Tuesday, May 5, 2009

2010 Football Position Previews: Defense

This is the second of my 3 part "wicked early" break down of the Boston College football team in 2010. I am going to continue this 3 part series by doing the defensive side of the football, giving my own personal views on each player!

Defensive Tackle Position
Damik Scafe: Coming into Spring Ball Damik had some huge and I mean REALLY huge shoes to fill as he was the favorite to start at defensive tackle in place of B.J. Raji and Ron Brance. Well let me tell you he stepped up his game big time this spring. He dominated the strength of the offense, the Offensive Line and has gotten bigger and stronger from last year to this year. There will still be some drop off with the loss of Raji and Brace, but it will be much smaller than what most of us thought because of Scafe's play.

Kaleb Ramsey: Kaleb has been working with Scafe all spring and he been player really well for himself. Scafe explains, "He's playing next to me at defensive tackle and he's doing a great job. We work well together and talk a lot, and we have a great chemistry going right now." If Ramsey and Scafe can build some what of a similar relationship to the one Raji and Brace had, BC may not be in as bad of a spot as most people think.

Bryan Murray: Murray worked with the 2nd unit for the spring and he struggled to get going at first but progressed all spring and culminated with a good spring game. He definitely has the size at 6'2" and 292 pounds to be a very good DT but he is still young and inexperienced so a year as the third DT in there should do him some good.

Dillon Quinn: Is still a high school senior right now but he was the best recruit of the BC 2009 class. We have all heard about his strength and size therefore come this summer he should be a very good backup who might even challenge for some playing time.

Prediction: Scafe and Ramsey are the starters with Murray getting plenty of playing time.

Defensive End Position
Alex Albright: Alex Albright has been fantastic for the past two years when he was on the field, but that was his biggest problem. He has had back to back season ending injuries and it has now become a big problem for him. If he can stay healthy he will definitely be the teams best end for the Eagles but we just got to hope he can stay healthy.

Jim Ramella: Ramella filled in last year for Albright went down and he will be a big part of the defense again. He will be asked to not only pass rush this year but also help the tackles inside at stopping the run. Ramella has been a steadying force on the BC defense the past 3 years and hopes to continue that in his senior season.

Austin Giles: Austin Giles is another player like Jim Ramella, who has when asked, stepped up and filled in for injured players and has done a faboulous job. He is one of the better tacklers on the defense which helps him stop the run and can get to quarterback. He will be a big part of this defense next year.

Max Holloway: Another one of the young guys, trying to earn themselves some playing time on the 2010 BC team. He progressed well this spring and finished up strong with a nice sack in the Spring Game. Holloway is probably the backup at one of the end spots right now.

Prediction: Albright and Giles get the starting spots while Ramella plays just as much as them and Holloway is ready to step in if injuries happen.

Linebacker Position
Mark Herzlich: What can you say about this man? He is a man among kids. He is already on the Lott Trophy watch list and is expected to be a top 20 pick in the 2010 NFL draft. He was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year last year and will be the best player on the BC team this year. Expect bigger and better things this year, if that is even possible.

Mike McLaughlin: He was the second leading tackler on the defense last year behind Herzlich but might not see a minute of playing time next year. He injured his Achilles during the winter and his recovery time line in a mystery to everyone, we will just have to wait and see.

Will Thompson: Well McLaughlin may be out and the Eagles have lost Robert Francois and Brian Toal, but Will Thompson played awesome during the spring with the second most tackles behind Mark Herzlich. Thompson looks to fill the holes left by Francois and McLaughlin.

With the likelyhood of McLaughlin missing the 2010 season the Eagles will be looking for a 3rd starting linebacker and it is likely a 4 man cometition. All of these guys have shown flashes of brilliance during the spring and it will be fun to watch this battle unfold this summer. The cadidates are:
Dan Williams: The biggest of the 4 but he has all the instincts you want in a starting linebacker.
Nick Clancy: The quickest of all of these players and he has plenty of size to go with that speed. Size and Speed is always a good combo in a Linebacker.
Mike Morrissey: Morrissey is the smallest of these guys but he is probably the hardest hitter of them all.
Alexander DiSanzo: DiSanzo is the best tackler of the bunch and he always seems to be in the right spot at the right time.

Prediction: Herzlich and Williams are starters, Nick Clancy wins the 3rd spot but Williams, Morrissey and DiSanzo will be used often.

Safety Position
Wes Davis: Davis is a good combination defensive back. He can cover wide receivers in open field while stopping the run if needed. He had a good spring and he receiverd the Jay McGillis Memorial Scholarship because he was such a good player and student.

Marty Bowman: Has very good speed and is a good run stopper he has the ability to play both safety positions and play cornerback if need be. He is a versitile player who has the right size to be a very good safety.

Okechukwu Okoroha: Okechukwu had a great spring and is a probably more of a corner back than a safety but the CB position is stacked right now. He is looking to get on the field in anyway possible and he definitely has the skill to switch over to the free safety spot and succeed.

Stephen Atkinson: Atkinson didn't stand out this spring, but he is still probably third on the depth chart at the safety position. One thing that he has against him is he is a bit undersized for the safety position. He may add size over the summer but can still be a viable option for the Eagles.

Prediction: Davis starts at the Strong Safety position, Bowman starts are the Free Safety position.

Cornerback Position
DeLeon Gause: He dominated this spring even after switching sides of the field. The quarterbacks didn't just struggle cause of inexperience it was because the cornerbacks like Gause were playing awesome. He got injured last year and wasn't 100% but expect him to be ready next year and expect him to be one of the better defenders.

Roderick Rollins: Rollins is looking to come into this year and help fill the loss of Kevin Akins on defense. Rollins is a very good cover corner who can hit with the best of them. Expect him to challenege for the second starting corner spot.

Donnie Fletcher: Was another one of those guys who had a great spring and he finished it up spectactular with a Spring Game. He had eight tackles and 2two pass breakups. Expect him to challenge with Rollins for the second starting corner spot.

Issac Johnson: Issac Johnson played as a true freshman last year but he didn't start. He is looking to come into next year with a starting role but with the brillaint play of Gause, Rollins and Fletcher it will be hard for him start. He should see plenty of time on the field however.

Prediction: Gause and Fletcher get the starting spots with Johnson and Rollins seeing the field often.

The Eagles defense looks to be a stregth for them again this year as they have a ton of talent and are stacked at the Linebacker and Defensive back positions.(which is a surprise as the defensive back position was considered a weakness last year). Herzlich, Albirght and Guase look to be the best players on the defense. Also, I expect some of the incoming freshmen to also be in the mix at some positions.

Tomorrow I will finish up this series with a special teams preview!


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