16 student-athletes signed Wednesday during the Early Signing Period
2019 Boston College Football Recruiting Class
Player Position Ht. Wt. Hometown/High School
Spencer Bono DE 6-4 245 Cleves, Ohio/Elder
Ireland Burke DT 6-3 290 Jamaica, N.Y./Pope John XXIII
Jack Conley OL 6-8 280 New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan
Josh DeBerry CB 6-0 175 Grosse Pointe Park, Mich./De La Salle
Zay Flowers CB 5-11 170 Fort Lauderdale, Fla./University School
Patrick Garwo RB 5-9 212 Levittown, Pa./Conwell-Egan
Connor Grieco DB 6-3 183 Montvale, N.J./St. Joseph’s Regional
Izaiah Henderson DT 6-5 275 Hazlet, N.J./Mater Dei Prep
Sam Johnson QB 6-4 200 Wixom, Mich./Walled Lake Western
Steve Lubischer DB 6-1 192 Oceanport, N.J./Red Bank Catholic
Jackson Ness DE 6-5 265 Upper Arlington, Ohio/Upper Arlington
Blerim Rustemi OL 6-4 280 Lincoln Park, N.J./DePaul Catholic
Bryce Sebastian WR 5-9 160 West Haven, Conn./Cheshire Academy
Shitta Sillah LB 6-5 220 Somerset, N.J./Meter Dei Prep
Ethon Williams WR 6-0 195 Arnold, Md./Broadneck
Jalen Williams DB 6-0 190 Fort Washington, Md./Landon School
Notes on the 2019 recruiting class:
10 high school captains
Four players won state titles
State breakdown: Position Breakdown:
New Jersey: 5 Defensive Backs: 5
Michigan: 2 Defensive Linemen: 4
Ohio: 2 Offensive Linemen: 2
Maryland: 2 Quarterbacks: 1
Connecticut: 2 Running Backs: 1
New York: 1 Wide Receivers: 2
Florida: 1 Linebackers: 1
Rated the top weakside defensive end in Ohio according to 247Sports … ranked as a three-star recruit by 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals … listed as the No. 25 player in Ohio and the nation’s No. 45 weakside defensive end by 247Sports … rated as the No. 30 prospect from the state of Ohio by ESPN … picked up all-district first team and all-state third team recognition … posted 53 tackles, seven sacks and forced one fumble as a senior … son of Tracy Knue and Rick Bono … hails from the same high school as current Boston College special teams coordinator and former BC and NFL linebacker Ricky Brown … played for head coach Doug Ramsey at Elder.
Jamaica, N.Y./Pope John XXIII
Rated as the No. 64 defensive tackle nationally and the No. 2 defensive tackle prospect in New Jersey according to 247Sports … rated the No. 20 prospect in New Jersey by 247Sports … listed as the third-best defensive tackle in New Jersey by ESPN … rated the No. 36 player in the Garden State and the 85th-best defensive tackle nationally according to ESPN … missed his junior season due to a knee injury … played for head coach Brian Carlson at Pope John XXIII … former high school teammate of current BC freshman linebacker Nick DeNucci … 52 tackles and two sacks as a senior, including a season-high 10 tackles against Paramus Catholic and Seton Hall Prep … team captain as a senior … all-conference and all-county selection … son of Susan Bassaragh.
New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan
A three-star prospect by 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals … ranked as a top-10 prospect in Connecticut by all three outlets and as high as No. 6 by Rivals … started all 13 games as a senior for a 10-3 New Canaan team that reached the state championship game … named all-state and all-conference first team offensive tackle as a junior and senior … added three sacks on the defensive side of the ball … son of Doreen and Bill Conley … team captain … comes from the same high school as Boston College All-America defensive end Zach Allen … played for head coach Lou Marinelli at New Canaan.
