DB Paul Anderson

2007 Statistics

Coach: Jeff Jagodzinski
11-3, 1 year
2007 Record: 11-3
at Georgia Tech WON 24-10
ARMY WON 37-17
at Notre Dame WON 27-14
at Virginia Tech WON 14-10
at Maryland LOST 35-42
at Clemson WON 20-17
vs. Virginia Tech LOST 16-30
Michigan State WON 24-21

2007 Final Rankings
AP-10, Coaches-11, BCS-14

2008 Outlook

The initial year under current head coach Jeff Jagodzinski went well enough that BC got to their first ACC title game in just their third year in the league. That was with six seniors on defense and nine on offense from the two-deep who are now gone, so many eyes will focus on the city's sole FBS team and wonder what is to soon be. If you don't know yet, then let us be the first to tell you - this won't be the same conservative Golden Eagle squad that we've seen now since the beginning of time. Then first-year coordinator Steve Logan held his cookies while Matt Ryan was still the QB, and the serviceable approach that was used got them to their first Sunshine State bowl game since 1993. But balance wasn't a word to describe Logan's forced hand; he needs a running quarterback for all of his innovations to be seen. Ryan's exit means Boston College can finally optimize all of its athleticism with a QB who can burn foes in multiple ways. In today's modern game, this new approach will hopefully be what gets the Golden Eagles over the hump of having three losses each of the last four years, years that could have been more.

The simple analysis which most will use to see how much Ryan may be missed probably starts with the logic that since he was the third pick in the most recent NFL draft, he must have been an amazing QB who shattered NCAA records and cannot be replaced. His leadership, yes, that will not be easy to find, nor will his "je ne sais quoi" intangibles which sparked so many to sing his praises. But Ryan only rated in the mid-120's for efficiency over his final two years, so Chris Crane, his understudy for years, may just be able to take this team farther with a more open approach. Logan will make the play-calling work around Crane's talents, or lack thereof when he struggles initially through the air. With only one year to prove his worth, Crane will groom Dominique Davis the same way Ryan showed him how to tend to the offensive nest. Davis likely sees reps to make the eventual transition easier, but Crane stands out as the obvious No.1 for Saturday proceedings.

True freshmen have a place in the new look - Josh Haden has been given every accolade except the key to the city after spring proved why foes will not just be able to focus on stopping the run and therefore force the new QB(s) to beat them. A solid running QB with Haden will elicit a ground game that can make anything Logan and Jagodzinski want to do through the air feasible, if not downright easy. Expect new OLmen with mobility to possibly get face time over veterans if the upperclassmen still lumber.

The defense may be even younger, but the prospects there are much more realistic for having the needed impact to assure wins. The line is rather amazing, even without recently dismissed Brady Smith, and the trickle down from the pressure and run stopping they will do will allow every defensive unit to have an easier time because of it. The LBs are a stout crew with size to hold up and work around even the best OLmen, and the DBs will surprise until foes respect their (currently unproven) range. Brian Toal returns, so the only five-star recruit in the past five classes can be relied upon again (also as fullback who has 12 career TDs). Only two foes have gone over 30 points in the past two seasons, and DC Mike Spaziani will make sure that stingy trend continues during his 12th year here.

Georgia Tech is the second foe, and they will assuredly let Jagodzinski know where his revampings (and team) stand. Two of the three who beat BC last year - Virginia Tech and FSU - look beatable as they deal with their own changes, and Maryland at home to close (the other revenge game, with a trip to Wake right before that) will possibly decide who wins the Atlantic division. Clemson and Notre Dame both come a callin', but with the Irish on the mend still, BC is likely favored to keep their five-game Catholic Bowl win streak alive. The slate is neither easy nor hard, but is challenging enough that pollsters won't have an excuse to put BC lower if there are teams near them with the same record later in the season.

The Golden Eagles have a chance to repeat, but they probably won't get it together soon enough to again be division champs. With so many of the players who were there for all four of the recent consecutive three-loss campaigns now gone, many new identities/leaders will have to emerge for BC to again reach the top 25. Coach Jag is an excellent motivator and a keen offensive mind (extensive NFL experience, too), so seeing his team's glass as being proverbially half full isn't a stretch by any means. Still, this second-year big cheese gets a true test to see if he can play this tougher hand as well as he played the one last year that seemed to come from a stacked deck. The bottom line is that it's a defining year in many ways. Chestnut Hill may see a few more L's, but a step back after last year's brief No.2 ranking (weeks eight and nine) won't be anything to panic about, and subsequent developments will eventually signal BC has arrived in the modern millennium.

