Johnny Langan is exactly the kind of quarterback Boston College football targets—a Catholic private school gunslinger from New Jersey. But, as soon as reached Chestnut Hill, he realized what he was missing: home.
On Wednesday—the same day that the Eagles reeled in 16 new recruits for the upcoming season—Langan received his transfer release and announced that he is heading to Rutgers.
“It felt natural, to me, to go back to Rutgers,” Langan told ScarletNation.com. “New Jersey is a big part of me, and I don’t think I really realized that until I left. I think I have a really good opportunity there.”
New Jersey is equally as important for BC. Given that it is within what head coach Steve Addazio calls BC’s “five-hour footprint,” it tends to be a breeding ground for Eagles. In fact, of the 16 incoming recruits, four are from the Garden State.
“Certainly New Jersey always has and always will be—let’s call that a home area for us,” Addazio told BCEagles.com during Wednesday’s National Signing Day press conference. “That’s not a new phenomenon in the last five or six years. I mean it’s been that way for a long time, and it makes sense that it would be that way.”
A Bergen Catholic graduate, Langan hails from Wayne, N.J. Playing under Nunzio Campanile—now Rutgers’ running backs coach—Langan threw for over 2,000 yards and 23 touchdowns, all while rushing for 825 yards and 12 scores as a senior at Bergen Catholic, leading his school to its first Non-Public Group Four State Championship since 2004. At the time, Langan—rated the No. 26 dual-threat quarterback in the nation by ESPN Recruiting—had offers to play for Temple, Syracuse, Buffalo, BC, and Rutgers. Back then, though, he wasn’t thinking about sticking around his hometown.
“In recruiting, I almost kind of listened to everybody else in what they were saying about Rutgers, but I never really gave it a real chance because there is such a bias toward it nowadays that everyone has to leave the state, and that is just not that case,” Langan said.
He’ll have plenty of time to leave his mark at Rutgers. Because he redshirted the 2018 campaign, he still has four years of eligibility remaining. This isn’t the first time the Scarlet Knights have stolen a player from BC, nor will it be the last. Last year, Jonathan Hilliman transferred to Rutgers for his final year of eligibility, returning to the school that he originally committed to back in 2013. The veteran running back racked up 275 yards and five scores in the first six games, only to see his number of touches decrease in the back half of the year.
Despite the fact that Rutgers has logged an 11-37 record the past four seasons, New Jersey homers like Langan still keep coming back to Rutgers—and that’s something that speaks louder than wins and losses.
Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Senior Staff