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July 17, 2014

Summer Shakedown: Offensive Line

Summer workouts continue at the Heights for the Eagles, leaving plenty of time to evaluate where they stand before camp heats up in August.

For the third installment of our position-by-position look at the BC roster this summer, we look at the offensive line. BC's offensive line is considered the strength of the offense and maybe the entire team.

Let's examine why, here:

Overview

The interior of the offensive line returns in place with center Andy Gallik, and guards Bobby Vardaro and Harris Williams. All three players took a huge step forward in their development last year and if they continue to grow this year then they could be candidates for All-ACC performers. Gallik was a 3rd Team All-ACC member last year and Williams and Vardaro could've easily joined him with the performances they put in.

The Eagles will need to replace Matt Patchan and Ian White outside at the tackle spots. Seniors Seth Betancourt and Ian Silberman have been assigned to try and fill that void. Betancourt has served as a reliable backup since his arrival at BC and looks to be up for the challenge. Silberman is a transfer from Florida, where he started seven games over the last two seasons. Steve Addazio hopes he can get the same production out of Silberman that he got out of Patchan last year.

Spring Surprise…Kramer is Solid Backup

Two years ago Aaron Kramer made the switch from tackle to guard without much fanfare. From the looks of things, Kramer has really settled in at guard. During spring practice Kramer showed flashed of very good run blocking as he opened up big lanes for the running backs. Vardaro and Williams are a very good guard tandem for the Eagles, but if either went down it looks like Kramer could be a reliable fill-in.

The big question: Can the line sustain an injury?

BC was very lucky last season in that the line stayed healthy almost the entire year. Even Matt Patchan who came to BC with a lengthy history of injuries was able to start all 13 games at left tackle. The Eagles benefited from having the same starting five in every game last season.

The only bad news with that is that BC hasn't had the opportunity to get the backups much playing time. If one of the tackles went down this year is there someone who could step in and perform without there being a huge drop-off? On the interior, Kramer looks like a player that could step in and provide solid production, but even he doesn't have much game experience.

What does the future hold at offensive line?


That's tough to say. With a void of injuries last year not much is known about the BC backups. That's a little scary to think about, but particularly at the tackle spots with Betancourt and Silberman graduating after this year. It appears that help is on the way in the '15 class at that spot though. According to EagleAction analyst Justin Rowland, "Anthony Palazzolo, John Phillips, and Aaron Monteiro are all going to ultimately play in the 6-foot-5 to 6-foot-6 range, and they'll all check in at better than 300 pounds by the time they're in game shape at BC. Thus, it's reasonable to expect that they'll play offensive tackle unless one is needed to move inside."


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