Projected 2008 record: 8-4
QB - 3.5 DL - 4
RB - 3 LB - 4
WR - 3.5 DB - 3
OL - 3.5 ..
2007 Statistical Rankings
Total Off:
Sacks Allow:
Total Def:

Passing: Chris Crane, 2-4-0, 28 yds., 0 TD

Rushing: James McCluskey, 8 att., 14 yds., 3 TD

Receiving: Rich Gunnell, 64 rec., 931 yds., 7 TD

Scoring: Steve Aponavicius, 12-18 FG, 46-50 PAT, 82 pts.

Punting: None

Kicking: Steve Aponavicius, 12-18 FG, 46-50 PAT, 82 pts.

Tackles: Mark Herzlich, 97 tot., 55 solo

Sacks: Alex Albright, 8.5 sacks

Interceptions: Kevin Akins, 2 for 25 yds.; Paul Anderson, 2 for 4 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Brandon Robinson, 13 ret., 19.8 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: None


WR Brandon Robinson
OFFENSE: Matt Ryan-QB, Andre Callender-TB, L.V. Whitworth-TB, Kevin Challenger-WR, Ryan Thompson-TE, Jon Loyte-TE, Gosder Cherilus-OT, Ty Hall-OG, Ryan Poles-OG
DEFENSE: Nick Larkin-DE, Tyronne Pruitt-LB, Jo-Lonn Dunbar-LB, DeJuan Tribble-CB, Taji Morris-CB, Jamie Silva-FS, Johnny Ayers-P, Brady Smith-DE (dismissed)

The changes seen on this side of the ball will go much farther than just compensating for losing their all-everything QB. Coordinator Steve Logan kept the basic pro-style approach with Matt Ryan still under center, but that won't describe what is soon to be seen in Beantown. The QBs being procured are dual-threats who will allow play development to happen anywhere along the line of scrimmage. The "old school" downhill Golden Eagle running game - facilitated by lumbering linemen who used pure power to make holes for mostly RBs - give way to two sub-200lb tailbacks who can flat-out fly and who will allow for misdirection and play fakes to have their utmost impact.

The $64 question everyone wants to know the answer to is - who picks up the mantle of Ryan's solid leadership and game management? BC has its best chances with senior understudy Chris Crane; he definitely knew the old system and has his feet underneath him in the new one. Crane has the best size out of all the QB possibilities. He still has some ways to come before fans will feel secure the team can have another double-digit win season, but for originally being a pro-style guy with 4.53-second speed (in the 40), he fits the new offense and its requirements of a field general to a 'T'. Crane gets experienced targets to aid his fitting period, so developments can be hurried along due to guys being where the play says they should be. Crane has a tendency to lock on receivers and still miss open targets on a semi-regular basis, but his arm strength is there and he can have the same impact on production as Ryan (who was only a 61st-ranked QB for efficiency in winning his many accolades last year) if he can graduate from these shortcomings. Dominique Davis is ahead of already arrived JUCO transfer Codi Boek (who supposedly is "all that" after rating the No.1 dual-threat junior college QB), but Davis is less accurate than Crane, though, he offers more mobility. Davis could see reps on game day to see if the freshman's talents can translate on the field and since he looks like the leading choice for taking the slot next season and he therefore needs experience.

Another freshman who has lit up the spring practice fields has been early RB enrollee Josh Haden. At 5'8, he slides under many taller tacklers, and his speed-size combination also allows him to get tougher yards when necessary with cutbacks and direction changes within the tackle box. Haden has a ways to go (already solid in blitz pick up), so his and Crane's developments along the way will make the backfield in August barely resemble what will eventually be by November - but hopefully much sooner. Classmate Dan Mulrooney is a converted safety who is as fast but more svelte than Haden; his experience as a runner in prep seems to be paying off to secure him the backup RB slot. Fullback James McCluskey did a 'bang up' job as a RS frosh, and he has both the mitts and the quickness to make sure coaches keep him on the field as much as possible. We're not sure how big Jerry Kelly will fit in once he arrives, but with sub-4.4 speed and a bruising style, he has to be part of the backfield's youth movement. Brian Toal as a goal-line/short-yardage specialist should be happening again.

