CB Will Blackmon

2004 Statistics

Coach: Tom O'Brien
59-39, 8 years
2004 Record: 9-3
at Ball State WON 19-11
at Wake Forest LOST 14-17
at Pittsburgh LOST 17-20
at Notre Dame WON 24-23
at West Virginia WON 36-17
at Temple WON 34-17
vs. North Carolina WON 37-24

2004 Final Rankings
AP-21, Coaches-21, BCS-UR

2005 Outlook

This is a big year for the Eagles. They left the Big East, which they helped to found, on a somewhat sour note. BC is still bitterly disappointed in blowing their chance to say goodbye with a BCS bid after dominating the conference until the end (Syracuse loss cost them the BCS shot). But this campaign is like a fresh slate, meaning no lingering affects will be there come September. It's a new year, a new conference, and they're poised to do well.

If football is really still won in the trenches, BC's in good shape. Both lines are loaded with talented veterans and the running game is solid as usual. The ACC's known for its skill position players, but Virginia Tech won last year by pounding the ball up the middle and by playing tough defense. With a "new" QB, BC will look to use the same scheme to introduce themselves to their new conference brethren.

The schedule could be worse - they skip Miami and Georgia Tech, and Florida State, Virginia and N. C. State all come to the Heights. The Eagles must develop a passing game early, otherwise defenses will effectively key on Callender and Whitworth. As well, they get good cornerback play or else that Sept. 17 date with the Seminoles will turn ugly, fast.

O'Brien is a good coach and this may be his best Eagles squad yet. He typically takes an underrated squad deep into the polls, so if you think he will struggle, think again. They're dangerous and they'll be an immediate force in their new conference, with the "Atlantic" division wide open as of preseason. Three of their four tilts to end being on the road will make or break this Golden Eagle group. Fans will just have to understand when the competition level ultimately proves why this is a step up - and therefore an eventual boon, just not this initial campaign. Now, if they could only bank on another win over (non-scheduled for the first time in 13 years after winning the last four) Notre Dame to cushion any conference disappointments…

Projected 2005 record: 8-3
QB - 3 DL - 3.5
RB - 3.5 LB - 4
WR - 3 DB - 3.5
OL - 4 ..

Passing: Matt Ryan, 71-35-3, 350 yds. 2 TD

Rushing: Andre Callender, 138 att., 637 yds., 2 TD

Receiving: Larry Lester, 35 rec., 515 yds., 2 TD

Scoring: Ryan Ohliger, 13-19 FG, 31-34 PAT, 76 pts.

Punting: Johnny Ayers, 63 punts, 39.3 avg.

Kicking: Ryan Ohliger, 13-19 FG, 31-34 PAT, 76 pts.

Tackles: Ricky Brown, 81 tot., 52 solo

Sacks: Mathias Kiwanuka, 11.5 sacks

Interceptions: Ray Henderson, 6 for 52 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Will Blackmon, 28 ret., 27.2 avg., 1 TD

Punt Returns: Will Blackmon, 23 ret., 11.3 avg., 1 TD


TB Andre Callender
OFFENSE: Paul Peterson-QB, Everett Lee-FB, Grant Adams-WR, Joel Hazard-WR, David Kashetta-TE
DEFENSE: Tim Bulman-DT, Phil Mettling-DE, Peter Shean-CB, T.J. Stancil-FS

With Paul Peterson gone, look for the return of Quinton Porter. The big guy (6'5") from Maine started 10 games in 2003, then redshirted after losing a battle in spring for the starting job to Peterson. Back now for his senior year, Porter, a solid passer who can marginally hurt you on the ground, too, will pick up where Peterson left off. He was inconsistent in 2003 and had trouble with some of the tougher defenses he faced, but he's got an upside not fully realized. The Eagles had better hope he shakes off any rust quickly. If Porter goes down, physically similar sophomore Matt Ryan, who threw three INTs in the disastrous Syracuse game that cost BC a BCS bid last year, steps in. Ryan also performed respectably in other spots when Peterson was hurt last season, but he has not gotten the pace of the college game, so expect a drop off here with his presence.

