August 1, 2017
Boston College Preseason Practice Report No. 2
Crisp two-hour practice Tuesday morning for the Eagles
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Boston College held its second practice of the preseason Tuesday morning inside Alumni Stadium. The Eagles started the morning with a walk-through before going through a 24-period, two-hour practice.
Though the team has yet to put on pads, the offensive line looks to have increased numbers in depth and physically the BC offensive front passes the eye test.
Now in his fifth year as the offensive line coach at Boston College, Justin Frye is excited to see his position group take the next step in 2017.
“We have 16 guys, which is good,” Frye said about the depth along the BC offensive line. “We have everybody back. We have Jon (Baker) back. We have Sam (Schmal) back. We have Chris (Lindstrom) back at his position working on the right side, so that’s exciting to see. I am eager to see once we get the pads on.”
Senior center Jon Baker, a candidate for the Rimington Trophy given annually to the nation’s top center, headlines an offensive line that returns four players with starting experience. Baker has started 25 games over the previous two seasons and has appeared in 35 games over his career on The Heights. One of the strongest players on the team, Baker should be an anchor up front for the Eagles.
“He’s the veteran up front,” Frye said. “Some guys are more vocal and some are less, but when Jon steps into the weight room he’s busting his butt and he’s working. When Jon’s in the classroom, all the guys can look to him and say, ‘What do I have to do?’ When we work out on the field – Jon and Chris (Lindstrom) – Chris steps up. Guys follow Chris by his actions because he’s just a bulldog. We have a lot of older guys now that kind of have that role in different capacities, but it’s all in line so that’s nice.”
Junior Chris Lindstrom got a taste of early playing time as a true freshman in 2015 and started all 13 games at right guard last season as a sophomore. Heading into his junior campaign, the Dudley native tips the scales close to 310 pounds and looks like an All-ACC caliber offensive lineman.
“He played at 264 pounds, so you’re asking him to block a big-time dude inside,” Frye said. “We play Florida State, you’re going to block a guy that’s 300 pounds and he’s 264, plus he had already gained 30 pounds. You’re behind the eight-ball already. It’s the same thing we talked about with Shane (Leonard), you have a younger guy who is thrust in there against good dudes, you come out the back end better. Now Chris is 310 pounds and he’s seen it all. He can just improve his game and go back to his toolbox. I’ve had this. I’ve seen this. I need to do this. I need to use this technique. Now he’s got the physical tools behind him at 310 pounds to do it.”
Junior Aaron Monteiro returns as the starter at left tackle after starting 12 games at left tackle a year ago. The Brockton native has seen action in 18 games over his first two seasons in Chestnut Hill.
Redshirt sophomore John Phillips, junior Sam Schmal, redshirt freshman Shane Leonard and West Virginia graduate transfer Marcell Lazard are among the group of players looking to crack into the starting five up front.
“We’re going to play the best five,” Frye continued. “The mantra here is never going to change from the top down with Steve (Addazio). We’re going to play tough, physical and hard-nosed, and it has to be the best five guys that are going to do that. If we have to shuffle guys around… the right tackle goes down it doesn’t mean the backup right tackle is going in. If the next guy is a right guard, maybe the starting right guard goes to right tackle. We’re always going to play the five best to make us whole that way.”
Frye is excited for the pads to come on Wednesday. “I’m ready for the pads tomorrow,” Frye said. “A guy like John Phillips, who is a redshirt sophomore now so he’s getting into it. Sam Schmal, really, has been battling a bit. He starting sparingly but trying to battle to be the guy the whole time; to see those guys snap in and snap out with the pads on. But with the young guys, it’s too early to tell. They’re still digesting everything else.”
As preseason camp continues for Frye and his offensive line, he is eager to see who takes the opportunity to land one of the five starting spots. “We’re going to solidify the five-up front and then we’re going to get back that demeanor and edge that this place has had when we were here early on, and it’s had in the past. When you walk on the field and an opponent sees they’re playing Boston College, that’s a big, tough, nasty offensive line and we have to come to work every play. That’s the mantra.”
Practice Notes: The Eagles wore just helmets on the second day of preseason camp. Shoulder pads come on for the first time Wednesday when BC returns to the practice field … While still very early in camp, one player who has shown terrific hands fielding punts is sophomore defensive back, Hamp Cheevers … the Boston College running backs room will be one of the deepest position groups in 2017. In addition to returning starter Jon Hilliman and Davon Jones, true freshmen AJ Dillon and Travis Levy look like two players capable of earning playing time this season … true freshman quarterback EJ Perry hit redshirt freshman wide out Kobay White on a deep throw down the sideline as White went up to haul in the long pass.
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