Addazio “Ran Off On The Plug Twice” and Into 2016
By: TJ Hartnett – T_Hartnett2
Boston College Football Head Coach Steve Addazio is no stranger to the limelight. Back in 2013, Addazio’s first year as leader of the Eagles, the “head dude” earned his name. After a viral campaign entitled “Be A Dude”, Boston College gained much notoriety from the top media outlets across the country. BC players, coaches, and fans embraced the mantra as the Eagles soared to their first playoff bowl appearance in over two years. The “Be A Dude” campaign still holds close to Addazio’s association today, even after the devastating 3 win season that was 2015.
Today, February 3rd, 2016, Addazio is back on his metaphorical viral horse. With the encouragement of coach Leo Ferrine, Addazio and the entire BC football coaching staff “Ran Off On The Plug Twice” after getting off the phone with one of the 21 Eagle signees. “I really had no idea what it was, but the whole staff was having fun” stated Addazio during his press conference this Wednesday afternoon. Boston College joined in on the recruiting antics party that has been so prevalent since the turn of the calendar year. Addazio joins the likes of Alabama HC Nick Saban “wobbling” in recruit’s living rooms and Michigan HC Jim Harbaugh’s tree climbing and having sleepovers. “I can’t see myself in pajamas” Addazio laughed as he spoke to the media. “I can’t climb a tree either, I’ve got this fake knee”. Spirits are clearly high on The Heights.
Breaking down the numbers, Boston College signed 21 new Eagles. Of these signees, two are mid-year freshman enrollees (Brown and Tucky), three are transfers (Lowery, Towles, Ziffer), two are Massachusetts products (Leonard, Ragan), and 16 of them are three star recruits. Addazio wanted to hit home the fact that these kids are leaders, true to the motto of Boston College “Ever to Excel”. In his press conference, Addazio exclaimed that 14 of the freshman were high school captains, 15 were 1st Team All-State, and 11 came from Catholic high schools. The other number that keeps popping up is 81. BC had the 81st best recruiting class of 2016 according to Rivals.com. Despite all the excitement and joy surrounding these talented, motivated, young Eagles, the facts do not lie. With losing such talent as Scooter Harrington, KJ Gray, and Da’vante Cross to rival schools and such staple coaches as Don Brown over the past two months, the positivity surrounding the upcoming 2016 season was bleak. And yet, Coach Addazio sees nothing but success on the horizon.
Entering his fourth season on The Heights, Coach Addazio talked about each of his three years individually and why each team succeeded respectively. Year 1 was Andre’s team. As a leader, Andre Williams, under the guidance of first year Addazio, lived up to the physical expectations at running back we all know the BC coach harps on. Year 2 was led by the swiss army knife known as Tyler Murphy. The option heavy QB led the Eagles to a stunning upset over #9 USC, putting BC on the map all the way to the Pinstripe Bowl. Year 3 was highlighted by the nation’s #1 defense. With such a young, inexperienced, and mistake prone offense, the defense was the sole reason for competition. The niche Coach Addazio likes to provide to players at Boston College had been disrupted by the lack of leadership on the scoring side of the ball. This niche is what BC recruiting has been built upon for three years and Addazio thinks the Eagles took a major step today in providing it once again. The BC niche is made up of three characteristics, “Identification, Evaluation, and Targeting”. BC is first and foremost an academic institution and can provide a top notch degree to any recruit willing to take on the challenge. BC provides a campus atmosphere that is second to none, being recognized as one of the most beautiful college grounds in the country. Finally BC takes a look at the person on and off the field. “It’s all about the people, the relationship is critical”.
In terms of the actual performance BC looks to put on the field, Addazio made it clear that the Eagles will strive to be the most physical team in the country. “We will have the most dominant Offensive Line in the ACC,” Addazio guaranteed during the next three years. This is a strong statement for a team whose biggest failure this past season was being able to provide protection, open holes for the run game, and build a foundation for a young offense. Boston College has been adorned with the title “O-Line U” before, even as recent as two years ago, but has a lot of work to do to grace the peak of offensive line prominence. At the very least, the Eagles took a step in the right direction today, signing graduate transfer Jimmy Lowery out of Eastern Illinois, to become a staple up front. The 6-4 290 former Panther jumps right into the mix as a 2nd Team All Ohio Valley starter and provides experience to an up and coming O-Line, something lost with the 2015 team. Another big question mark comes in the form of arguably the most important position on the field, quarterback. BC officially gained two new QB’s today in Freshman Anthony Brown from New Jersey and 5th Year Patrick Towles out of Kentucky. This increases BC’s QB count to six in the running for the starting position come Dublin on September 3rd, 2o16. Darius Wade, Jeff Smith, Troy Flutie, and John Fadule round out the rest of QB options in Addazio’s repertoire. Wade and Towles lead the pack in this race with Spring Ball being the deciding factor over the coming months. Something that is key in making this decision is the young men who will be catching the balls coming from the competing arms. The Wide Receiver core at BC has never been one to blow people away. Addazio hopes to change that impression this upcoming season with the developing talent in the current system. Kobay White, a three star recruit out of Pennsylvania, leads the 2016 Eagle signing class on the offensive side of the ball. Counting White jumping directly into a starting position, he will be beside Callinan, T. Smith, Robinson, and Glines, all young members themselves. In the Tight End department, BC made huge strides when former Rutgers commit Korab Idrizi flipped to Boston College this past week, an action eerily similar to BC running back star Jon Hilliman just a few years ago. Let’s hope his impact is as strong and immediate. BC also snagged Ray Marten, providing depth at the tight end spot, which was missing these past few seasons. New Offensive Coordinator Scot Loeffler has found success in utilizing TE’s in the past and Addazio made indications that BC will be implementing that into their system in the coming year.
Defensively, the Eagles did not disappoint. With so many strong, talented, and young players on BC’s defense, the recruiting pretty much did itself. Ethan Tucky leads this class as a three star out of Ohio choosing Boston College over such schools as Iowa and Northwestern. Bryce Morais and Mark Richardson, both out of Georgia, were top recruits the Eagles were thrilled to steal, displaying their ability to draw players from the south. Speaking of the south, DE Harold Landry hails from North Carolina, and that is working out just fine. Defensive Coordinator Jim Reid has talent at his fingertips, much of which has yet to see the field significantly. Time will tell with all of these young Eagles, but the foundation set for them by the defense of years past leads to positive signs in 2016. And do not think special teams has been forgotten. Usually the punch line of jokes, the special teams department has looked intently for a leader since the extra point debacle of 2014. Satchel Ziffer, a graduate senior out of Old Dominion, is a punter looking for an opportunity at a school that clearly needs an experienced punter. With the loss of Alex Howell, Ziffer will step in nicely to this role and maybe he can even provide a little competition to the young Litchenberg and Knoll when it comes to kicking.
At the end of the day the Eagles still have much to prove entering the 2016 season. Morale is high from the team and staff, starting at 5:30 this morning in, what Coach Addazio put it as, the most intense workout of the year. “I am the most excited I have ever been” Addazio stated when asked about his feelings to where the team is right now. “I feel great about this year and this class”. To close the conference, Addazio was once again asked about climbing that tree for a recruit. “I bet you would climb it if a doberman was chasing you,” one media member exclaimed. Addazio quickly responded, “I’ll fight the doberman before I climb the tree.” Well, get ready to fight, Coach Addazio, fall will be here sooner than you think.