Boston College Preview 2006 - Offense
Boston College Eagles
Preview 2006 - Boston College Offense
What you need to know ...
In a league with Florida State,
Miami, and Virginia Tech, it was BC who led the ACC in total
offense. Granted, it was the best of a lousy lot averaging only
388 yards per game, but it was able to consistently move the ball. The
passing game gets QB Matt Ryan back, but needs Tony Gonzalez
and several career backups to take the place of Will Blackmon
and Larry Lester. The running backs are the strength with
several great options led by the 1-2 punch of L.V. Whitworth and
Andre Callender. Despite the loss of some key players, the line
will still be very good.
Passing: Matt Ryan
121-195, 1,514 yds, 9 TD, 5 INT
Rushing: L.V. Whitworth
189 carries, 807 yds, 5 TD
Receiving: Tony Gonzalez
28 catches, 414 yds, 5 TD
Star of the offense: Junior QB Matt Ryan
Player that has to step up and become a star: Senior WR
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore WR Brandon Robinson
Best pro prospect: Junior OT Gosder Cherilus
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Ryan, 2) Cherilus, 3)
OG Josh Beekman
Strength of the offense: Running back
Weakness of the offense:
BC bombed away for 242 yards per
game and shouldn't have a problem matching that. Matt Ryan has seen enough work over the last two years to be more than
ready to be a steady leader. If he goes down, the Eagles have a
spare in Chris Crane, who has the same makeup and talents as
Ryan. Cutting down on interceptions would be nice after throwing
12 as a team last season. With question marks at wide receiver,
Ryan has to be sharp.
The key to the unit: Backup Chris Crane has to get a
little work early to get his feet wet. Matt Ryan knows what he's
doing, so Crane has to step in right away in blowouts. Will BC
continue to give the backup time in the second quarter? It might
not be a bad idea.
Quarterback Rating: 6.5
- Matt Ryan, Jr. - 121-195, 62%, 1,514 yds, 8 TD, 5 INT,
37 carries, 94 yds, 2.5 ypc, 5 TD
Mostly known for getting his block knocked off, literally,
against Clemson in one of last season's biggest hits, the 6-5,
221-pound junior came up with a nice year in a rotation with
oft-injured Quinton Porter. Ryan ended up seeing time in ten
games with his biggest performances coming in the MPC Computers
Bowl win over Boise State throwing for 256 yards and three
touchdowns and in a come-from-behind victory over Wake Forest
with two touchdown passes late in the game. He has a great
command of the offense, a nice arm and surprising mobility.
- Chris Crane, Soph. - 3-4, 42 yds
Crane got a little bit of work in the blowout win over Ball
State and is now the main number two option. He's a huge 6-5,
228-pound bomber with a live arm and enough mobility to be a
threat around the goal line.
It's not a flashy, well-known group
of backs, but there aren't any more solid backfields in the ACC.
L.V. Whitworth and Andre Callender each have two years of
experience and should combine for well over 1,500 yards again.
A.J. Brooks is back after redshirting last season to add more
flash to the mix this year. J. Survival Ross moves from tailback to
fullback to give the offense another weapon to work with when
steady blocker Mark Palmer isn't in.
The key to the unit: Everyone needs to stay happy.
There are enough backs to work with to go to a
tailback-by-committee approach without going away from whomever's
running well. A.J. Brooks and J. Survival Ross are weapons that
need to be used.
Running Back Rating: 8
- L.V. Whitworth, Jr. - 189 carries, 807 yds, 4.3 ypc, 5
TD, 23 catches, 244 yds, 10.6 ypc
The 220-pound Whitworth has worked great in tandem with the
smaller, quicker Andre Callender. Whitworth was a steady back
throughout the season and an almost certain 75-yard rusher
whenever he got more than 15 carries. He's a good receiver who
can make the key catch, but he isn't going to break off too many
big plays despite showing more speed this spring.
- Fullback Mark Palmer, Sr. - 8 catches, 40 yds, 5 ypc
Only a blocker, the 6-3, 245-pound senior didn't see any carries
last season and was used sparingly as a receiver after missing
time with a concussion. The former Utah transfer caught 18
passes in 2004.
- Andre Callender, Jr. - 142 carries, 708 yds, 5 ypc,
3 TD, 22 catches, 141 yds, 6.4 ypc
A bit more explosive than L.V. Whitworth, Callender is a great
complement to L.V. Whitworth. He isn't quite as good in a
workhorse role as L.V. Whitworth, but he has more 100-yard games
with three in ACC play last season. With his speed, he should be
able to bust off more big plays as a receiver.
- A.J. Brooks, Soph.
A good speedy back to throw into the rotation once in a while,
the 199-pound Brooks ran for 319 yards and three touchdowns in
2004. He redshirted last year and should be involved more and
more getting 5-7 carries a game.
- Fullback J. Survival Ross, Sr. - 15 carries, 71 yds, 2
TD, 1 catch, 19 yds
The 207-pound Ross has sprinter's speed, but he hasn't worked
out as a tailback. He'll be used as a fullback to get him on the
field more and to used his wheels as a receiver out of the
backfield. The heavy blocking work will be left up to Mark
- Fullback Brian Toal, Jr. - 23 carries, 56 yds, 2.4 ypc,
The star linebacker is also a tremendous goal line threat. He
needs to return health and will primarily focus on improving as
a linebacker, but he's a big weapon for the team's power game.
