any other Power 5s that agreed to a home and home. BC is probably viewed as respectable enough draw without being a recruiting threat nor a team where they need a huge homefield advantage. 

What does BC get out of it? Maybe a slightly higher guarantee and perhaps slightly lower travel costs. In the end, this is probably good news for BC. We just have to wait seven years for it to come to fruition.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Jarmond looks to fans for answers and ideas

New AD, but a familiar gameplan. Like his predecessors, Martin Jarmond is reaching out to fans to improve the BC fan experience. A select "Fan Council" will work with the Athletic Department on improving the game day experience and overall experience. I admire Jarmond's desire to improve things, but given the past, I am skeptical of this approach.

Every AD BC of the past 25 years said he was going to reach out to fans and improve game days. Some used townhalls. Some did online Q&As and others had special events for season ticket holders. I think all past attempts were sincere and well-intentioned. However, nothing the Athletic Department did had significant impact on attendance. Winning spikes attendance. Quality opponents impact attendance. Game times and days impact attendance. Weather impacts attendance. Most of those factors are out of the AD's control.

Then there is a whole host of BC factors that are also hard for a BC AD to truly change like local parking restrictions, local rules on tailgating hours, and alcohol sales.

If this goes like past fan driven feedback forums, Jarmond will hear all about tailgating rules and hours, Donor-based seating, playing games on Friday night, etc. (I am sure there will even be talk of Men's Lacrosse.) I also don't expect wholesale changes in the game day experience. The best I hope for are some small simple suggestions that BC can implement.

Maybe my cynicism is misguided. I do think Jarmond should be visible and engaged with the fanbase. I just don't like the council format. I think he will get swamped with all sorts of ideas and only a few of them will be viable.

In my opinion, Jarmond and his team should try new things and borrow the best ideas from around college sports. See what works and then build on those improvements. Trust the fans' reactions and responses to those changes, not what someone says in a council. Too often people will say they will do something in a fan forum, but do the opposite with their own time and money.

I like Jarmond's willingness to listen to fans. I just hope he doesn't spend too much time and goodwill on this, since so much of this is all predictable and unfixable.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Vrabel commits

When BC offered Tyler Vrabel at camp a few weeks ago, I was skeptical that he would commit. I figured his dad's deep ties to Ohio State and past work with Urban Meyer would mean that young Vrabel would head to Ohio State eventually. I also thought that BC's offer would spark other Power 5s to move in on the Texas OL prospect. Well, Vrabel didn't wait on others because he committed to BC Tuesday.

He's a three star on most of the services and plays in a competitive area in Houston. He also attends a Catholic School in the area (which helps in the admission process).

Having the Vrabel background and experience at BC's camp, I feel pretty comfortable with this offer. Given his family background, I also hope that he won't be swayed by schools that come in late.

Welcome aboard, Tyler.

Monday, June 26, 2017

More pessimism about BC's bowl chances

CFN put up their bowl predictions and has BC staying home. Given the ACC's ties to other bowls and the still outrageous number of bowl games, I don't see how BC misses out. If a Power 5 team gets to .500, they are going bowling. Heck, even with five regular season wins and a good APR, BC would probaby go bowling.

Could BC be terrible this year and miss out? Sure. But I just don't see it. There remains enough winnable games on the schedule and enough talent on D that BC should get to the required number of wins. If not, Jarmond will have to make some tough decisions early in his tenure.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

More social media glimpses from BC Football Camp

You can't see much of what's going on at BC's Camp in this clip but you can see the set up on Newton. Because of all the main campus renovations and construction, the camps are being held on the grass over there this year.
You can also see that Defensive Coordinator Jim Reid is pretty pleased with things. It is only a tweet, but there is plenty of truth in his comment. Camps are the best way for the staff to get a feel for a player.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

A look at the investment required for the ACC Network

This article is not about BC, but does show what ESPN and the Conference is requiring for campus video infrastructure. By 2018, every school needs to have production facilities on campus, production personnel, and fiber cables directly to ESPN (to avoid satellite trucks). Public records show the costs in Virginia and Virginia Tech are ranging between $5 and $7 million.

