Boston College has a new coach, Jeff Hafley, and with it comes a new offensive and defensive scheme. On top of that, having a new set of eyes on the roster could help to find novel and new ways to utilize players. Over the next few weeks BC Bulletin will unveil ten players who could be primed to have a breakout season in 2020. These players could have had solid seasons before but be on the cusp of something special, or they could be not used at all and earn a role in the new system.
Last season, the Boston College offensive line had an incredible year. They only allowed 13 sacks the entire year (4th in the country) and helped put together a rushing attack that was 8th in the country rushing for 253 yards per game. There were numerous stars on that line. John Phillips, Alec Lindstrom and Ben Petrula all had strong years, while Davidson transfer Zion Johnson was a revelation jumping into the starting lineup halfway through the year. But there was one player that became a household name in his first year as a starter, tackle Tyler Vrabel.
Most Boston College fans are aware of Vrabel's story. He came to the Eagles from Texas, the son of current Tennessee Titans head coach and former New England Patriots star Mike Vrabel. After redshirting in 2018, Vrabel was thrusted into the starting lineup as the starting left tackle and immediately played like a seasoned vet.
At 6'5 310 pounds, Vrabel played about as flawlessly as a lineman could play. He didn't allow a single sack all season long, and finished the year with six clean sheets meaning he didn't allow a pressure. You can see just how physical he is, as he finishes a pancake block in the season opener against Virginia Tech.
At a position of such importance like left tackle, he was an anchor.
Again, Vrabel did all of this in just his first year as a starter. At the end of the season he was honored as a Freshman All American, was an honorable mention All ACC selection, and received a vote for ACC Rookie of the Year. With potentially three more years ahead of him, Vrabel seems like a lock for the NFL. 2020 should be a special year for him, with more accolades and recognition if he continues his strong play.
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