Five Impact Freshmen Who Could Play Important Roles In 2021

Boston College has a talented upcoming group of freshmen, but after spring practice concluded who could be immediate impact players.
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Now that spring football has concluded, it's time to relook at the upcoming freshmen class and predict which players could have a sizable role in the upcoming season. 

1. C.J. Burton Jr. - Cornerback: The corner back position is relatively packed at this point with starters Brandon Sebastian, Elijah Jones, and Josh DeBerry all returning for the upcoming season. But Burton came to camp this year ready to play, grabbing an interception in the spring game, and has reportedly developed into a game ready player who will see action quickly. There is no reason to think that Burton could find himself on the field soon, either to sub out a starter or in specific packages. 

2. Bryce Steele - Linebacker: One of the biggest question marks heading into the season has to be the linebacker position. After losing Max Richardson, Isaiah McDuffie and even John Lamot, Tem Lukabu and Jeff Hafley will have to plug in new faces into those now empty slots. From camp reports it sounds like Temple transfer Isaiah Graham Mobley and converted safety Kam Arnold could take the two linebacker slots, but there are still question marks. If Steele picks up the defense, and shows he can handle the role as a true freshman, he could give the Eagles speed they desperately need on defense. Even if he doesn't grab a starter role, like Burton Jr., he could find a role this upcoming season.

3. Xavier Coleman- Running Back. Boston College have revamped their running back position heading into 2021. David Bailey is still in the transfer portal, Travis Levy is transitioning to an every down back, Pat Garwo is recovering from an injury and transfer Alec Sinkfield was not on campus for spring football. Enter Coleman, who saw a lot of snaps in the spring game. It looks like Levy could be the feature back in 2021, but it only takes a few big plays before the depth chart flips. 

4. Neto Okpala - Defensive End. This selection is based on potential alone. Okpala hasn't even stepped foot on BC's campus yet, but what he has done leading up to his freshman year should open eyes. He was an All-State football player in Georgia, and a track star, running an 11.18 100m dash, incredible speed for a defensive end. Boston College have three established defensive ends in Brandon Barlow, Marcus Valdez and Shittah Sillah. But at this point you wouldn't categorize them as explosive. Okpala has all the signs of becoming that player, a defender that can impact games with his raw ability. If he picks up the defense quickly, he could find himself on the field, possibly filling in the role that Max Roberts played in 2020. 

5. Lewis Bond - Wide Receiver. Of course the wide receiver position is stacked. Zay Flowers, Jaelen Gill, CJ Lewis, Kobay White and Jehlani Galloway are all returning. On top of that there is intriguing upsides to both Taji Johnson and Ethon Williams. On paper, there probably won't be many snaps available for Bond, a true freshman from Chicago. However, he has speed, and the buzz around him is that he is a "playmaker". Good coaches find a way to get those players on the field, regardless of the depth around him. Of anyone on this list, Bond's odds of playing are probably the smallest, but if he has a strong summer look out.