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July 20, 2014

The Rundown (7/20)

This edition of The Rundown focuses on just how BC orchestrated their big summer among other things.

Several site members have asked just what the Eagles did to set up their incredible string of summer commitments that catapulted the class into the Top 20 of the national rankings. Was it a coincidence, or was it by design?

The answer - by design.

Of course there's the element of chance and a degree of unpredictability when you're dealing with recruiting and 16- and 17-year old kids. But BC did their homework.

Sources told us this weekend that almost every single one of BC's summer commitments attended camp with the Eagles. BC's coaches had identified a large pool of players, some well-known by recruiting services and other schools and some not, and that pool was largely comprised of players they felt were good fits. But they wanted them to camp. They're willing to wait on the highest caliber recruits, like Christian Wilkins, Qaadir Sheppard, etc., but going into the summer camp season all of the current commitments were guys that staff members had an inkling could be pretty good.

Because they relied largely on their own evaluation they were dealing with players that would be more likely to jump on offers. The timing was well-planned, getting so many of them on campus around the same time. When one, two, three and then more players committed, the others were watching very closely. After all, they were visiting, had just visited, or were planning to visit. So they saw spots were dwindling and their opportunity to play for BC might not last long.

Some, like Wyatt Knopfke and Mehdi El-Attract, did not camp. The staff just knew plenty about those guys and just wanted them on board.

Very few of the players who committed knew one another, so each was independently researched - and the staff had a good read on just how interested each was in the Eagles.

Another factor - the staff feels summer is just the best time, in general but especially at BC, to go for that run of commitments. The weather is never better. And just as important, a source told us, "We have great kids."

The staff feels like the players on the roster are one of BC's biggest recruiting advantages, because they're willing to take recruits under their wing and spend some down time with them. Summer is when they've got the most time to devote to that task.

We asked whether any current players in particular are especially strong recruiters and were told it's really a team-wide effort. Players are paired with recruits on the basis of a variety of factors - what their major is, where they're from, what position they play, what their interests are, etc. It's difficult to overstate how much research goes into the process and how important all of it is. It's a well-choreographed effort.

Jeff Smith, for instance, spent a lot of quality time with current players and that was a big factor in his decision.

More on those offensive linemen

Sometimes offensive linemen tend to get overlooked. In BC's case, many committed early, so that's definitely a temptation. Here's some important info on BC's linemen, some of which has been written already right here at Eagle Action.

John Monteiro is a legitimate 6-foot-6, 308 pounds. He's a big guy.

John Phillips is much bigger than his listed size and he's one of the top couple of players sources seem to think will be a sleeper - potentially one of the better long-term prospects in the class.

And Chris Lindstrom is in the ballpark of 6-foot-4, 245-250 pounds, rather than the 236 he's listed as. He's definitely still lean, but he's bigger than advertised. BC feels good about this group.

Speaking of those linemen, a source told us it's unlikely that any of them will move to defensive tackle. That's because with the expected losses after this year the position will need to be replenished in large measure. Most schools like to have about 18 offensive linemen on scholarship at all times.

And speaking of linemen in general, keep an eye out for 2016 tackle Tommy Kraemer, a truly elite prospect with BC, Northwestern, Duke, Notre Dame and Ohio State as his five favorites. A source reiterated their optimism this week, though it's still an uphill climb given the competition.

Glines could play different spots

When Ben Glines committed he said he was being recruited to be a receiver for the Eagles. That's a possibility, but a source told us this week he could play a number of different spots.

"We're not going to whiff on him," one source said, alluding to the possibility that if one position doesn't work out another will.

The plan for official visits

One source told us this weekend that BC will likely keep the same rough outline for official visits this year. In other words, they want to bring the commitments in for official visits after the season, closer to Signing Day. I asked whether the USC game could become a big event for recruiting and was told most officials will be after the season, so that's worth noting.

2016 focus right now

Aside from the elite prospects that already have BC offers, the focus of early research lately has been the local players - Koby Quansah and Isaiah Wright of Connecticut, teammates of Sharrieff Grice; Scooter Harrington, whose father, Scott, played at Boston College; and players like that. The staff is looking for unique connections to the area or the school or other recruits or players that could make for good fits.

I've mentioned Robert Washington (2016) and Aapri Washington (2017) several times and will be running a story on the latter tomorrow. Not only have they visited BC multiple times and plan to visit again, but they have a lot of family in Waterbury, Conn., and the hope (from BC's vantage point) is the allure of getting to play in front of all those people will pay off.

Also, Bryce Dixon - a 6-foot-4 receiver from Cary (N.C.) Green Hope - was the top underclassman at the Rivals Camp Series Charlotte, and he's got some connections to the area that we're exploring.

Boston College NEWS


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