The receivers are those knowledgeable types who can already play off of each other in space and know how to distract DBs and block them downfield as well. Senior Brandon Robinson is the all-around kind of player (ex-tennis and ex-soccer star who can hit field goals in a pinch) that knows how to elevate the entire corps via example. "B-Rob" sat out spring after shoulder surgery, but he is definitively seen as the leader of this unit. Rich Gunnell broke out as a third option in the pass-happy 2007 offense - he was the ACC's No.5 in receiving yards and is a solid downfield blocker. Justin Jarvis, only playing organized football since 2004, is another legitimate deep threat who will stretch the field with his stretched frame (6'5 junior had last year's longest reception of 71 yards). And, no, Billy Flutie is not Doug Flutie's son...he's his nephew, and the ex-QB is good enough to find his way onto the field due to his athleticism and multi-dimensional pigskin prowess. Ex-DE/P Ryan Purvis will help Robinson organize the aerial targets since the TE will be good for another 50+ catches of his own and countless trips downfield just to distract safeties and/or LBs. Lars Anderson is one heckuva blocker as well as a sure-handed snarler, so the classic two-TE sets seen here for years can survive with impact. Anderson in the game alone will likely signal a running sequence more often than not.

The mix of one senior and two sophs, to go with Cincinnati junior Matt Tennant, are still forming their OL nucleus, but this lighter, faster group (throughout the two-deep) will fit nicely with the new plans. Tennant and LT Anthony Castonzo are of the lighter sort, but the new LG is more of the traditional type needed for interior plowing. Sophomore Tom Claiborne has adapted well from DT, moving nicely and showing natural footwork that has him past ex-prep TE Nick Rossi. The other outside spot will eventually be a battle - junior Pat Sheil tore a pec muscle in the weight room while benching, so ex-TE Rich Lapham is not guaranteed the spot he has recently inherited when Sheil returns. Top reserve Nate Richman is a no-brainer at LT, but he could play anywhere with his adaptable nature.

The talent is in place, and it will be applied to a much more balanced attack than the predictable 61% passing that went on under Ryan's watch. Maybe not the conference's best anymore, this is now a true Steve Logan offense with coach Jagodzinski's stamp of approval, one that will want to pass more, but will have to be patient with the new hurlers slowly still finding their way.


TE Ryan Purvis


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Chris Crane-Sr (6-4, 236) Dominique Davis-Fr (6-4, 187)
FB James McCluskey-So (6-2, 231) ..
TB Josh Haden-Fr (5-8, 190) Dan Mulrooney-So (6-1, 197)
WR Rich Gunnell-Jr (5-11, 206) Billy Flutie-So (6-2, 184)
WR Brandon Robinson-Sr (5-10, 194) Clarence Megwa-Jr (6-1, 208)
Justin Jarvis-Jr (6-5, 195)
TE Ryan Purvis-Sr (6-4, 258) Lars Anderson-Fr (6-3, 235)
OT Anthony Castonzo-So (6-7, 262) Nathan Richman-Fr (6-6, 274)
OG Clif Ramsey-Sr (6-6, 302) John Elliott-Fr (6-4, 280)
C Matt Tennant-Jr (6-4, 284) Bryan Murphy-Sr (6-3, 280)
OG Thomas Claiborne-So (6-3, 330) Nick Rossi-Jr (6-6, 294)
OT Rich Lapham-So (6-8, 324) Pat Sheil-Jr (6-6, 283)
K Steve Aponavicius-Sr (5-10, 183) Billy Bennett-So (6-1, 198)



Unlike on offense, there will be many similarities between last year's top 20 D and this one that only has four returning starters. Can only four main guys returning assure similar results? The answer (of 'yes') lies in two areas of personnel - 1. 12th-year coordinator Frank Spaziani will apply his same philosophy, one that will work well with...2. a strong DL that will again make the back seven deal with offenses who are forced to pass if they want yards.

The absurdity of running the rock against the Golden Eagle's No.2 run defense seems to assure that the second aspect will come true again. Team sack leader Alex Albright will not have line-mate Brady Smith after Smith's dismissal, but the guys looking to fill the void should do the job and still have plenty of hungry depth looking for reps. Max Holloway blew by his opposing blocker all spring, but the true frosh needs to learn the college game before he is a shoe-in for the start (that could happen by mid-season). Jim Ramella proved he can handle the start; this ex-TE is another athletic impact player. The tackles are led by the two senior starters - Rob Brace emerges from spring as a likely defensive captain, while fellow senior 325-pounder B.J. Raji will come back from academic troubles that forced a redshirt last year, and he will show why he left off as an All-ACC Second Teamer. Damik Scafe has shown he can be rotated in and nothing is lost. Brendan Deska can chime in at any position along the DL, so the problem of having too many capable hats will be one Spaziani handles with pleasure.