Losing top two receivers Will Blackmon and
Larry Lester hurts mainly because Blackmon was the type of
weapon that defenses had to gameplan around. BC doesn't have one
of those coming back with a decent, pedestrian group that will
put up numbers in the efficient Eagle passing game, but won't
scare anyone. Tony Gonzalez has been a nice reserve and now has
to turn into a steady number one target, Kevin Challenger has
good quickness, Taylor Sele has gamebreaking speed, but hasn't
shown it off yet, and Brandon Robinson will be the X factor as a
promising young number four receiver. The tight end situation is
up in the air after losing Chris Miller. Ryan Purvis, Ryan
Thompson, and Vanderbilt transfer Jon Loyte are all big and can
The key to the unit: Tony Gonzalez has to be Will
Blackmon, and a steady tight end has to emerge.
Receiver Rating: 6.5
- Kevin Challenger, Jr. - 16 catches, 184 yds, 11.5 ypc, 1 TD
The Canadian native is a small, quick receiver who should
blossom in a full-time role. He was a steady reserve throughout
last season and caught a big touchdown pass against Wake Forest.
He'll do most of his work on the inside where he'll need to use
his quickness to bust off big plays after the catch.
- Tony Gonzalez, Sr. - 28 catches, 414 yds, 14.8 ypc, 5
A strong reserve over the last few years, Gonzalez has to grow
into the number one role after leading the team in touchdown
catches and finishing second behind Will Blackmon in yards per
catch. He has been streaky over the last two seasons with his
biggest performance coming last year with six grabs for 104
yards and a touchdown against Wake Forest. Now he has to be
- Tight end Ryan Thompson, Jr. - 3 catches, 37 yds, 12.3
Thompson will get the first crack at the opening at tight end
after being used sparingly last season. Even at 254 pounds, he's
the team's smallest tight end option and will have to be a
consistent receiver to hold off Ryan Purvis and Vanderbilt
transfer Jon Loyte.
- Taylor Sele, Sr. - 14 catches, 142 yds, 10.1 ypc
Sele saw all his work in the first half of last year before
getting banged up. At 6-0 and 203 pounds, he's a bigger, faster
option than Kevin Challenger on the inside. He has the raw speed
to be a gamebreaker, but he hasn't shown it off yet.
- Brandon Robinson, Soph. - 7 catches, 94 yds, 13.4 ypc,
With good quickness and nice hands, Robinson should be used more
this year as a number three receiver and a backup behind Tony
Gonzalez. He caught a touchdown pass in garbage time last year
against Wake Forest and has shown flashes of big-play ability in
- Tight end Ryan Purvis, Soph. - 6 catches, 12 yds
The 6-4, 261-pound Purvis made his biggest impact against
Florida State catching three passes, but they only went for nine
yards. He has the athleticism to grow into a receiver, and his
big body makes him a strong tight end.
The line was the best in the ACC last season allowing a mere
15 sacks and paving the way for 145 rushing yards a game. It was also
one of the league's biggest lines. Now there's a little bit of work to
do losing star center Pat Ross and tackle Jeremy Trueblood. Josh Beekman
will try out at both center and guard with the ability to be the anchor
at either spot, while Gosder Cherilus is an emerging star at right
tackle. James Marten has to shine in place of Trueblood on the left
side, and Kevin Sheridan has to come up with a big year in the middle.
More depth needs to be developed.
The key to the unit: Center and the left side. The
right side will be one of the best in the ACC with Josh Beekman and
Gosder Cherilus, so the left side has to come through big in pass
protection. Consider the line a work in progress.
Offensive Line Rating: 7.5
- OT James Marten, Sr.
One of the team's steadiest linemen over the last two seasons playing 24
straight at left guard, the 6-8, 315-pound senior will move outside to
take over the left tackle position. He's a good enough athlete to handle
the switch, but it's asking a lot for him to be as good as Jeremy
- OG Ryan Poles, Jr.
The 6-4, 310-pound junior saw plenty of time last season as both a
tackle and guard. He's a great talent who can play either spot on the
left side starting out at guard.
- C Kevin Sheridan, Jr.
Sheridan has huge shoes to fill replacing all-star Pat Ross in the
middle. He saw enough time as the understudy to know what he's doing
right off the bat. His play is the key to the line; if he shines, Josh
Beekman can stay at guard.
- OG Josh Beekman, Sr.
Able to potentially end up at center, the 325-pound senior will likely
start out at right guard. He's good enough to earn all-star honors at
either position with great athleticism and tackle-like pass protection
- OT Gosder Cherilus, Jr.
Cherlius took his lumps starting every game as a freshman, improved as a
sophomore, and now he should be one of the ACC's better tackles. He's
6-7 and 320 pounds with NFL potential as a pass blocker.
- C/G Ty Hall, Jr.
Able to play anywhere on the line, the 6-5, 296-pound Hall saw time last
year behind Gosder Cherilus at right tackle, has played at left tackle,
was listed for a time as a backup center, and will start out this year
behind Ryan Poles at left guard but could end up at center.
- G Tom Anevski, Jr.
He has seen a little bit of time and will be in the guard rotation a bit
more this year behind Josh Beekman on the right side. He could be a nice
fill-in on the left. The 6-4, 301-pound
junior could even end up starting if Beekman spends time at center.
- T Clif Ramsey, Soph.
A scout teamer as a redshirt freshman, the 6-6, 305-pound sophomore will
play a key role behind James Martin on the right side. He'll be groomed
for a starting spot in 2007.