2012 Program Preview - Boston College

Boston College's fate in 2012 rests largely on the shoulders of QB Chase Rettig.

I'm starting a new series today going through as many teams as I can get through ahead of the 2012 season and identifying some prospects of note. Additionally, we'll look at some key matchups in general and for those prospects.

Taking it alphabetically, we'll go with the ACC and Boston College first.

With tackling machine Luke Kuechly now a Carolina Panther via the 9th pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, the Eagles are without a marquee prospect going into this season. Given that last year's team was worse than any incarnation since the late '90s before Tom O'Brien turned the program around, things don't look good for 2012.

After the jump, the prospects worth noting as well as some games and matchups to pencil into your calendar.

References

BC Interruption (SBN Boston College community), SB Nation team page, official team site, (Bill Connelly's preview/s will go here if available, and if you're not reading them, you're a bad person. His Stanford preview, published today, is proof.), Dane Brugler's preview for CBSSports

Notable offensive prospects

Name POS Yr. Early projected Rd (notes)
Chris Pantale TE RS Sr. 7th-UD
Bobby Swigert WR Jr. 7th-UD
Johnathan Coleman WR Jr. UD (potential riser)


Notable defensive prospects

Name POS Yr. Early projected Rd (notes)
Kaleb Ramsey DT RS Sr. 5th
Kevin Pierre-Louis OLB Jr. 5th
Al Louis-Jean CB Soph. N/A
Sean Duggan OLB Soph. N/A


Summary

It's not an incredibly talented team, but with 17 returning starters, nine of whom are on the offensive side (including QB Chase Rettig), the Eagles at least have some positive notes to build on. Not in that category is the dismissal of Montel Harris due to a repeated violation of team rules in early May. The school's all-time leading rusher, Harris was in position to challenge the record for the conference. In his absence, the Eagles will approach the position with a trio of backs that will try and replicate his production.

Defensively, there's some youthful talent in the waiting, but no one that matches the stock of former Eagles B.J. Raji or Mathias Kiwanuka.

Key games

Miami (home) - Week 1 (Sat., Sept. 1 - 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

The season opener, this is a huge, huge game for the program, but specifically for Head Coach Frank Spaziani. Now in his fourth year, Spaziani has effectively erased much of the gains the program made under former HC Jeff Jagodzinski. The Eagles got off to a horrible start last year with just one win in their first seven games. They played their best football late in the year, going 3-2 in their last five and nearly defeating Notre Dame in South Bend. Interestingly, their last game of the year was a 24-17 win...in Miami.

Northwestern (away) - Week 3 (Sat., Sept. 15 - 3:30 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network)

The Eagles are likely to be 1-1 or 2-0 at this point, depending on the outcome of the aforementioned Miami contest. With a tough four-game stretch following this game (vs. Clemson, at Army, at Florida St. and at Georgia Tech), this is an incredibly important game that could determine bowl eligibility for the Eagles come season's end.

Key matchups

CB Al Louis-Jean v. Clemson WR Sammy Watkins*, Week 5 - Sat., Sept. 29

If Louis-Jean can't minimize the Tajh Boyd-Watkins connection, this one won't be close.

*Assuming whatever placative punishment Watkins has to endure is over by then. It will be.

Entire offense v. Florida St. defense, Week 7 - Sat., Oct. 13

Chase Rettig and starting RB Rolandan Finch likely need their best game of the season to have a chance here.

Any WR v. NC State CB David Amerson, Week 13 - Sat., Nov. 24

Amerson's regarded as one of the best corner prospects in the country. If BC is to repeat their victory over the Wolfpack in 2012, they'll need one of their WRs to step up. Bobby Swigert and Colin Larmond are the likely candidates.

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