The Lines of Scrimmage: Can BC stop Miami on either side?
With three potential first round choices on the defensive line and a fourth that fits into the middle frames, the Eagle front line of protection could have its' hands full trying to stop Miami in the trenches, though the Boston College offensive line is a talented unit. Possibly the best match-up of the evening will be the pairing of Eagle guard Chris Snee and center Dan Koppen trying to slow down a forceful Hurricane trio on the interior which includes William Joseph, Vince Wilfolk and Matt Walters. Snee, a dominant lineman and the red-shirt sophomore, is easily one of the top five pro-prospects in the nation at his position. Koppen's tough as nails, very smart and hard working but cannot dominate the way his teammate does. Right now we like Koppen in the later rounds but a solid showing at the Senior Bowl coupled with strong combine workouts will push him into the middle frames. Stopping Wilfolk could be an adventure as the second year collegian just gets better with time and stuffs the run with the same force which he rushes the passer; Wilfolk is destined to be a top five selection whenever he enters the draft. William Joseph is another load that collapses the pocket but does not play with the same explosion displayed by Wilfolk. Staying in school for his senior campaign will provide large dividends and Joseph is a top ten selection next April with the caveat of moving into the very early picks should he show well against lineman like Snee. We expect to see Joseph kicked out to end on occasion and if successful (which he's proven to be in the past) it only enhances his draft ranking. Matt Walters is the overlooked prospect of the Miami bunch but a legitimate prospect that comes and works hard everyday, getting results. A few pounds of added bulk and good lifting results prior to the draft will push him into the first day. The Hurricanes have major advantages on the edges rushing the passer. Though not presently atop the depth chart, Jerome McDougle is a prime NFL prospect that will hear his called towards the end of round one next April. He's fast, explosive and relentless, possessing a motor that never quits. Flying off the corner and into the quarterbacks face, McDougle also displays the ability to chase down and catch the ball carrier from the backside. Like Walters size is of concern for McDougle but should he add bulk prior to the draft a top 15 selection is possible. Miami ends Jamal Green and Andrew Williams are part of the rotation and both seniors will garner late round consideration. The match-up on the edges is really a mismatch; Marc Parenteau, a natural guard that will be in a brought into a camp next summer, is out of place a right tackle for the Eagles. He will get help from Sean Ryan, a terrific tight end prospect that is an exceptional blocker and efficient pass catcher.
Flipping it around one can see again that Boston College will have its' work cut out on Saturday. Even after losing McKinnie and Gonzlez to the NFL the Hurricanes offer a devastating offensive line. Brett Romberg is terrific on the pivot displaying brains, toughness and a lot of explosion. Solid at the point of attack, he effectively gets out to the second level and takes linebackers out of the play. Size and strength are a concern, as is growth potential for Romberg and he does not project as well to the next level as many might think. One that does is Sherko Haji-Rasouli, a dominant guard the plays with great fundamentals and is terrific protecting the passer or blocking for the run. An injury late in the 2001 campaign cost him playing time but should he test well athletically, Haji-Rasouli is one of the top five guards available next April. Senior Ed Wilkins played well filling in for Rasouli last year and will get invited to a camp next summer. Trying to penetrate this wall will be a pair of solid Eagle prospects. Much has been written about Doug Goodwin as a sick father and mounting medical bills may be force his hand into next April's draft and the junior has all but stated publicly he will enter the affair. To this point Goodwin is a lot like former Eagle Chris Hovan; amazingly quick off the snap, ferocious and relentless in pursuit of the ball carrier. Goodwin is also a little shy in the size/strength department (height and weight) as was Hovan entering his junior season, but would still be a solid first day pick next April. On the other hand line-mate Anotnio Garray has the size and strength to play on the next level as the former wrestler overpowers opponents on his way to the ball and also plays with a good degree of intelligence. Were it not for prior injuries (most recently a neck problem in the spring), Garray would be a legitimate top seventy five choice but the medical history could leave him in the cold.
Battle of the Signal Callers: The Obvious versus the Unobvious
All too often people ask the question; why does the Heisman Trophy recipient end up being a lousy NFL player? The answer is simple; a good college player does not necessarily project well at the next level. In many ways the quarterback battle in this game represents that theory. Miami's Ken Dorsey, who finished near the top in last years' Heisman balloting and is a contender for the 2002 race look to be a nice pro-prospect but nothing outstanding. His opponent, Brian St. Pierre is unlikely to finish as a top five finalist for any national award but will be selected at least two rounds earlier than Dorsey next April. He is a legitimate candidate to be a starting signal caller at the next level, possessing the stature and big league arm for the NFL. His downfield accuracy is superb while the placement of his long passes seems almost scary at times. St. Pierre has the ability to be effective in an assortment of offensive schemes and while he needs to iron out his mechanics, it is not out of the question for him to be off the board by the late part of round two. Dorsey on the other hand is a great team leader, a quarterback with terrific intangibles and intelligence. What he does not possess are the necessary physical attributes to be considered a top-notch or even first day prospect. In many ways he reminds us of former Ohio State signal caller Joe Germaine; great head but average upside potential.
Andre Johnson against the Boston College secondary
The next in a long line of great Miami Hurricane receivers comes in the form of Andre Johnson; a big, strong, game-controlling wide out that breaks it deep on occasion and cashes in on the big play. Johnson's progress has been meteoric; after the graduation of Santana Moss and Reggie Wayne in '01, the Hurricane passing game never missed a beat last year when Johnson stepped into the starting line-up and he is a top twenty material should he enter the draft (even earlier if he runs well prior to April). Re