Grosse Pointe Park, Mich./De La Salle
Ranked as a three-star prospect by 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals … rated as the No. 28 recruit out of the state of Michigan … led De La Salle to back-to-back state championships with a 12-win season in 2018 … provided 44 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, five interceptions and 20 pass deflections as a senior … ran the ball for 243 yards on 38 carries with three touchdowns and caught 36 passes for 770 yards and nine scores in 2018 … played for head coach Mike Giannone at De La Salle.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla./University School
A three-star recruit according to 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals … rated the No. 83 wide receiver nationally by Rivals … listed as the No. 116 athlete nationally and the No. 179 player in Florida by ESPN … listed as the No. 184 prospect in Florida by 247Sports … helped guide the Sharks to back-to-back Florida class 4A state semifinal appearances as a junior and senior … played both wide receiver and defensive back at University School, but will play at cornerback at Boston College … team captain … played for head coach Daniel Luque at University School … son of Willie Flowers and Malika Palmer.
The top-rated running back in Pennsylvania and the nation’s 30th-best running back according to 247Sports … rated as the No. 8 prospect overall in Pennsylvania by 247Sports … Pennsylvania’s highest-rated running back according to Rivals.com and the state’s No. 9 overall prospect … regarded as the nation’s No. 21 running back recruit by Rivals.com … third-best prospect overall in the Keystone State and the state’s top running back according to ESPN … listed as the No. 29 running back in the country by ESPN … set the single-season school record for rushing with 1,879 yards as a junior, breaking the mark held by Steve Slaton … led the Eagles to the PIAA Class 3A semifinals as a junior, the best finish in school history for Conwell-Egan … led his team to the PIAA Class 3A quarterfinals as a senior with a 13-1 record … broke his own school record with 1,922 yards and 29 touchdowns his senior season … Bucks County Player of the Year as a junior and senior … left as the school’s all-time scoring leader … played for head coach Jack Techtman at Conwell-Egan … captain as a junior and senior … led his team to the Philadelphia Catholic League championship as a junior and senior … son of Patrick and Linda Garwo.
Montvale, N.J./St. Joseph Regional
Rated the No. 1 safety in New Jersey according to ESPN … rated as the No. 32 prospect overall in the Garden State and the 82nd-best safety nationally by ESPN … No. 21 overall player in New Jersey according to 247Sports and the nation’s No. 78 safety … NJ.com second-team all-state selection as a senior … finished with 55 tackles, 38 solo and three interceptions … defended 18 passes from his safety position … led St. Joseph’s to the state championship with a 13-0 win over Bergen Catholic … St. Joseph’s finished the year as the No. 1 team in New Jersey … USA Today first-team all-state selection as a senior … all-North Jersey selection by the Bergen Record … former high school teammate of current BC freshman linebacker Evan Stewart … played for former BC standout Augie Hoffman at St. Joseph’s Regional … team captain … team finished the season ranked No. 19 nationally … North Jersey Sports Defensive Player of the Year as a senior … son of Todd and Marie Grieco.
Hazlet, N.J./Mater Dei Prep
Rated as the No. 2 defensive tackle and New Jersey’s 14th-best overall prospect according to ESPN … three-star prospect according to ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports … led the Seraphs to a 10-2 record and finished as the runner-up to Red Bank Catholic in the Non-Public Group III championship game … helped guide his team to the Shore Conference Patriot Division championship as a senior, the school’s third consecutive division title … Asbury Park Press all-area first-team selection on a Mater Dei defense that recorded three shutouts and had four other games allowing eight points or less … 60 tackles, nine sacks, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and a touchdown … Shore Conference Patriot Division Defensive Player of the Year … USA Today first-team all-state selection … played for head coach Dino Mangiero at Mater Dei Prep … son of Danielle Henderson … team captain … scheduled to enroll in January at Boston College … one of two Mater Dei Prep standouts to sign with Boston College, joining teammate Shitta Sillah at the Heights.
