Boston College Off-Season Notebook

With Boston College joining the ACC for the 2005 season, the Eagles could be the main challengers for Seminoles in the Atlantic Division. The Noles will travel to Chest Nut Hill on September 17th and the he winner of that game could be the frontrunner to play in the ACC Championship on December 3rd.

IMMEDIATE RESPECT

During last week's ACC Media Days at Hot Springs (Va.), the Eagles were picked by the conference media to finish second behind Florida State in the Atlantic Division. Though the Seminoles garnered 65 of a possible 92 first-place votes, BC was picked a strong second by the sportswriters.

"I think we were picked second because we're the school du jour and because of what we did in the bowl game," BC coach Tom O'Brien told the Boston Globe, referring to BC's 34-27 victory over North Carolina in the Continental Tire Bowl in Charlotte last Dec. 30. "If we came in last year with Miami and Virginia Tech, we'd have probably been picked last."

Apprised by one ACC writer that the Eagles had garnered 24 first-place votes, O'Brien responded by saying, "As I told our two esteemed writers from Boston, I believe more in the tooth fairy than I do in any preseason polls."

KIWANUKA EDGES WASHINGTON

At the same gathering, mammoth defensive end Matthias Kiwanuka was selected as the ACC's preseason Player-of-the-Year. Standing 6-7 and weighing in at 251 pounds, Kiwanuka was named the Big East's Most Outstanding player in BC's final season in the conference. He racked up 25 ½ tackles for loss and 12 ½ sacks in 2004.

"That's unbelievable," O'Brien said. "He's deserving of all the attention that he's gotten. I'm as excited as anybody to watch him play this year."

BLACKMON GETS DOUBLE DUTY

It's now official – the experiment that started in the spring will be the norm in the fall. It's extremely likely that Will Blackmon will be the only three-way player in the conference come fall.

Thanks to the emergence of DeJuan Tribble and Jazzmen Williams at corner, Blackmon was able to move over to offense and fill a huge void at receiver.

"That my title, I guess – The Experiment," Blackmon told the Boston Globe. "I just made it like it was an extra class."

O'Brien said that Blackmon will play full time on offense and will be the nickleback he inserts into the lineup in third-and-long situations. He'll also reprise his role as kick and punt return specialist. Last season, Blackmon totaled 1,023 return yards including a 72-yard punt return for a touchdown and a 96-yard kickoff return for a score.

"To his credit, he's had a great mental approach to it," O'Brien said of Blackmon. "A lot of people would sit and sulk and say, 'No, I wouldn't want to change. I've spent three years doing this.' But for the success of the team, accepting this role speaks tremendously of his character and willingness to do what's best for the team."

In the spring game, Blackmon hauled in 10 catches for 135, a 72-yard touchdown included.


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