Heisman finalist Matt Ryan was Boston College football last year, becoming the most heralded BC player since Doug Flutie. But now that he’s an Atlanta Falcon, the Eagles have a big hole to fill if they want to remain at the top of the ACC.
Fifth-year senior-to-be Chris Crane takes the reins at quarterback for BC. He will make his second college start when the Eagles face Kent State to open the season.
Crane, who spent the past three seasons watching Ryan, separated himself from junior college transfer Codi Boek and redshirt freshman Dominique Davis during the spring.
Crane completed 18 of 35 passes for 155 yards and one touchdown in the Eagles’ spring game—the most productive he’s been since a 2006 start against Buffalo (his only one).
“I’d say I’ve done very well,” Crane said after the spring game. “A lot of people didn’t know what to expect. People weren’t even expecting me to come in and get the starting job going into the season. I think I really solidified that and I think people are getting more and more confident, so I have to give myself a passing grade.”
Crane made just four pass attempts last season and is 27-of-40 in his career, but he’s the only experienced quarterback on the roster.
Coach Jeff Jagodzinski believes Crane “will get better every game.”
“He needs teamwork. He needs game-like situations. He just hasn’t had those repetitions in his career. He’s been playing behind Matt. I think that’s what he needs and I think he’s going to get better and better with every snap he takes,” Jagodzinski said.
Crane has the physical skills to succeed: He’s 6'4", 236 pounds, and has a strong arm and surprising mobility. His strength is in the mid-range throws.
He will have some experienced receivers to throw to in tight end Ryan Purvis and wide receivers Brandon Robinson, Rich Gunnell, Clarence Megwa, and Justin Jarvis. That group caught a combined 223 passes for 2,906 yards and 20 touchdowns last season as Boston College led the ACC in total yardage.
However, the Eagles have little experience at running back, which could mean Crane will have to win those early-season games on his own. If he can, the Chris Crane era, while short, could be a successful one.