I don't know if the ACC Network will be a financial success, but it looks like the conference and ESPN are committing the resources needed so that there will be lots of coverage and quality production.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Report: Admissions Office reject Hockey's Tolvanen

I can't claim to know the ins and outs of this issue, but according to USHR, incoming freshman Eeli Tolvanen is no longer BC bound. Allegedly it is due to an Admissions issue.
I find it interesting that this news comes just a day after the Football team slipped in a very, very late academic qualifier. You would hope that the school had a consistent policy on athletic admissions. Ultimately we are still a school and trying to keep some semblance of an educational mission with our players. I get it. However, we do need some leeway and the coaches need to know how far they can go.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Nuggets from the Athlon Preview

I picked up my Athlon College Football Preview and they're not too high on BC. The magazine picks BC to finish last in the division, go 5-7 (2-6 in ACC again) and out of a bowl. Overall they consider BC 70th. I am not really outraged or frustrated. Just resigned to our place until Addazio proves otherwise.

Athlon always quotes an anonymous coach about each team. Often times it can get catty. No so with BC this year. Here is what one ACC assistant said, "They just don't have the same kind of skill players that the other schools in the league have, but they're very sound in what they do."

The Athlon preview online also ranks the all-time best college football players of the Athlon era. Flutie only came in a No. 49. That is a big disservice and shows lack of perspective. Flutie's stats look small time now, but his offense helped change college football.

Our current QB was ranked 105 among all starters entering the season.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

One last recruit for 2017 class

The focus of recruiting has been the 2018 class, yet Addazio just added one more piece to his incoming freshmen group. On Wednesday, New York DT Jaleel Berry signed with BC. I like this signing because he was personally scouted by Pasqualoni and has DT size now.

Berry is only available because he qualified so late in the process. While that is usually a red flag for BC, Addazio somehow got him through. The fact that he also had a scholarship available shows how tightly he is managing the roster. As soon as one guy drops out, the position is filled.

Best of luck to Berry. This could end up being a great BC story.

BC agrees to series with Michigan State

It didn't take long for Martin Jarmond to finalize his first football deal. BC and Michigan State announced a two-game series that will take place in 2024 and 2025. These games are possible because of the movement in the Ohio State series earlier this spring. 

The Spartans will come to Chestnut Hill in 2024 and BC will go to East Lansing in 2025.  BC currently leads the series 4-1-1.

I've been critical of Addazio for being too conservative and short-sighted when scheduling Power 5s. We signed deals with a bunch of bottom feeders. MSU is more what our fans have in mind. They've been historically decent and are in the middle of a upswing. No one knows how good they will be in six years, but they probably won't be terrible. It is the kind of scheduling risk BC should take.

While Michigan is not a hot bed of BC recruits or alums, it is still in a region that remains important to the school. We can sell playing Michigan State to Midwest kids. And any alums in the general area can make the day trip.

This is a good first move by Jarmond. There are not a ton of open slots on the schedule now, but hopefully this is how he will go about filling them.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

More press on new Plex

Not that many of you were on the edge of your seat waiting, but BC selected Skanska USA to build the new student fitness center a.k.a. also known as the Plex replacement.

Normally I don't pay attention to the companies BC uses for construction and renovation. Maybe due to the size and the profile of the project, Skanska sent out a press release. BC is still keeping their mouth shut.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Another reason why BC needs to focus on OLine development

This article from earlier in the week doesn't have anything specifically to do with BC, but I thought it was very relevant to BC's future. For those who don't have time to read it, there is a growing problem in the NFL with evaluating college linemen. Because so many colleges run spreads, Offensive Linemen are not developing the skills they need to compete and adjust in the NFL. Prospects from schools that run more traditional blocking schemes are much easier to evaluate and valuable. That means what Addazio is doing with the Oline should make his players more valuable. Add that to our tradition as Oline U and BC should have an easy time recruiting OLine talent.

But it is not always that simple. Colleges also have a hard time identifying OL prospects. They are trying to project teenager who is going to add a lot of weight in college and face much better competition than he faced in high school. They are also trying to teach these guys while also winning games and competing.

Addazio built his reputation on OL coaching. In his first two years, it was good. Year 3 it was poor. Last year it was improved, but not great. If he wants success this year and long term and to build a pipeline of NFL talent, he is going to need his big guys to develop in all aspects of OLine play and start to dominate again.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A good weekend for BC recruiting

This is getting repetitive, but this weekend was another good one for BC recruiting. Addazio added two more prospects to his already well regarded class. I don't know why the results are improving or how the messaging is changing, but this recruiting class is on pace to be his best. As of now they are in the Top 25 rankings for 247 and climbing up Rivals.

The big get was New Jersey LB Nick DeNucci. Another guy hauled in by Anthony Campanile, DeNucci had a solid list of offers from Big Ten and ACC schools. He also keeps the Garden State momentum going.

Texas OL prospect Thomas Shelmire also verballed. His list of suitors is not as note worthy, but he is well regarded and from a territory where BC can grow its brand. OL guys are harder to project, so this is sort of a numbers and development game, but Shelmire seems like a good bet.