Running Back
The Eagles have a talented trio here that will drive the offense. Andre Callender, L. V. Whitworth and A. J. Brooks all return for their sophomore seasons. And while Callender looks like the main man, the other two plan to contribute as well. The shifty Callender is stronger than he appears, running between the tackles with authority while going outside well, too. But Callender has had a tendency to get banged up (finger, groin), which is where the north-south Whitworth steps in. He pretty much shared time with Callender, but is the focus in the red-zone. Orlando's A. J. Brooks, who averaged 5.6 yards per as a true frosh, will again bolster Callender and Whitworth, though he isn't the same receiver the other two can be. Neither Mark Palmer nor any other FB was ever utilized in the run game, but in his first year of eligibility since transferring from Utah, he proves to be a pass target foes can't ignore.

This group will need to develop fast as depth is at a premium. Larry Lester returns for his senior season and hopes to put last year's injuries behind him. He's dangerous, but small and therefore not the ideal field-stretcher. Look for a breakout year if he's healthy. Nobody else is that reliable. Junior Tony Gonzalez has shown potential, but junior Jason Lilly has been inconsistent, though he has the size-speed combo needed to take safeties away from the underneath stuff. Others lack experience, but Montreal-native Kevin Challenger will break into this mix. Don't be surprised if redshirt freshman Brandon Robinson gets a long look from coaches. There's even been talk that speedy cornerback Will Blackmon will see some action on this side of the ball. That's how badly the Eagles need to develop this unit/position. This unit's uncertainty will assuredly affect their initial ACC showing.

Tight End
Senior Chris Miller is a big target with soft, oft-relied upon hands. He blossomed in extensive playing time behind David Kashetta. With Kashetta gone, he's the man, and gives Porter an inviting option in the middle. Trey Koziol and Ryan Purvis will compliment Miller well, with Purvis a surely-used target, too.

Offensive Line
It is so true here (again), that it all starts on the line. The Eagles bring back the same five guys who started nearly every game of '04, and some capable backups. They're big, they're nasty and they're up to the challenge of protecting Porter (who is much bigger than Peterson). But they will be measured by their ability to blast open holes for Callender and Whitworth. The crucial continuity in the ground game has to produce more than 3.7 per try and 12 rushing TDs. The coaches like junior tackle Josh Beeckman, and giant Jeremy Trueblood will have a huge impact in his senior year. Those battle scars will translate into cohesion and push as these guys balance the run and pass better (23 sacks allowed should decrease, too).

With a big, strong line and three proven, talented backs, the Eagles plan to run, run, run (over 50% runs in 2004). And they will improve I-A's 74th-rated ground attack, but by how much will go a long way in translating the Golden Eagle's final placement. Callender, Whitworth and Co. all have the varied size and talents, and they'll certainly wear down smaller defenses via rotations. But eventually, defensive coordinators will load up the box, and the veteran Porter just has to pick up where he left off in 2003. The mobile, strong-armed quarterback willingly sat out last year, and now the reigns are his. There's no reason Porter can't make this squad feared again, but the Eagles need to validate their receivers, which will then keep defenses honest.


OT Jeremy Trueblood


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Quintin Porter-Sr (6-5, 233) Matt Ryan-So (6-5, 221)
FB Mark Palmer-Jr (6-3, 245) Paddy Lynch-So (6-2, 237)
TB L.V. Whitworth-So (6-0, 222) Andre Callender-So (5-11, 199)
WR Larry Lester-Sr (5-8, 183) Tony Gonzales-Jr (5-11, 190)
WR Will Blackmon-Sr (6-0, 202) (DB) Jason Lilly-Sr (6-2, 213)
TE Chris Miller-Sr (6-5, 258) Trey Koziol-So (6-5, 255)
OT Jeremy Trueblood-Sr (6-9, 330) Ryan Poles-So (6-4, 305)
OG James Marten-Jr (6-8, 313) Shadu Moore-Jr (6-3, 308)
C Patrick Ross-Sr (6-4, 295) Kevin Sheridan-So (6-3, 286)
OG Josh Beekman-Jr (6-2, 320) Tom Anevski-So (6-3, 280)
OT Gosder Cherilus-So (6-7, 310) Ty Hall-So (6-5, 290)
K Ryan Ohliger-So (5-9, 195) ..



