BC Draft: Best Players of the Past Ten Years

Previously on BCDraft, we had taken a stab at the best running backs at BC, which created a bit of a stir. This time around, we're going to do something a little more difficult-draft the ten best players at BC in the last ten years.

Because the RB article did generate a good amount of debate, here are the specifics on the criteria for this draft:

It's not a "body of work" award, if you will. It's how GOOD was this player. If that player only had one great year and was a bright shining star for one season, then they're able to be judged by that one year; given that they were on a BC roster from 2000-2010. Also of note is that a player's professional career-whether exceptional or non-existent-is discounted completely. It's about what these guys did in Maroon and Gold.

While it's almost impossible to try to value a WR vs. an OL vs. a QB...but we did our best here. What are your thoughts? Who did we miss? Who went too early or too late? Leave your thoughts on the Eagle Insider Message Boards.

1Wesley)Matt Ryan

Let's just call him the greatest thing that happened to BC Football post Doug Flutie. He not only won, but he did so in class and style. Between the Clemson game and the Virginia Tech outstanding finish, it would be hard to beat Matty Ice for excitement in a BC player in the last 10 years!

2 BCMike) William Green

Tough not to go with Matty Ryan first there Wesley…almost a gimmie really!

For me I'll go with William Green. While Willie's pro-career never reached the levels we had hoped for, he was flat-out dominant in college—and that's against some pretty good Miami teams and other decent competition. Green had it all, size, speed, and vision. While there are other backs at BC that have tallied more yards, catches, TD's, etc., it's tough for me to say that there was a better back at BC in the history of the program let alone the last ten years.

3W)Kiwi

Kiwi, a great 94'er for BC, a great wait scratch that, an AWESOME Defensive end, who had great speed and size. Although the Virginia didn't treat him with the respect he deserved, Kiwi is actually the Grandson of the first Prime Minister of Uganda.

Kiwi was a great sack master, and on top of that just a really nice guy.

4M) Mark Herzlich

The only other player from BC to be an all-conference defensive player of the year, Mark Herzlich. Mark's career isn't over yet, so we can only guess how much higher he would wind up after the 2010 season is over, but I feel like I can't let him slip by me here at 4th. Herzy has a great motor, and much like the other 94 on this list, possesses strong leadership and lead-by-example type personality and play. Whether playing the run and making big hits, or getting scary deep on LB drops in pass protection, I don't have any problem saying Mark's the best LB I've seen as an Eagle fan…and there have been some very good ones.

5W) BJ Raji

BJ Raji was a bowling ball right up the middle at DT for Boston College. He was exceptionally quick, especially for a man of his size…he was great at stopping the run, and terrorized QB to speed up the pass. When you have that kinda talent on the line it makes everyone look good. And my exact favorite play by BJ was his sacking of Jimmy Clausen by using Notre Dame's own RB. Just awesome!! And as much as I wish I could show you that video, it seems to somehow been wiped off of the interwebs, so instead, I'll show you another.

6M) Jeremy Trueblood

Great call on BJ, Wesley. He was absolutely going to be my next pick. My favorite line on BJ came from the recently retired Bobby Bowden who called BJ "the best football player I've ever seen" after a game his junior year. People scoffed at that remark at the time, but scoffed far less two years later when Raji was selected very early on the NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers.

Here I'm going with the OL that lead BC to discover Mathias Kiwanuka, Jeremy Trueblood. Hard to believe these guys came from the same high school, but it's true. Many different OL could go here as BC has enjoyed unprecedented success here at O-Line-U in the past ten years, but I have a hard time selecting anyone over Trueblood, who was a true grater and very good pass blocker. Others have arguably had greater success in the NFL, but as far as for BC, Trueblood is a top ten player I believe.

Plus, his name is just so cool. If you're going to create an OL from scratch, giving him a name like "Trueblood" has to be one of your first choices.