Wixom, Mich./Walled Lake Western
Rated a four-star quarterback by ESPN and the 226th ranked prospect in the ESPN300 … a three-star recruit by both 247Sports and Rivals … rated as the No. 12 quarterback nationally by ESPN and the No. 5 recruit out of Michigan … earned all-conference honors, while guiding team to city and district championships and a regional final appearance … threw for 2,115 yards and 23 touchdowns to just five interceptions and rushed for 263 yards and five scores as a junior… son of Shawnda and Sam Johnson … scheduled to enroll in January at Boston College … played for head coach Alex Grignon at Walled Lake Western.
Oceanport, N.J./Red Bank Catholic
Three-star prospect according to ESPN who is rated as the No. 40 dual-threat quarterback nationally … one of the top prospects in New Jersey who will play at safety for Boston College … father Steve and his uncle Nick both played football at Boston College in the early 1980s … one of the key players in Red Bank Catholic’s drive to an undefeated season and the NJSIAA Non-Public Group II championship as the state’s top-ranked team … Asbury Park Press all-area first-team selection and USA Today all-state first-team honoree … 85-of-122 passing (69.6% completions) for 1,678 yards and 21 touchdowns … also rank for 377 yards and seven touchdowns en route to being named the Shore Conference Freedom Division Offensive Player of the Year … led the Caseys to their first unbeaten season since 1960 … team captain … son of Steve and Diane Lubischer … played for head coach Frank Edgerly at Red Bank Catholic.
Upper Arlington, Ohio/Upper Arlington
Ranked as a three-star recruit by 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals … rated as the No. 31 prospect from Ohio by Rivals … earned all-state second team and all-district first team honors … named first team all-conference and the Ohio Capital Conference Player of the Year … son of Emily and John Ness … played for head coach Joel Cutler at Upper Arlington … team captain … two-way starter on the offensive and defensive lines.
Lincoln Park, N.J./DePaul Catholic
A three-star recruit by 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals who is rated as the third-best offensive guard in New Jersey by ESPN … rated as New Jersey’s 29th-best overall prospect and the 67th-best offensive guard nationally according to ESPN … No. 31 player overall and the state’s No. 3 offensive tackle according to Rivals … second-best offensive guard in New Jersey by 247Sports … listed as the No. 34 overall prospect in the Garden State and the nation’s No. 79 offensive guard by 247Sports … played both ways and on special teams throughout his high school career … former high school teammate with current Boston College freshman linebacker Vinny DePalma … as a junior, part of a DePaul Catholic squad that won the Non-Public Group III state championship … played for head coach John McKenna at DePaul Catholic … son of Besim and Fatima Rustemi.
West Haven, Conn./Cheshire Academy
A three-star recruit by 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals … rated as a top-10 prospect in the state of Connecticut by all three outlets, including a high of No. 7 by 247Sports … No. 2 wide receiver in Connecticut according to 247Sports and the nation’s No. 85 prospect at wide receiver … rated as the No. 1 athlete in Connecticut by ESPN … brother Brandon plays cornerback at BC … son of Mayra and Craig Sebastian … played for head coach Dave Dykeman at Cheshire.
Somerset, N.J./Mater Dei Prep
The number one outside linebacker prospect in New Jersey according to 247Sports and New Jersey’s ninth-best prospect … three-star recruit who is rated as New Jersey’s No. 2 outside linebacker according to ESPN and Rivals … No. 15 overall player in the Garden State according to ESPN … rated by Rivals as the No. 14 player in New Jersey … helped guide the Seraphs to a 10-2 record and finished as the runner-up to Red Bank Catholic in the Non-Public Group III championship game … key part on a team that won the Shore Conference Patriot Division championship as a senior, the school’s third consecutive division title … Asbury Park Press all-area first-team selection on a Mater Dei defense that recorded three shutouts and had four other games allowing eight points or less … 52 tackles, 10 sacks and a fumble recovery as a senior … USA Today first-team all-state selection … played for head coach Dino Mangiero at Mater Dei Prep … son of Abdulai and Abbey Sillah … one of two Mater Dei Prep standouts to sign with Boston College, joining teammate Izaiah Henderson at the Heights.
