- Jamie Newberg, RecruitingNation
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Boston College is not known as a national recruiting power, but it has certainly flexed its muscles and been one of the most consistent teams in the ACC since it joined the conference in 2005. The Eagles have averaged nine wins a season in that span and trail only Virginia Tech among ACC teams in conference and total wins.
Despite having three coaches since 1997, Boston College has also been consistent in landing solid recruiting classes.
Frank Spaziani took over in January 2009 and has taken a different approach to recruiting than his predecessor, Jeff Jagodzinski. Whereas Jagodzinski didn't like to recruit, Spaziani has embraced it and has developed a reputation as an underrated closer.
Boston College also faces some tougher hurdles when it comes to recruiting. The school has more stringent academic standards, which limits it from pursuing some prospects. The Eagles also lack a fertile home state since Massachusetts does not produce many blue-chippers.
Spaziani & Co. will follow their typical plan of combing the East Coast to fill their roster in 2011, but they are also recruiting heavily in Illinois and Ohio.
The Eagles have a few quality commitments, but a slow start has them lacking in quantity compared to some of their ACC rivals. At this point, Boston College has seven commitments, with only NC State having fewer for the Class of 2011.
This will be a year where Spaziani will have to earn his closer status, but expect the Eagles to bring in a haul of 22-24 signees when all is said and done.
Who the Eagles have
Headlining their commitments is four-star tight end Brian Miller (Andover, Mass.). At 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, Miller is a very good receiver who can flex out, and his athleticism will make him a nice weapon for the Eagles' offense.
Boston College has landed one of the more underrated quarterback prospects in the country in three-star recruit Christian Suntrup (St. Louis/Chaminade College Prep). Suntrup is fundamentally sound, and his poise and intangibles show up in his game-management skills. Suntrup has good size, an accurate arm and some mobility in the pocket.
Defensive tackle Kieran Borcich (Bronxville, N.Y.) is an anchor in the middle who had 94 tackles and 24 sacks as a junior. Borcich, 6-3 and 270 pounds, is strong at the point of attack and holds his ground well against the run. With a pretty good first step, he is also an above-average pass-rusher.
Joining Borcich on the defensive line is three-star end Brian Mihalik (Avon Lake, Ohio). At 6-6 and 235 pounds, he's a long and lean prospect who will benefit from some time in the weight room. Mihalik plays with a high motor and is a disciplined defender. His father also played at Boston College.
Somewhat of a surprise was the commitment of Connor Wujciak (West Orange, N.J./Seton Hall Prep), a three-star defensive end who most thought could be headed to Maryland, where his brother plays. Wujciak is a versatile player (also a tight end) with a good motor and speed who recorded 64 tackles and 11 sacks as a junior. His father, Alan, won a national championship with the Notre Dame football team in 1973.
Rounding out the commitments is three-star middle linebacker Nick Lifka (Naperville, Ill./Naperville North). He is a sound inside player with strong fundamentals, especially when it comes to tackling. At 6-2 and 232 pounds, he is stout against the run and recorded 116 tackles as a junior. Like some of the other commits, Lifka has football in his blood, as he has two uncles who played at Notre Dame.
Who the Eagles still want
Boston College should be one of the most active schools in terms of commitments over the coming months. With so few players in the fold, the Eagles will need to bring in at least 17 more players. The key need areas for this class are along the offensive and defensive lines and at defensive back.
Which other players are coach Spaziani and staff still seeking? On offense, the Eagles have offered scholarships to running back Trayion Durham (Cincinnati/Colerain); wide receivers Damiere Byrd (Sicklerville, N.J./Timber Creek), Darius Jennings (Baltimore/Gilman) and Curt Evans (Hollywood, Fla./Chaminade-Madonna); and tight ends Jack Konopka (Palatine, Ill./Fremd) and Jack Tabb (Red Bank, N.J./Red Bank Catholic).
Offensive linemen are a huge need, and they would love to land their share from the following group of prospects: Ryan Kelly (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West), Jordan Walsh (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard West), Trip Thurman (Dover, Del.), Angelo Mangiro (Succasunna, N.J./Roxbury), Errin Joe (Lakeland, Fla./Auburndale), Pat Flavin (Lisle, Ill./Benet Academy), Nick Martin (Indianapolis/Bishop Chatard), Dan Lembke (New Lenox, Ill./Providence Catholic), Victor Nelson (Park Ridge, Ill./Maine Township South) and Jay Whitmire (Alexandria, Va./T.C. Williams).
On the other side of the ball, BC has to land some defensive linemen. James Adeyanju (Chicago/Curie), Riley McMinn (Rochester, Ill.), Johnathan Harris (Boynton Beach, Fla.), Shilique Calhoun (Middletown, N.J./Middletown North) and Jordan Kerner (Fairview, Pa.) are some names to watch. Linebackers Steve Daniels (Cincinnati/St. Xavier), Graham Stewart (Middletown, Conn./Xavier) and Sean Duggan (Cincinnati/St. Xavier); safeties Mike Caputo (Imperial, Pa./West Allegheny) and Nick Kwiatkoski (Bethel Park, Pa.); cornerbacks Demetrious Nicholson (Virginia Beach, Va./Bayside), Terrell Chestnut (Pottstown, Pa.), Darius Hillary (Cincinnati/Sycamore) and Chris Dukes (Cincinnati/Colerain); and athletes Torrey Campbell (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier) and Tanner McEvoy (Oradell, N.J./Bergen Catholic) are all defensive prospects in the Eagles' sights.
If Boston College finishes off its 2011 recruiting class the way it started, the Eagles will have put together a fine class that could finish inside the top 25. Of the Eagles' current commitments, six have a scouts' grade of 77 or higher, and Boston College has landed kids from six states. As BC tries once again to land a solid recruiting class, consistency -- on and off the field -- will be the key.
Jamie Newberg has been covering recruiting both in the Southeast and nationally for 19 years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Boston College has started slow in its 2011 recruiting, but with Frank Spaziani's reputation as a closer, the Eagles could finish strong.