February 15, 2012

Vardaro Ready to Take the Next Step

Last season, many young members of the football team had to step into roles they might not have felt prepared for as the injury bug bit many of the team's veteran members. Bobby Vardaro watched LG Nathan Richman for an entire season. The two players became incredibly close. "He's my mentor, pretty much. Locker right next to mine, we talked all the time and we still talk. I'm actually going to be an Orientation Leader just like he was," Vardaro said. Against Northwestern, the redshirt freshman offensive lineman watched his mentor go down and after recovering from an injury in the same game, Vardaro got the starting nod.

The 6'5" guard had the size and strength to take over the starting job in Richman's absence but he did not think he was ready to fill the gap. "I was behind Nate so I thought I had kind of a cushion and when he went down it was a real shock to be the first string right then and there. It was a ride but each game I got more confident. Once I knew Nate wasn't coming back, I just kind of had to suck it up" Vardaro said. As Vardaro's reps increased so did his belief in his ability to compete at a high level.

The North Reading native came to Boston College, like many do, for its traditions. Namely, the track record BC has academically and its moniker as O-Line U. Location didn't hurt either. "I'm a mama's boy. I have to be close to my parents and stuff. They come up once a week or so," Vardaro joked. Other D1 schools including Tulane, UConn, Buffalo, and Vanderbilt sought the big lineman's talents but he chose to become and Eagle.

Knowing he would most likely sit his first year on campus, Vardaro focused on the transition to college life. As a graduate of Phillips Andover, the academic side of life at BC did not surprise him too much. Vardaro, though, offered a story about his one of his first days on the football field. "Kaleb Ramsey literally picked me up. I was 330 back then, so I was big. He picked me up off my feet and lifted me ten yards back. That was one of those real enlightening moments," Vardaro said.

Vardaro's first season as a starter did not go too well in terms of wins and losses but he has plenty of confidence in the future. "We're a lot closer as a team than we started off as. Since there's so many of us coming back, I think we'll the bond will only get stronger over the years," Vardaro said. Throughout the locker room, reminders of last season's stumble help the players stay motivated this off season. "4-8 is taped everywhere," Vardaro said. With the start of Spring practice on Saturday, the young BC Eagles team will begin building towards next fall and Bobby Vardaro is ready to see how much his strength has improved as he takes his place on the offensive line.

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