A three-star prospect by 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals… ranked as the No. 21 prospect from Maryland by ESPN and No. 24 by 247Sports … owns the Maryland state record for career touchdown receptions with 53 … helped team to 10-1 record, including a 9-0 mark in regional play, in 2018 … all-county first team member with 992 receiving yards and 22 touchdowns as a senior … Capital Gazette Player of the Year … finished his career with a county-record 3,222 receiving yards; beating the previous record by over 500 yards … totaled 53 career touchdowns and 196 catches; both county records … team captain … son of Michele Ladson and Troy Williams … will enroll at Boston College in January … played for head coach Rob Harris at Broadneck.
Fort Washington, Md./Landon School
Ranked a three-star prospect by 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals … rated as the No. 17 recruit out of Maryland by ESPN … helped the Landon School to a 9-1 record as a senior … team captain as a senior … four-year varsity starter who was a three-time all-conference selection, including first-team honors as a junior and senior … team defensive MVP as a senior and first-team All-Met selection … posted 56 tackles, 1 1/2 sacks, three interceptions and a fumble return for a touchdown as the co-IAC-champion Bears held opponents to an average of 200 yards per game as a junior … son of Roz and Jeff Williams … played for head coach Paul Padalino at the Landon School.
Steve Addazio Press Conference Transcript
STEVE ADDAZIO: We’re real excited about the class that we’ve signed, and moving forward here in 2019. The highest rated class that certainly we’ve had since we’ve been here, and I believe the highest rated class since 2003. A lot of good football players, 10 high school captains, four players that won state titles, a great cross-section from our footprint. We’ve got five from New Jersey, two from Michigan, two from Ohio, two from Maryland, two from Connecticut, one from New York, one from Florida, one from Pennsylvania. Our breakdown was five DBs, four defensive linemen, two offensive linemen, a quarterback, a running back, two wide receivers and a linebacker/outside linebacker rush man.
So really, really good cross-section. I thought we’ve enhanced our team in areas that we needed to enhance our team. Certainly on defense, we really did a great job on defense and specifically in the defensive front, which is an area that we obviously had some replacements to have happen.
Talking about the class, start with Spencer Bono, a defensive end. He’s an Ohio kid, from Elder, which is the home of Ricky Brown and other guys that we’ve had here. He’s a 6’4″, 245-pound defensive end, great athlete, tremendous player from a great football program. Really loves ball. Great fit for us here in terms of the whole package academically, athletically, and really excited about Spencer. I think he’s a guy that has got unbelievable potential.
Ireland Burke, defensive tackle, 6’3″, 290 pounds from New York but at Pope John in New Jersey, Catholic school there, and a big-time interior run stopper, pass rusher guy, just a really good football player. We think he’s got unbelievable potential.
Jack Conley, offensive lineman, 6’8″, 280-pound kid from New Canaan, Connecticut, really got an unbelievable ceiling. Very, very good feet. Very good athlete. At times has been a punter, and he’s just got really good athleticism for a guy that big. He’s going to be a big dude. Another guy, great fit here. Obviously, academics are important to him, and playing at the highest level of college football.
Josh DeBerry, a corner from Detroit, six-foot, 175-pound defensive back corner, great ball skills, real physical tackler, and really has great film and has had a great career. Really excited about Josh.
Zay Flowers, a corner who’s from Fort Lauderdale. Dynamic athlete, great speed, great ball skills, plays both sides of the ball. Just a gifted athlete. Really explosive speed, dynamic guy.
Patrick Garwo, tailback, running back from PA, from Conwell-Egan, 212-pound, 5’10” guy. Great leader, really explosive. I mean, his tape is excellent. I mean, fantastic football player. Big, strong, physical running back, and we’re thrilled to death to have Patrick. I mean, bona fide player.
Connor Grieco, defensive back. He’s a 6’3″, 185-pound kid from St. Joe’s in New Jersey. Really talented guy. Long, long guy. Great size, great athleticism, toughness. Like the rest of these guys, really a perfect fit for us at Boston College, played for Augie Hoffman, former great player here, and really thrilled about Connor and his family. I think he’s going to have a great career.