As things move forward Addazio will have a few recruiting challenges Because so many guys committed early, he will have to be judicious with his remaining scholarships. He will also have to keep the class together if the season is bumpy. Finally, he will have to keep the other schools from poaching his players. All of those are nice problems to have because it means you have something worth holding on to.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Addazio adds Elijah Jones to recruiting class

The latest player to verbal to Addazio is New York DB Elijah Jones. Jones has a good rating on the major sites and also has a decent amount of Power 5 offers.

After last season and the change at AD, I thought Addazio's recruiting would suffer. It seems like the opposite has happened. This class is stronger than last season's class and based on social media, it seems like they all enjoy each other.

Now Addazio needs to turn this talent into wins.

Friday, June 16, 2017

BC churns through Football coaches fast

I think in the whole scheme of College Football, BC is a good job. You live in a great area, there is little pressure and you have specific recruiting niches. But the data makes it look like the football offices have a revolving door. Since 1990, Vanderbilt and Baylor are the only Power 5 schools that have changed their head coach more than BC. Those two schools have made seven changes. BC has made six. I know outsiders don't care, but each one of BC's changes can be explained away. Two were from Coughlin and TOB moving on to new opportunities. Spaz was fired for not winning enough and Jags was fired after a power struggle with Gene. Addazio is obviously still around and relatively safe. 

But in the end, I don't think the turnover is holding the program back. As the article mentions, our winning percentage during that time is .550. I don't care if we make another move soon. I just want too see a great coach and have him stay at BC for a long time. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Learning about recruits via Twitter

As players get home, they keep tweeting about BC's camps. Each tweet provides a little insight into what the staff is doing and thinking.

While we are focused on the 2018 Class, BC's staff is looking well beyond. One young player was QB Kyle McCord. He is listed as a 2021 grad, meaning he won't be available for four years. But based on his tweet, you can see that at BC's Camp he was getting one-on-one time with Scot Loeffler. 

Who knows how this kid will develop, but at least BC is thinking ahead.

Another player who popped up on Twitter was OL Tyler Vrabel. He's the son of Mike Vrabel. Given Vrabel's history with Ohio State and that he plays in Texas, I thought Tyler would have more Power 5 offers. Maybe this will be another guy who BC spots before the other guys swoop in.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Three baseball Eagles drafted

The 2017 MLB Draft was a nice endorsement for BC Baseball. Three different players were drafted. The Dodgers took Donovan Casey in the 20th round. Two rounds later, the Mariners took Johnny Adams. Finally, in the 33rd round, the Phillies drafted pitcher Jacob Stevens.

When taken in these rounds, no one is expecting a quick rise to the majors. However, MLB teams using more and more draft picks and resources on BC guys is a good thing. Hopefully the new facilities improve BC's talent pool that much more.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Construction update

There is always plenty of construction at BC during the summer. This year there is more of a focus on the athletic facilities. Blog reader Peter K. answered my tweet and sent along some pictures. You can see Alumni without turf and how things are moving around the fields.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Another camp prospect becomes a commitment

Some of Addazio's critics worry that he is reaching for recruits and are frustrated that we are not landing more high-profile players. The latest commitment Tyler Days won't change that opinion. The New York DB committed just after receiving an offer at camp this weekend. Days is so off the radar, he doesn't have a profile page on Rivals or 247 and his Scout page doesn't even reference any BC interest.  

I am not as worried about Days. Supposedly he has interest and an offer from Syracuse. Plus, I really value BC's ability to assess players at their own camp. They know if his 40 times are real. They now know if he is coachable. Getting an offer out of camp at this stage in the process is not a bad thing. And if we are taking talent out of Syracuse's backyard, all the better.

Addazio has turned a few of his low profile recruits into impact players, so I will continue to give him room. Besides, by the time we know if Days can play, we will already know if Addazio is anything more than a 7-6 coach.

Early look at BC vs Northern Illinois

It may be months before the game kicks off, but College Football News is already doing game by game predictions and previews. In their coverage of opening weekend, they also previewed BC's game against Northern Illinois.

Although the spread is close (BC-2), CFN is relatively confident that BC will win. I'm confident too. Even if BC struggles on Offense, there should be enough pieces in place on D to carry them in the road opener.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Baseball Hall of Fame to honor Frates

Pete Frates old baseball glove and his ice bucket from the first challenge are headed to the Baseball Hall of Fame. I hope Frates and his family are honored by this. The Ice Bucket challenge wasn't specifically a baseball event, but a baseball player was behind the movement.  While we all remember what Frates did and who he was before ALS, there are many who have already forgotten the Ice Bucket Challenge. Being part of the Hall keeps Frates legacy alive for a long time. Congrats.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Aaron Gethers commits to BC

It didn't take long for Aaron Gethers to decide he wants to go to BC. The kid is literally and figuratively fast. After just getting an offer at BC's camp, the Pennsylvania DB is ready to come to the Heights.

