Boston College lost both starting linebackers this offseason as Max Richardson and Isaiah McDuffie have declared for the NFL Draft. In Jeff Hafley's 4-2-5 defense, that means BC is going to need to figure out two players to fit those slots. Here are some potential replacements moving forward.
Isaiah Graham Mobley - Transfer from Temple
One of the newest Eagles, Graham-Mobley gives Boston College exactly what they need at the linebacker position. He is long and quick and will be the perfect fit when it comes to spying mobile quarterbacks. The big question for the transfer will be his health, he has missed portions of the last two seasons due to injury. But if he can stay on the field, expect Graham-Mobley to be a difference maker for the Eagles in '21.
Jaiden Lars Woodbey - Transfer from FSU
Technically more of a hybrid linebacker (think Jahmin Muse), Woodbey has the frame to lineup as a traditional linebacker if needed. Jeff Hafley could decide based on depth and need that Woodbey will do better as a linebacker, or he could move him around.
Vinny DePalma - Junior
The New Jersey native missed all of '20 due to an undisclosed injury. But when he played in '19 he showed that he could be the future of the defense. Filling in admirably when Isaiah McDuffie went down with injury, the redshirt freshman DePalma finished the year with 33 tackles, including five TFLs, plus one forced fumble.
Hugh Davis - Sophomore
Has played part of two seasons so far for the Eagles, recording ten tackles. It's hard to gauge how he will fit in Jeff Hafley and Tem Lukabu's system as he was originally recruited by Steve Addazio. However, reports have been that he is going to be a fantastic fit no matter who he plays for. Could '21 be the year Hugh Davis makes it as a regular starter?
Korey Smith - Sophomore
One of Steve Addazio's biggest "gets" on the recruiting trail, the four star Smith has been the talk amongst BC nation in terms of getting on the field. His size though has to make you ponder where he would fit on the defense. He's 250lbs, and unless he moves quicker than his frame would suggest, he might be more of a John Lamot type player, than a quicker linebacker BC desperately needs. With practices closed, it's hard to gauge what he can and can't do.
Joe Sparacio - Sophomore
Another valuable contributor from '19, Sparacio missed the entire '20 campaign due to an undisclosed injury. He definitely showed flashes in his first year as a starter, but also got exposed against quicker offenses. He certainly looks like a player that will improve with a good defensive mind to coach him up. But will it be enough to fix the problems that plagued the Eagles in '20?
John Lamot -- Senior
Lamot is technically out of eligibility and it wouldn't surprise me if he isn't on the team in '21. But because of the NCAA regulations that allow players to return, he could return to the team in '21. Known as a big hitter, Lamot however probably is not going to be the long term answer for BC's problem against mobile quarterbacks. If he does return, he probably would be a situational player.
Others (Paul Theobald, Thomas Hovsepian, Jaylen Bailey, Joe Marinaro): Not sure what these players could give in terms of need on Boston College, but they could always explode in the spring or summer and earn their spot on the depth chart.
The Freshmen: Jeff Hafley went out and grabbed a handful of players who can play linebacker, or defensive end. Could a player like Quintayvious Hutchins, Donovan Ezeiraku or Owen McGowan surprise this fall? Certainly could happen, but we will have to wait and see what they do when they get here.
Another transfer: Wouldn't surprise me in the least if Boston College goes out and grabs another linebacker in the transfer portal.
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