Izaiah Henderson, defensive tackle from Mater Dei, New Jersey, 6’5″, 290-pound guy right now coming at mid-semester, and really a talented guy. I mean, if he walked in the door right now, you’d think he was already here in college. Really looks the part. Heck of a player. Great student, great guy, played for Dino Mangiero down there, a good friend of mine, and just a sensational player. Really excited about him.
Sam Johnson, quarterback from Detroit, a 6’4″, 200-pound guy. I love this guy. I think he’s got a tremendous arm. He’s got unbelievable character. I mean, he is the kind of guy that you want as a quarterback leading your team with his mindset and his mentality. Great family. He’ll be here early, as well, and really looking forward to that. I think the upside with Sam is just incredible. I think we’ve got a special guy there.
Steve Lubischer, defensive back from Red Bank Catholic, 6’1″, 192, great athlete. Played quarterback in high school. He’s on the basketball team there, having a phenomenal basketball season. Really, really got great speed and athleticism, great vertical leap. You know, will transition into that defensive back position. Dad played here. Really like him. Really good high school program. It’s a place that is a real winner, and he’s a winner.
Jackson Ness, defensive end from Upper Arlington in Columbus, 6’5″, 265-pound, probably a little bigger than that right now. I think he’s another guy that will walk in — when he walks in the door now, you’re going to look and say, that’s a high school kid? Does not look like a high school guy. Super bright, super great fit for BC, really good football player, really good athlete, really going to make an impact at the defensive end position. Really excited about Jackson and his family.
Blerim Rustemi from DePaul Catholic, offensive lineman, 6’4″, 280 pounds. He’s going to be another 310-pound offensive lineman. Great-looking body, tough guy, great demeanor. Football is really important to him. Great high school program. Really like him a lot. I just think that he’ll come in here and really be what we’re looking for in the offensive line with toughness and athleticism. Excited about him.
Bryce Sebastian, Brandon Sebastian’s younger brother. He’s his own entity. Wide receiver, at Cheshire Academy from Connecticut, 5’9″, 160-pound, real speed guy, burst guy, fast, tough, loves football. Great energy to him. You know, obviously a BC family, and very, very excited about his explosiveness and what he’ll bring to the table here.
Shitta Sillah, outside linebacker, 6’5″, 220-pound guy from Mater Dei, teammate of Izaiah. He’s a real edge, get-to-the-quarterback pass rush guy. You’ll see this guy being a pass rusher with tremendous athleticism off the edge at 6’5″, 245-, 255-pound guy. He’s really, I think, going to be just a sensational player here. Really think his ceiling, again, is so, so high.
Ethon Williams, wide receiver, six-foot, 195-pound kid from Maryland. Talented, got really good hands, really good ball skills, really mature guy, smart guy, really good football player, excited about him. Really think he’s got really great potential and really fits well into our team culture and who he is and what he’s all about.
Jalen Williams, another guy from Maryland from the Landon School, defensive back. Really another one of those — he’s a sharp and mature and tough and all about the right stuff, talented football player, and I believe will have a great career here, as well. He’s a real BC guy, comes from a high-end school, too.
I think we’ve compiled a list of very talented guys that will become outstanding representatives of Boston College. They’ll be BC men. They’ll represent what’s important to us, that first and foremost you’re a tremendous human being. Second of all, you’re going to really respect and engage in your degree here, and then of course be able to play at the highest level of college football in the ACC and be a great teammate, and we know we’ve upgraded and improved our football team with this class. So we couldn’t be more excited about them and about the future of where we’re headed, and as we move them here and graduate really talented players and replace them with really talented players, we put ourselves in great position to continue to grow and continue to improve and continue to move towards our goal of competing and winning a conference championship.
