CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – For the first time this preseason, BC football hit the practice field in full pads on Monday inside Fish Field House. The energy and enthusiasm was high throughout the two-plus hour practice with both sides of the ball making plays.
Head coach Jeff Hafley started his remarks with the media post-practice to update the latest round of COVID-19 testing for the program. A total of 164 student-athletes and staff were administered COVID-19 tests with zero positive results. Boston College Athletics has continued to work closely with campus, local, state, and federal agencies to provide the safest environment possible on campus and in BC’s athletics facilities. The team has done everything it has been asked by Hafley and his staff and the results have been stellar.
“It’s listening to the doctors and our medical staff and making sure we do everything the right way, which our players are,” Hafley said. “They are staying healthy and trying to be the best football team that we can be.”
One thing is clear in listening to Hafley, the team wants to play in 2020.
“Our players feel safe. And our players want to play. My job is to coach them the best that I can, as hard as I can, and make them feel as safe as they can. I have to follow the guidelines of our medical people. They’re telling us we can practice and they’re giving us the protocols to follow and we’re doing it the best we can.”
With full pads coming on for the first time, Hafley was pleased with the first day for the Eagles.
“Yesterday, we kind of slowed it down a little bit and today we got after it,” Hafley said. “And they worked hard. I feel like they’re getting in shape. I’m so pleased with the guys and their effort. It’s a great group.”
With spring practice ending after just five practices and the team being sent home to finish the spring semester due to COVID-19, Hafley has really been proud of the response of his student-athletes.
“Going through all of this, and seeing how hard it’s been for our players and seeing how our players have responded, makes me realize even more what a great decision I made coming here, and how excited I am to be the coach here.”
Boston College will be off tomorrow before returning to the practice field on Wednesday.
Practice Notes: It was clear to see from the start of practice the excitement level the players had with full pads coming on. The intensity, energy, and passion was evident throughout. The play of the day came in the final period of practice during no-huddle work for the offense. True freshman wide receiver Taji Johnson made an outstanding, diving catch over the middle on a pass from Phil Jurkovec. The ball was threaded into a tight window where only Johnson could make the reception … the first team period of the day featured consecutive big plays in the running game. First, Travis Levy ripped off a big run and Pat Garwo was on the receiving end from a pass from Jurkovec. BC’s depth at running back has been impressive, including the return of All-ACC back David Bailey. Walk-on Peter Stehr has shown the ability to make plays both in the run game and as a receiver as well during camp … linebacker Vinny DePalma had a big stop in the hole to stop a BC back in his tracks … one common theme of preseason camp has been the Jurkovec to Zay Flowers connection. The two hooked up on another long pass play Monday … cornerback Brandon Sebastian went all the way up for an interception on a ball thrown high over the middle … Sam Johnson connected with Jehlani Galloway for a chunk play during teamwork … Matt Valecce looked to throw a would-be touchdown to Peter Stehr, but the play was called back due to a false start.
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