Defensive Line
BC was thrilled when Big East Defensive Player of the Year Mathias Kiwanuka decided to return. The mammoth (6'7") DE terrorizes opposing quarterbacks (24.5 TFLs, third-most in the nation), and is keen enough to grab two INTs, too (one for a score) while tying for fifth in all I-A for sacks (11.5). After the first-team NC.net all-American, though, the pickings are rather thin. Oft-injured ends (junior) Jake Ottolini and (sophomore) Nick Larkin have the most experience. Coaches like sophomore Keith Willis, expect him to get a good look, as will true freshman Brendan Deska. The tackles are in better shape for depth, however. Alvin Washington returns for his senior year, and B. J. Raji's size and speed make it so he will achieve at plugging up the run. Even bigger (360 pounds) is sophomore converted-OL Ron Brace. Let's see ACC backs try and run up the middle on this crowd. What was the 33rd-rated run-stopping crew will get even better, but only 24 sacks again with this much talent will not fulfill the potential 30+ they should have. But this unit holds its own so the back-seven can gel.

All three of the returning starters are excellent. Brian Toal announced his presence in the Big East with authority last year, winning a starting job by mid-season and being named the conference's Defensive Rookie of the Year by the end. He lived up to the hype, and with another year will be even better. Former defensive back Ricky Brown led the team in tackles with 76. He's quick and good against the run. Ray Henderson is coming off a strong junior year, too, and has emerged into an emotional leader for the defense. He's strongest in pass coverage (six INTs led team). Off the bench, sophomores galore will make impressions for when the two seniors leave. The corps consists of quick, tenacious guys, so size issues in the ACC can pose problems.

Defensive Back
This unit will be severely tested. Expect opposing offenses to run outside as well as throw (consistently that much) better than most Big East teams. The corners have well-sized Will Blackmon as their best - he doubles as the secondary's leader. Senior Jazzmen Williams is solid enough to overcome his size deficiencies. Coaches are banking on four highly-touted underclassmen to help out, so nickel- and dime-packages will be measuring sticks for who gets subsequent playing time. At safety, there is depth, but not a ton of experience. Larry Anam is the favorite to replace him. Strong safety Ryan Glasper still has a huge growth potential. Expect him to keep starting, with talented sophomore Jamie Silva (three fumble recoveries) making for fresh legs deep.

They're stout in the trenches, but marginally exposed on the corners. It's going to be very tough to run on these Eagles. With a big defensive line and three tough LBs they're going to control the line of scrimmage and put heat on opposing quarterbacks. Even though Kiwanuka can do it alone (even when double-teamed), Toal and Henderson will create multiple levels of leadership and strength. The trick is going to be containing the outside run and preventing the deep ball. As usual at the highest levels, it's all about the corners. And O'Brien's first order of business in spring ball is to square that position away. How far their formerly-25th-ranked pass (efficiency) defense drops will be a key determinant for where the entire team places.


DE Mathias Kiwanuka


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Mathias Kiwanuka-Sr (6-7, 261) Jake Ottolini-Jr (6-4, 254)
DT Alvin Washington-Sr (6-1, 280) Justin Bell-Jr (6-3, 308)
DT B.J. Raji-So (6-1, 322) Ron Brace-Fr (6-3, 361)
DE Nick Larkin-So (6-4, 246) Jeff Burns-Jr (6-4, 240)
SLB Ricky Brown-Sr (6-2, 228) Tyronne Pruitt-So (5-11, 221)
MLB Ray Henderson-Sr (6-3, 227) Jolonn Dunbar-So (6-1, 225)
WLB Brian Toal-So (6-1, 223) Ray Lankford-So (6-1, 229)
CB DeJuan Tribble-So (5-9, 187) Will Blackmon-Sr (6-0, 220)
CB Jazzmen Williams-Sr (5-8, 181) Brad Mueller-So (5-11, 186)
SS Ryan Glasper-Jr (6-0, 205) Taj Morris-So (5-10, 188)
FS Larry Anam-Jr (6-0, 197) Jamie Silva-So (5-11, 208)
P Johnny Ayers-So (5-11, 179) ..




Sophomore Ryan Ohliger hit 13-of-18 FGAs, going 4-of-5 from all-important 40+ range. Ryan's ability to hit it high and deep on KOs is why BC will again try to hold foes to 15 per return.

Sophomore Johnny Ayers also had a respectable first campaign. Coaches would like to see him up his yardage a bit from just under 40 per try, although he, too, gets the net results needed.

Return Game
Blackmon is the man here. He's speedy and dangerous with vision of the field like few ever show. He does both kicks and punts and ran one of each back. Other options include Tribble, who had two TDs on PRs himself, and possibly Mueller.