For Steve Addazio to have success at Boston College he's going to have to win local recruiting battles. Lots of them. Judging by the way local high school coaches reacted to the hire he's going to be starting from a position of strength.
Addazio has extensive ties in the Northeast and long-standing relationships with many of the coaches in the area. Those coaches, to a man, said the Addazio hire was a good one for the Eagles.
Several themes were clear when they described the Eagles' new coach: Emotional, hard-nosed, and integrity.
Everett head coach John Dibiaso knows a little bit about the in-state recruiting scene. He's sending the state's top prospect, John Montelus to Notre Dame. His four-star lineman once considered Boston College but decided relatively early in the process that he would head off to South Bend.
Dibiaso has known Addazio for many years.
"He recruited our school when he was at Syracuse [1997-1998] and he got one of our best players there, Diamond Ferri," Dibiaso said. "We had a pretty good relationship with him when he was at Florida, Notre Dame and Temple. He had a pretty good rapport with the local coaches."
Dave Dykeman is another coach familiar with the local recruiting scene. Now the head coach at Cheshire Academy, home of one-time BC commit Cory Jasudowich, Dykeman spent several years at Worcester and Nauset.
It was inevitable that he would get to know Addazio well as their paths have crossed many times.
"I think it's a great hire for Boston College," Dykeman said. "He's definitely a guy with New England ties. I think he'll do a great job there.
"In the recruiting process he's high-energy and emotional. He's very reputable. You always got honest answers with him."
Dykeman believes Addazio has an impressive staff at Temple and said he would not be surprised to see Addazio bring some of his assistants with him to Boston College.
Recently, especially this year, Boston College has had more success recruiting Connecticut than Massachusetts. Dykeman has seen the Eagles miss on some prospects and believes they can reverse that trend. But it will require the Eagles to adopt a strategy that involves aggressive early recruiting.
"I think they've got to identify those guys early and have them excited to stay home and represent BC and the ACC," he said. "They play in a great conference. It's just a matter of identifying those guys early."
Any Boston College coach that wants to make a splash on the recruiting scene is going to be familiar with the players Don Bosco (N.J.) is putting out on a yearly basis. Fortunately for BC, Addazio is well-known at the school.
Don Bosco head coach Greg Toal knows plenty about Boston College, of course. And he knows Addazio well enough to speak about him with authority.
"I've obviously known Steve for a while and he's a very emotional, passionate coach," Toal said. "I think it's a great fit. I think his style is going to be good. He was once a high school coach so he understands young kids and dealing with freshmen.
"I thought he did quite a job over at Temple and trying to adapt to the Big East. He's obviously been around. He's been at Notre Dame, Florida and some great schools.
"He's a hard-nosed guy. He's not going to compromise. He'll do things the right way and I think he's a great hire in so many ways."
Addazio has an easier sell from his position at Boston College than he did at Temple, but it's clear the Eagles have some work ahead of them. Coaching changes present an opportunity, but that window of opportunity doesn't stay open for long.
It will be crucial, starting quickly with the Class of 2014, for the Eagles to make a splash with recruits. And where better to start than their own backyard?
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