There wasn't a lot of new installation during the opening day of fall camp for Boston College football today. Quarterback Tyler Murphy, a fifth-year transfer from Florida, said that the offense is still slowly figuring out what it's good at and how it can be successful.
The Eagles have less than a month to get read for the opener against UMass, and that's where the focus seems to be after talking to a few players and head coach Steve Addazio today. The first practice was mainly about running around and shaking off rust. The team will go full pads on Friday and then have an open scrimmage on Saturday. Here are some notes from the first day of camp:
There weren't any surprises across the offensive line, which should for the second year in a row be another point of pride for this team. The first team consisted of Andy Gallik, Harris Williams, Ian Silberman, Seth Betancourt, and Bobby Vardaro. When the offense went into power formations, Michale Giacone and Jarrett Darmstatter lined up at tight end. Redshirt freshman Charlie Callinan was the lone wide receiver with the first team in these sets, catching passes from Murphy. All of the backs looked like they were getting time, with freshmen Marcus Outlow and Jon Hilliman seeing about as much, if not more action, than Myles Willis and Tyler Rouse-mainly so the staff could get a better look at them.
UConn transfer Shakim Phillips hung out around the first team, but a minor injury sidelined him for the live-action. He is expected to return soon. When the offense went shotgun, Josh Bordner, Jeffrey Jay, Dan Crimmins, and freshman Sherman Alston got most of the looks. Although he's understandably concerned about the lack of experience at the position, Addazio raved about the size the Eagles will be able to use in the passing game.
Harrison Jackson did drill work, but didn't participate against the defense. Bobby Swigert didn't participate in the practice. Addazio said Jackson is the only player who is likely out for the year and that Swigert is doing his best to return at some point this season.
Near the end of practice the offense was slowly starting to work on zone reads with Murphy and Willis, but those plays looked fresh and came with a lot of coach instruction.
Justin Simmons took Sean Sylvia's spot in the first team secondary, lining up next to Dominique Williams with Manny Asprilla and Bryce Jones at corner. Sylvia played with the second team. Josh Keyes led the first team linebackers with Sean Duggan and Mike Strizak. Steven Daniels mainly worked with the second team.
Kevin Kavalec, Connow Wujciak, Brian Mihalik, and Truman Gutapfel started on the defensive line. Gutapfel was holding down Mehdi Abdesmad's position while he continues to recover from the season-ending injury he suffered against Florida State last season. Addazio said that Abdesmad has looked great so far, but neither he nor Abdesmad would comment on his exact status or if he'd be ready for the opener. Abdesmad sounded optimistic, though, and he did participate in defensive drills when the defense wasn't working against the offense.
-Willis was in a team meeting when Andre Williams scored his first preseason touchdown for the Giants last night, but he said that when he got out of the meeting he had so many texts and calls from friends and family that it felt like he had scored. He lit up when he was asked if he watched the game last night.
-Everyone had positive things to say about Murphy. It sounds like he's already taken a strong leadership role on the team. As Willis was leaving the media circle and Murphy was walking up, Willis smiled and said, "That's my guy right there."
-Freshman quarterback Darius Wade ran the second team offense, with fellow freshman Troy Flutie seeing some reps. It doesn't look like there's any chance Wade gets redshirted. If the staff sees a chance to get him on the field-either because of a Murphy injury or a blowout-they'll likely take it.
-Addazio sounded very excited to see the young guys play in the scrimmage on Saturday. He's planning on having two scrimmages, with the second one being the following Saturday. The second scrimmage could be watered down or feature fewer starters depending on how healthy the team is looking next week.