Mark Herzlich is the best of last year's returning LBs, but he gets former New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year (also the state's Defensive POTY 2004) Brian Toal back so that another strong, starting-level LB bolsters the losses amongst the unit. Toal needs to work at his skills, because though he has the talent to soar, this five-star Golden Eagle has yet to develop much farther than the level he reached as Big East Rookie of the Year. Reports have been good, but Toal is battling classmate Rob Francois to keep everyone pushing their limits for the best team results. Francois can also have impact in the middle, so he seems destined to rotate in early and often. Mike McLaughlin was so good as a reserve that he finished fourth on the team for tackles, making (more than just) the MLB slot secured and strong, too. Talented but untested, Bagan seems clear of his own academic delays, and experienced backup Kevin Akins (ex-DB is excellent in coverage) has seen lots of time at MLB, too, since McLaughlin had achilles issues this spring. This LB corps is a nice mix of size and decent speed that will keep the play in front of them more than making risky moves that then cost.

That bend-but-don't-break philosophy will also work for the secondary since they, too, have many fresh faces. Paul Anderson is an important cog, while Chris Fox is more of a corner (his recruited position). His father Tim was an NFL safety (Pats, Rams, Chargers), and he is expected to stick at CB, which means there is little behind Anderson experience-wise. Wes Davis has the chops to challenge Marcellus Bowman, but the three (Davis, Anderson and Bowman) can work together since Bowman can play either safety spot well enough to allow Spaziani optional ways to compose his back line (especially if Dan Mulrooney doesn't catch on at RB). The corners look just as good on paper and in practice. DeLeon Gause hit on all cylinders enough as a true frosh last year to earn a starting nod by November, and along with the modest experiences of Roderick Rollins, there is some confidence for the coverage units. Early arriving newbie Donnie Fletcher has gotten the staff's attention with his 6'1 frame and keen sense for the position, but he will have to displace Razzie Smith's quickness to earn the vaunted nickel spot. Okechuckwu Okoroha hasn't shown up yet, but he is also supposed to impact the DB unit immediately, probably to bolster the safeties. The range of how well the secondary will perform is wide, but if talent and depth dictate results, a short adaptation period will quickly usher in a dominant group that will do its job well enough to easily keep from being a liability. The front seven is good enough to apply much pressure, enough so that the LBs can drop back and help when needed to accelerate the orientation process behind them.


DE Alex Albright


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Alex Albright-Jr (6-5, 235) Max Holloway-Fr (6-2, 230)
DT Ron Brace-Sr (6-3, 325) Jerry Willette-Sr (6-5, 282)
DT B.J. Raji-Sr (6-1, 325) Damik Scafe-So (6-3, 305)
DE Jim Ramella-Jr (6-4, 247) Austin Giles-Jr (6-3, 291)
SLB Mark Herzlich-Jr (6-4, 238) Kevin Akins-Jr (6-2, 220)
MLB Mike McLaughlin-Jr (6-0, 250) Darius Bagan-So (6-2, 233)
WLB Brian Toal-Sr (6-0, 252) Robert Francois-Sr (6-2, 245)
CB Roderick Rollins-Jr (6-0, 178) Razzie Smih-Jr (5-10, 186)
CB DeLeon Gause-So (5-11, 179) Donnie Fletcher-Fr (6-1, 185)
SS Paul Anderson-Sr (6-1, 208) Chris Fox-So (5-11, 190)
FS Marcellus Bowman-Jr (6-2, 214) Wes Davis-Jr (6-1, 215)
P Ryan Quigley-Fr (6-3, 175) Billy Flutie-So (6-2, 184)




Brandon Robinson not being around this spring has kept Coach Jag from assigning the return positions. All three guys who handled PRs have left, so Robinson is the only logical choice, except when considering the speed that many Golden Eagle departments now brag. Former walk-on PK Steve Aponavicius didn't exactly light the goal-posts on fire - he was 4-for-9 from 30-39 yards and went 2-for-5 in the three losses. Last year's top kicking prospect was Billy Bennett, so expect a short leash for Aponavicius before Bennett gets his chance. Ryan Quigley is this year's kicking find; Billy Flutie is a great option as a punter due to his other skills potentially meaning fakes if he is the guy, but Quigley is being given the once-over before any punting assignment is made.