In the article, he also mentions the impact assistant coaches Campanile and Leonard had on the process. Having recruits references him as a critical recruiter, is another reason why Campanile has become so valuable to Addazio.

Congrats again to Gethers. I hope at BC he figures out how to turn that speed into some defensive wins.

BC to play Nebraska in basketball

The TV partners and conferences announced the pairings for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. BC will face Nebraska. It is the first time the schools will play in basketball. Official start times will be announced closer to the season.

Nebraska wasn't very good last year, so this represent a real chance at a W. Christian doesn't really have a choice about this. The conferences determines our participation, but this an important game. He needs all the success he can get next year.

UConn game reminder of how bad the AAC TV deal is

UConn announced the start time and TV schedule for our game at Fenway. The game will kickoff at 7 PM. That's good. CBS Sports Network will show the game nationally. While not the challenge it once was, CBS Sports Network is a minor league TV outfit. It is also a reminder of how bad the UConn's conference situation is.

TV deals are mostly about money. I know many ACC fans would gladly partner with any company if it meant more money for our teams: "Al Jazeera's ACC Game of the Week!" Because of the lack of tradition, consistent TV draws and fanbases, the AAC was not a hot property the last time they went looking for a deal. So they ended up with CBS's cable sports outlet. Among recruits, CBS Sports Network feels small time. This then becomes a vicious circle of UConn and their conference mates fighting for respect.

Even if the eventual ACC Network looks terrible and has limited carriage, it will mean something positive. Hopefully BC and the other ACC school leverage that opportunity.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Addazio adds two more recruits

BC received commitments from two more solid prospects on Tuesday. The first was Maryland running back David Bailey. He's got good size and earned a three star ranking from most of the services. Bailey also has a decent offer list including Power 5s Syracuse, Indiana and Rutgers.

The other new Eagle is Florida LB Joe Sparacio. His offer list is not as impressive, but interest from both Army and Navy confirm that he is a serious student.

Addazio is now up to 12 verbals and will obviously get more during camp season. The mix of the class seems good. Perhaps the new AD and new facilities are improving the staff's ability to close.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Christian adds another 5th year

Still needing some size, Jim Christian added Illinois State grad Deontae Hawkins to the basketball roster. As a graduate he is available to play immediately next season. Hawkins is 6-8 so he can hopefully help guard the bigger guys on D. On offense he can shoot from outside, so in theory he will be able to create some space and help with scoring.

Christian has found productivity with his transfers, but so far none of the guys has been enough to get BC to .500. I don't think Hawkins will either, but hopefully he compliments the roster enough that we see some improvement.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

BC offers camp standout

All coaches stress the importance of summer camps. It allows the player and the coaching staff to get to know each other quickly and under college-like conditions. At BC -- where we are often recruiting late bloomers or kids from less competitive areas -- camps offer an up close opportunity to see if the kid can play. After BC's latest camp, it is clear they think Pennsylvania athlete Aaron Gethers can play.

Gethers impressed most with his speed and claimed BC offered him right after his 40 time. The good news is that BC was his first major offer. The bad news is that it will bring Gethers to the attention of others. Let's hope being first and establishing a relationship with him makes the difference.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Friday, June 02, 2017

Looking back at BC-WVU 1993

It is a slow BC news day, so I thought I would look back at an old game. This one was sort of painful...

After upsetting No. 1 Notre Dame in 1993, BC came home to face No. 5 West Virginia. Win the game and BC heads to a major bowl. We know how it ended. All these years later this game is frustrating because BC had its chances, but some turnovers and mistakes proved costly. You can watch it all below.

Also of note, this was the last game before Alumni's renovation. 

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Frates' financial challenge and other links

I don't know if many of you read this, but Peter Frates' family is facing financial difficulty due to his exorbitant medical cost. Friends of his are now raising money for something called the "Home Health Care Initiative." The goal is to help families like the Frates with their extremely high medical costs. The pilot program will be in the Boston-area for those who want to give or help.

Does the ACC have the best collection of coaches in college football? I would say so.

Philadelphia cut Stephen Daniels.

LaSalle will be part of BC Basketball's tip off tournament at the Mohegan Sun.