Q. With so many graduates and seniors, do you see some of these kids college-ready by next year?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Yeah, you know, the way it’s been, every year there’s more and more guys that seem to have that opportunity. I don’t know what the numbers are, but yeah, I mean, there will be guys in this class for sure that will be challenging to play, and there will be a number of these guys that will end up playing as true freshmen. You hope that they can, and we believe that they can. And in certain positional needs, you hope that that’s where that occurs, right?
But guys today, especially the ones that come in sometimes early, mid-semester, have a great opportunity to do that, and I just really think that there’s a great shot for all that to happen.
Q. Tell us a little bit about Sam Johnson. Is he kind of that ACC dual-threat quarterback that everybody in the league seems to want to get?
STEVE ADDAZIO: I mean, he’s a thrower now. He’s a 6’4″ or 6’5″ guy that can chuck the ball down the field now. He’s got great presence. He’s very athletic, and I think that he’s a guy that will impact the game. But he’s a thrower that has athleticism. He’s not an athlete that can throw. I mean, he can throw the ball now. We had him in camp, and watched him make those throws, was very, very impressive. Really, really excited about Sam.
- What are the challenges with competing with other Power Five schools for these players or retaining some recruits or just talking to guys?
STEVE ADDAZIO: I think you’re always trying to expand in your recruiting and push, and you’re getting involved with more highly recruited guys. I think when you do that, you get in more risk of losing guys type of thing. But I think that’s all part of it. I think we’re pretty good at targeting the guys that fit our culture and match what we want here to keep — that’s so important to us, the character piece of this, and I really want guys that really want to be here.
So I think that as you keep trying to expand/go after higher-profile guys, you’ve got to be really careful with that because what you don’t want to do is get out of your footprint and get out of your profile in terms of — guys got to be able to make it here academically. Guys got to be able to want to be here and believe in what we have. So I think while you’re constantly trying to elevate, you’ve got to also make sure that you don’t put yourself in a situation where you’re not getting a good fit and a good marriage because that’s really so important at anyplace, that you have the right fit and the right marriage and the highest level of player that you can possibly be involved with to help you win the games that you need to win.
Q. How do you measure the intangibles, the leadership qualities and how do you strike a balance between those two and the guy’s ceiling?
STEVE ADDAZIO: That’s what it’s all about, and it’s hard. I think our staff does a great job with that. I mean, there’s not like a book or a page on that. I think there’s a feel for that, and I think it’s to be more right than wrong. You’re not always going to be right. We all know that. But to be more right than wrong and to target properly and to evaluate properly, and how do you evaluate character? Well, that’s hard, but obviously, it’s a process as you would well guess it’s relationship based. The more time you’re with somebody, the more you get to know them; the more times they’re on your campus, the more people you get to meet around them, obviously their parents, their family, their guidance counselors, their coaches, whatever. Over time I think you try to do a good job.
Getting a guy is one thing. Getting a guy that’s going to be happy and be able to grow and succeed is our ultimate goal. It’s not just getting a guy because he has a rating, because that’s not who we are. We’re going to take a round peg and fit it in a square hole here.
So I think having a great understanding and a belief of who we are and what we’re about is really important, and then the ability to figure all that out and evaluate it is really important. So it’s a real process.
Q. How you identify areas of need?
STEVE ADDAZIO: It’s ever changing. It’s a moving target. I mean, you have projected numbers and then things pop up on you. Things happen all the time that don’t exactly go according to plan, and you’ve got to adjust. But you start with roster management. We want 15 offensive linemen. Okay, that’s a number. But we certainly can’t end up with 12. Is it 14? Is it 15? You have every position. You come up with basically what you want to get accomplished, and you try to work with — if you don’t, at some point your roster is going to get out of whack, and if you don’t manage your roster in recruiting and you just let guys just go do their thing, at some point you’ll get out of whack. That’s my job as the head coach is to manage the roster.
Now, some head coaches are more involved than others. Obviously, I’m very involved. I watch every tape. I evaluate every prospect myself. I mean, I manage the board, I manage the numbers, and I try to keep the thing moving.
