After Saturday's spring game, Boston College head coach Jeff Hafley spoke with reporters via Zoom. Here are five takeaways from his comments.
1. Denzel Blackwell is a name to watch. A name that may still be unfamiliar to many, Blackwell is a former three star defensive back out of Texas, who is now a redshirt freshmen for the Eagles. The 5-10 corner had a pair of pass breakups on Saturday, and his head coach complimented him "It doesn't surprise me, because that's what he's done in practice. He might be one of the most improved guys from the time he got here until now. Coach Aazaar and Coach Thurin have done an amazing job with him. It's what he's done all spring. He's going to make a run for it in training camp. All he does is work hard, show up, competes and he finishes just like that." While BC has a loaded secondary full of returners, don't be surprised if Blackwell sees playing time in 2021.
2. Lewis Bond is going to be dangerous. One of the highlights of the day, was an incredible catch in the end zone by freshman wide receiver Lewis Bond. The Chicago, Illinois native's catch was ruled incomplete, but would have been overturned in a real game. "He just finds a way to get open and he has really great hands and catches the ball," said Hafley. "It seems like quarterbacks really like throwing to him. He's strong, too. He's got big legs, strong legs, which makes him hard to defend sometimes, especially in the slot. I am really excited about him."
3. Dennis Grosel continues to grow. The first offensive touchdown of the game was on a read option from the senior, who looked much quicker than in year's past. "Dennis saw an open lane, kept his eyes down the field and just decided to run," said Hafley. But it wasn't just that play, "he just looked so confident. I was behind him listening to him, hearing him. Just a great leader. Great presence. He led some really good drives today and did a nice job."
4. D-Line should be improved. Former Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich mentioned it multiple times on the telecast, but he noticed the improved play of the line. He mentioned that many of the linemen had more of a chance to bulk up and work the weight rooms this year, which could lead to better play. Hafley talked about their play as well. ""I think they played at a really high level. I think the energy and the speed they play with, coach [Vince Oghobaase] has done an awesome job." Hafley explained. "The pass rush today, I thought the pocket collapsed a lot of times and we probably would have had a lot of sacks. In the run, it looked like we did a really nice job. I think our D-Line might be one of the most improved units and it has to be if we're going to play good defense next year."
5. Continued evolution of the running back position. With David Bailey in the transfer portal, Boston College has really made their move to change the way a running back is used in their offense. Patrick Garwo was out recovering from an injury, but we saw a healthy dose of freshman Xavier Coleman and graduate Travis Levy. "We believe the backs that we have right now are versatile enough to line them up, bring them back in, throw them the ball out of the backfield, throw them the ball spread out. That's going to be an important part."
Andre Hines and Javian Dayne also played a role in Saturday's game.
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Photo courtesy of BCEagles.com/Anthony Garro