When Jeff Jagodzinksi came to Boston College in late December of 2006, he promised to “raise the bar to the top” by competing for conference championships and going after “difference-maker” recruits. In his first full season on the job, he delivered half of that guarantee on the field by taking the Eagles to their first ACC Championship game, and winning 11 games – the team’s most since 1940.
On Wednesday afternoon, Jagodzinski attempted to deliver the second part of his promise, as he announced the Eagles’ 2008 signing class. At the National Signing Day press conference, Jagodzinksi discussed the group, consisting of 29 future student-athletes.
“This is an exciting day today for 29 young men that are going to be coming to Boston College,” said the coach. “We want smart, tough guys, and we got most that we targeted,” he added continuing, “We’re real excited about our guys.”
He then noted “The guys that are here wanted to be here,” before discussing individual positions in more detail.
The Eagles signed two quarterbacks for next season, transfer Codi Boek and high school senior Justin Tuggle. Boek, whose journey began at Idaho State and continued at American River College before enrolling at BC in January, should “bring maturity and fill a hole at quarterback,” according to Jagodzinski. The 6’3”, 220 dual-threat quarterback is expected to immediately compete for the starting role with rising senior Chris Crane. Tuggle, who Jagodzinski said immediately caught the eye of quarterbacks-guru Steve Logan, is expected to redshirt next fall.
BC signed four running backs to letters-of-intent on Wednesday to replace the void left by the graduations of Andre Callender and L.V. Whitworth. Two-star prospects Montel Harris and Jerry Kelly, and three-star back Eric Reynolds should arrive in the summer to compete for playing time. But all-purpose back Josh Haden, the prize of the 2008 class, is currently the odds-on favorite to start at running back next fall. The 5’9”, 190 lb. prospect, whose brother Joe started as a true freshman at Florida this past season, already enrolled at BC in January to participate in spring practice.
The Eagles signed just two wide receivers, Colin Larmond of New Jersey and Clyde Lee of Texas. The Eagles expect Larmond to become a red-zone threat in the future because of his outstanding size and speed. According to Rivals.com, the 6’3” Larmond runs a 4.41 forty yard dash. The website lists him as a high three-star receiver. Lee, another three-star, caught 76 passes as a senior, and will arrive on campus as a slot receiver. At tight end BC signed two players, Chris Pantale and Michael Stone. Rivals ranks the 6’5” Pantale as the 20th best tight end in the country.
Offensive and Defensive Lines
Playing off of his solid reputation as an offensive line coach, Jagodzinski signed three linemen. Four-star tackle Mike Goodman of Miami headlines the list, while three-star tackles Emmett Cleary and Patrick Neumann should provide depth. Jagodzinski said that all three players will have the opportunity to come in and play, much like freshman Anthony Castanzo did in 2007. On the other side of the ball, BC signed five linemen, including four defensive ends. The signatures of three-stars Nick Halloran, Kaleb Ramsey, and Max Holloway, and two-star Christian Klein give the Eagles the 18th best class for defensive ends, according to Rivals. Two-star Bryan Murray of Maryland is the Eagles’ lone defensive tackle.
The Eagles signed outside linebackers Nick Clancy and Anthony DiSanzo. Clancy, a high three-star prospect from Chicago, is ranked as one of the ten best players in Illinois by recruiting Guru Tom Lemming. He was named the East Suburban Catholic Conference’s defensive player of the year in 2007. DiSanzo, another three-star linebacker, comes from Don Bosco Prep and will look to follow in the footsteps of rising senior Brian Toal.
Following the loss of starters of Jamie Silva, DeJuan Tribble, and Taji Morris, BC signed a team-record eight defensive backs on Wednesday. Four-star safety Okechukwu Okoroha headlines the list. Rivals ranks the 6’0’’ prospect as the fourth best ‘ball-skills’ safety in the country. When he arrives in the summer, Okoroha will have the opportunity to compete at free safety. Three-star Stephen Atkinson, and two-stars Donte Elliott and Dominick LeGrande round out the incoming safety corps for the Eagles. Three-star prospects Donnie Fletcher, Chris Hayden-Martin, Isaac Johnson, and Ugo Okpara will try to replace Tribble and Morris at cornerback next fall.
Kicker Ryan Quigley out of South Carolina rounds out the recruiting class for Boston College, which Jagodzinksi said he is looking forward to coaching next season. “It’ll be fun to be able to develop these guys, and see where they end up four or five years from now,” he thoughtfully noted.