7W) JoLonn Dunbar

I was always a fan of Dunbar. He was relentless in his pursuit, and a great run stopper. One of many great LBs at Boston College Dunbar stood out to me as someone who was always able to make good plays, and never was done fighting to do whatever it took to get a win for the Eagles!

8M) Will Blackmon

Dunbar…another excellent choice Wesley. Dunbar remains one of my favorite BC players. Originally a RB in college, he wasn't expected to do much at the next level but Jolonn brought it every week. I was very happy for him getting that ring with the Saints last year.

My next choice here I have to say is a steal at eight. Blackmon is/was arguably the most natural talent BC has had in recent years. He was the Gatorade Player of the Year…from Rhode Island. People discounted his abilities because of the small pond he was brought up in, but no one had an easy time keeping up with Will regardless of where you were from.

Most amazing to me is that not only is Will arguably the best DB we've had since 2000, he's easily the best kick returner, easily the best punt returner, and even though he only played for one season as a WR, he lead the team in receptions, yards, and TD's that season—so he's at the very least top 3-4 WR during that same tenure based on annual average production alone. A true skill player that many BC fans complain about not having often enough at The Heights, Will Blackmon could do it all.

9W) Gosder Cherilus If you have watched the movie the blind side, you know how important his position was…He was protecting Matty Ice, on his blind side. Gos is a giant of a man, and did a great job of protecting the quarterback. And an huge piece of O-Line U! And as a lot of men on this list, plays on Sundays.

10M) Jamie Silva

Not a bad selection here with Gos, Wesley. Solid, solid player who was a great RT at BC. I never thought he was nearly as good of a LT as he was a RT. Not sure why that is….but I digress.

I'm going with Jamie Silva with my 10th and final selection. Silva, to me, exemplifies what Boston College football is all about. He was barely a two star coming out of (again) Rhode Island and didn't measure up particularly well in any metric the scouting services have. Heck, he didn't measure up on the height ruler particularly well either. But what Jamie Silva didn't have on the charts and stats, he made up with in heart and instinct. By the end of his senior campaign, he was a finalist for the best DB in the entire nation (one of three). Silva was a hard-hitting, ball-hawking, reckless player that was nearly impossible not to love to cheer for.

Okay, you know what? I have to say we need to extend the draft here a little bit. Want to do two more, Wesley?

11W) Montel Harris

I'll be happy to put this draft into the bonus round.

I know he is just a Junior this year at BC, but his name must be on this list. As he was slated to Red shirt his first year, things happened to get him on the field, and Boston College fans are thrilled he did. In his Freshman year he had more rushing yards than any other Eagle, and there was no Sophomore slump, as he ran relentlessly for 1457 yards, with essentially no backup and some games nearing 50 carries in some games. Montel is a workhorse, that's fact, not opinion, and I think we have just seen the beginning… just hide and watch. And where are the Montel Harris for Heisman signs??

12M) Richie Gunns

Time will tell on the Montel selection, Wesley. He does have two more years of eligibility left starting in 2010, so you may very well have picked a sleeper before it fully bloomed. He could hold all of the records before it's all said and done.

Speaking of holding all of the records, I'll take Boston College's all-time receiving record holder, Rich "Richie Gunns" Gunnell. Richie Gunns had the luxury of having Matt Ryan throw to him, but then also had Chris Crane, Justin Tuggle, Michael Marscovetra, and Dave Shinskie throwing to him. Through all of those QB's, he was able to excel with ALL of them which is not an unimpressive feat.

For most offenses, you have a "go-to" guy. For most of his career, he was just that. Regardless of coverage, if the team needed a first down or a big play, the odds were that Richie Gunns was going to be the guy who would do it for the Eagles. He just made big plays.

My lasting impression of Richie Gunns will be from his last game, fittingly enough—which he used to break the all time reception and yards records. Specifically, it was an inside slant route he ran vs. USC where all four Trojan DB's had an angle on him while playing a cloud zone, then Richie just ran past all four of them. He will be sorely missed in 2010.


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