A Look At The Fifth Year Guys

Signing Day 2009 is now in the rear view mirror and spring practice is a few month off. With the changes on the staff and the anticipated changes on offense, it is a good time to look at the fifth year guys and see where they fit into the system. It is a relatively small group this year, but all of them could make an impact on the 2009 season.

The 2009 recruiting class just closed adding seventeen new players to the roster. With the transfers and injuries, all the potential fifth years will now have the opportunity to return, if they choose. But remember, the decision does not solely lie with the coaches. The student-athlete has to want to return. With an undergraduate degree in hand, the physical grind may not be worth it for those who have seen very little playing time and no guarantee for more.

Impact Starters Returning

WR Rich Gunnell: Two seasons ago with Matt Ryan at QB, Rich put together one of the best statistical seasons at WR in BC history with 931 receiving yards and 7 TD's. Last year his numbers dropped due to inferior QB play, but he still put together a solid season with 551 yards and 4 TD's.

MLB Mike McLaughlin: Everyone knew he could hit, but did he possess the quickness and agility to become a playmaker at MLB? His performance last season put those questions to rest, as he is an excellent all around LB and likely a two year captain.

C Matt Tennant: The OL play dramatically improved last season and a lot of that started with Tennant. He anchored the line and made the calls while two new starters, both sophomores, were worked into the system. He is a lock to lead the line this year and could possibly be a captain on offense.

Valuable Starters

S Marcellus Bowman: He is a big safety listed at 6-2 217 pounds and he can lay the wood. His pass coverage developed very nicely last season and he should step into departed Paul Anderson's starting safety spot seamlessly. With so many young guys ready to see the field, his leadership will be critical in 2009.

DE Jim Ramella: He bounced back very nicely from a serious shoulder injury earlier in his BC career. With the loss of three starters on the line, experience will be at a premium. He has a chance to be a starter and bookend to DE with Alex Albright next season.

Two-Deep Guys

DL Austin Giles: Depth on the line is an issue for next season. Austin provides a lot of experience and solid play at DE, not to mention with his size can possibly move to DT. With the loss of Raji and Brace, there will be an opportunity for Giles to slide inside and maybe start at DT.

OL/DT Nick Rossi: He provides depth and experience at two critical positions for BC next season. He can play DT where both starters are moving on to NFL and OG where one spot is up for grabs with Clif Ramsey moving on. He has played capably at both spots.

WR Clarence Megwa: He suffered a devastating leg injury last season but his recovery is going very well. There is a chance he could be ready for next season. If he isn't ready this season he can get a medical redshirt and come back for a final season in 2010. Clarence is a big WR that can run and will likely have one final season on the field at BC.

PK Steve Aponavicius: Like it or not he has been our best field goal kicker the past three seasons. Quigley will get a shot to place kick, but is probably best as a punter. True freshman Nate Freese will kick-off, but may not be ready to place kick. Therefore, Steve remains BC's best option at kicker and will likely be back for a final season at the Heights.

Depth Guys

DL Brendan Deska: He has DE size and has also seen reps at DT, but has not been able to crack into the DL rotation for four years. With the openings on the line, he has a chance to see time this season and provides insurance against injuries.

OL Pat Sheil: He is the most highly ranked and regarded OL recruit on the current roster but has not been able to get on the field regularly. He had a shot last season, but a serious injury kept him out of practice and conditioning for most of the year. Depth is not a big issue on the line, but there will be competition at every spot. So, he could return and get a chance to play.

DE Allan Smith: Size limited his time the first two seasons. Then a torn ACL at the end of the 2007 season hindered him all last season. Fully recovering from an ACL tear takes over a year. Start of next season will be about 21 months since injury, so he should be 100% and could have a chance to contribute as a pass rusher in a DE rotation.

RB/CB Razzie Smith: He could provide depth at RB or CB, but younger players at both positions have surged ahead of him on the depth chart. Razzie has never established himself at either position. With solid 2009 recruits and redshirt freshman being added to the RB and CB mix next season, he could find himself fairly buried on either depth chart.

Eagle Insider Top Stories