How have you felt like you’ve adjusted to the early signing period?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, I think we’ve adjusted well. We go out there, we do our homework, we do a great job evaluating, we recruit guys, and I think we build relationships. We get them here early. I think we are aggressive and on target with our evaluations.
So we have our ducks in a row. Some places, believe it or not, don’t get their ducks in a row that quick. So for us, I think it’s been a good thing. It’s crazy hectic. Everybody is home before this date, so I don’t start until obviously I can, when the contact period starts, and the window for me to do that is (small). It’s almost impossible. So you’re trying to get ready for a bowl game. You’re trying to get in every single home, and it is really — while recruiting is taxing, I find this to be, like, a lot. But it’s been good, and we’ve managed it, and I think we have a good system of how we’re going to handle this.
And now I don’t know what the numbers will be, but I’d say the majority of kids or programs will sign — the majority of their classes are signed right now. And there’s really not that many guys that really go to the next signing period, so it’s become a whole different deal.
How have you recruited the New Jersey Catholic leagues?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, Catholic leagues as a whole, obviously for us makes sense. Jersey is in our five-hour footprint, so that makes double sense. New Jersey is our footprint, Catholic schools are our footprint, and we’ve got a two-fer right there. So it makes good sense for us. Our footprint is obviously New England and New Jersey, and then we expand it deeper. But when you call real footprint, you’re talking about that five-, six-hour radius, and within there any private Catholic schools I think are always really good places to start for us, and then we’re in the Catholic schools nationally, in Ohio and all those other places.
But you know, certainly New Jersey always has and always will be — let’s call that a home area for us. That’s not a new phenomenon in the last five or six years. I mean, it’s been that way for a long time, and it makes sense that it would be that way. We’ve got to continue to do a good job in locating and recruiting in these areas and what your competition, who you’re recruiting against in those areas. It’s been good for us. It’ll continue to be good for us.
- How has the on-field production bridged the gap between published recruit rankings in years past?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, I mean, at the end of the day, what we’ve done here recruiting-wise speaks for itself with the level of players we’ve had and have gone on, and I think in terms of the perception, our perception out there nationally is fantastic. People realize that we have a really good football program, that it’s a well-put-together football team. The rankings system of guys, I mean, I don’t think that’s ever changed here in terms of — that’s no new phenomenon. Since 2003 this is the highest recruiting class. That’s a lot of years right there.
I think what’s important is that we keep in mind that we get the right guys for our program to succeed here, to be able to compete in the ACC, and to be able to compete in the classroom and to be able to really embrace the Jesuit Catholic values of Boston College. I always look at it through the eyes of what’s important to me, and I’m very, very cognizant of that, and I’d say that we’ve done a really good job of doing that, of recruiting to that, paying attention to that, and then, oh, yes, by the way, the actual development of these players and the talent level of these players, we’ve been proven to be way more right than we’ve been wrong.
I think as you win and go to bowl games and the vibe is very positive, all those things lend themselves to having a fertile, successful opportunity to recruit. And then of course our new indoor is a great testament and statement to where we want to continue to develop our players and commit to the best facilities for our student athletes.
All of it plays into this. You know, so the rating thing, I’m more interested in the marriage than I am the rating. I’m a big believer that when it’s a good marriage, it’s healthy, it grows, it gets better, it develops. It’s all good. And if it’s just about just a rating and it’s not a good marriage, then it ends up falling apart, and what good does that do? That’s way more counterproductive than it is productive.
There’s plenty of great players out there, and that just proves to it. That’s why there’s plenty of players that go on to the NFL from small schools, because this is an inexact science.Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Some people look for certain things more than other things, but at the end of the day, I want these kids that we recruit to come in here, I want them to develop spiritually, I want them to develop academically, I want them to develop socially. I want them to develop on the football field. And then I think we’ve had a success story, and that’s what I think it’s all about, and I think we’re doing a good job with that and hope to continue down that path because that’s the promise and the commitment and the responsibility I have here at Boston College.