Last season, Boston College football had 13 All-ACC selections, was ranked in the AP Poll for the first time in 10 years, and hosted College GameDay against the eventual national champions with an ACC divisional title on the line. Yet, when all was said and done, the Eagles wrapped up the 2018 campaign in a familiar place—with a 7-5 record.
Now, head coach Steve Addazio and a reshuffled staff—featuring new coordinators on both sides of the ball—will aim to overcome turnover on the defensive side of the ball with an explosive offense anchored by a Heisman candidate running back and an established third-year starting quarterback. Will the Eagles start strong and limp to the finish line? Does AJ Dillon have what it takes to make a splash on the national stage? We’ve got the answers to that and more in our 2019 Boston College football preview.
Take a listen to our podcast answering the 10 biggest questions facing BC, peruse our preseason coverage, and take a good look at our comprehensive breakdown of both the schedule and the first depth chart of the season.
— Heights Sports
Twists and Turns
Every game of the year was jam packed with twists and turns, and Wednesday’s bowl—which culminated in the NCAA’s first-ever postseason weather cancellation—was no exception. Although ultimately disappointing, the 2018 season provided BC students, fans, and alumni with more excitement than any other 12 or 13-game slate the school has seen in the past nine or so years—and while that might not show up on paper, it certainly counted for something. FULL STORY
Acquisitions / Departures
Boston College football just lost arguably its most talented class in program history. Of the Eagles’ school-record 13 All-ACC selections, only two, running back A.J. Dillon and center Ben Petrula, are returning to the Heights this season. Four players heard their names called during the NFL Draft, including Chris Lindstrom—BC’s first opening-round pick since 2012—and nine others signed as undrafted free agents.
To make matters worse, the Eagles lost a four-star recruit—inside linebacker Tommy Eichenberg—in mid-November to Ohio State. Then, before signing day, BC watched three-star linebacker Marvin Ham flip to Colorado and three-star offensive guard Maurice Smith swap ACC allegiances by switching his commitment to Florida State. Even so, the Eagles didn’t go empty-handed this offseason.
Head coach Steve Addazio’s team ended up with the 63rd best recruiting class in the nation, ranking eight spots higher than the previous year. Not only that, but it also pulled in a much-needed place kicker on the transfer market. BC will need all the help it can get, as it only returns 53 percent of its 2018 production, clocking in at 110th nationally in SB Nation’s annual returning production rankings—79 spots lower than last year. The Eagles are tied with North Carolina State, but only one other ACC team—Georgia Tech—and six total Power Five programs rank lower than BC. FULL STORY
Recruiting: With 10 All-ACC players lost to graduation, head coach Steve Addazio had several places to look to the future—and in large part, the 2019 class reflected that. BC lost both its starting safeties and two of its three defensive linemen, so the incoming class of 2023 features a combined seven players at those positions.
“We’re real excited about the class that we’ve signed, and moving forward here in 2019,” head coach Steve Addazio told reporters during Wednesday’s press conference, per BCEagles.com. “I thought we’ve enhanced our team in areas that we needed to enhance our team.” FULL STORY
Transfer Portal: The Eagles were also busy in the transfer portal, snagging six players. The biggest additions were Clemson defensive end Richard Yeargin III, who arrived after two years away from football due to an injury sustained in a car crash, and Penn State tight end Danny Dalton. Temple kicker Aaron Boumerhi also arrived and quickly slotted into the starting role, while Miami guard Hayden Mahoney and Rhode Island center Dwayne Scott both made the two-deep. Click for stories on Yeargin III, Boumerhi, and Dalton.
The last scrimmage of fall camp saw Steve Addazio’s side improve in their execution, but BC was hampered by penalties at times and has two weeks to clean up before the season opener.
BC hosted its first scrimmage of training camp on Saturday. The rust was there, but a handful of Eagles, including wide receiver C.J. Lewis and placekicker Aaron Boumerhi, turned heads.
In his press conference at media day, new Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan spoke about BC’s promising freshmen class, and key returning players including Brandon Sebastian and Isaiah McDuffie.
Head coach Steve Addazio called this year’s team the “most athletic” he’s had, and additionally focused on BC’s outgoing class, AJ Dillon’s workload, and the NFL talent on the offensive line.
New offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian talked about tight end usage in his offense, Anthony Brown’s accuracy, and AJ Dillon as a pass-catching threat during his first media day press conference.
A.J. Dillon is the first player in program history to rush for over 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons, and Petrula started 24 games as an underclassmen, playing both center and right tackle.
Boumerhi, who saw his 2018 season cut short due to a hip injury, joins the Eagles seeking to return to his All-AAC Second Team level of play and should immediately factor in the starting kicker competition.
After retiring from football due to a neck injury suffered in a car accident, former Clemson defensive end Richard Yeargin confirmed his intent to play football again in an appearance on The Clemson Dubcast. He’ll play for BC as a graduate transfer in 2019.
BC football had its annual spring game Saturday. The contest featured a modified scoring system, a standout performance from the offensive line, and a showcase of the Eagles’ running back depth.
After a lengthy wait that began when Boston College football left Dallas a few hours early due to the cancellation of the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl, we finally have a game week again. With that comes the release of the team’s initial depth chart. While many positions solidified starters, there were still some interesting developments. Here’s how things shook out on the offensive side of the ball: FULL STORY
On the other side of the ball, BC lost a host of talent, including three starting defensive backs and its two best pass rushers, to the NFL following the 2018 season. The Eagles also saw major changes on the coaching staff, with defensive backs coach Anthony Campanile departing for Michigan and Bill Sheridan stepping into the defensive coordinator role. What’s left is a unit with many question marks, and the opportunity for younger players to step up. Here’s how BC lines up two-deep ahead of its Week 1 clash with Virginia Tech. FULL STORY
The Eagles football opens its season against a conference opponent for the second time under Steve Addazio, travels to the defending national champions, and plays another College Football Playoff participant on the road as well.
For a comprehensive breakdown of every opponent on the 2019 schedule, CLICK HERE.