With the hiring of new head coach Jeff Hafley—new both to Boston College football and to being a head coach—the accelerated recruiting schedule could have spelled disaster for BC football. Being in the middle of a major transition could ward off potential recruits or cause them to hold off on signing. Even so, on Wednesday morning, the first day of the official signing period, BC football and teams across the country looked on as nine players signed their national letters of intent to play for the Eagles next year.
A mix of one four-star and eight three-star recruits earned BC a recruiting class ranking of No. 62 in the nation and No. 14 in the ACC, per 247Sports, both of which are drops from this time last year. The lower number of recruits from last year’s early signing day—which turned out 16 signees—is likely due in part to the coaching change, though there is still the possibility of more recruits signing later in the year.
The incoming class of 2024 features a balanced group of five offensive and four defensive players, including two cornerbacks, a pair of tight ends, one wide receiver, one running back, one offensive tackle, an inside linebacker, and a defensive tackle.
The highest ranked recruit for BC so far this year is Ozzy Trapilo, a four-star offensive tackle from Norwell, Mass. BC has been in his blood for years now, so it comes as no surprise that he chose the Eagles, though he also entertained offers from the likes of Connecticut, Duke, Dartmouth, and Georgia Tech. Trapilo attended Boston College High School and has been going to Eagles games since he was a child, so many anticipated his signing well before he had officially committed.
From the opposite side of the ball comes three-star defensive tackle Cameron Horsley. Horsley hails from Cinnaminson High School in Riverton, N.J., where he was known for his ability to shed blocks and hunt down the ball. Horsley described his unofficial visit to BC as “amazing,” though he also had offers from Buffalo, UConn, Kent State, and Central Michigan.
Next up for the class of 2024 is inside linebacker Korey Smith. The Woodberry Forest, Va. native attended boarding school at the Peddie School in Hightstown, N.J. He committed to BC all the way back on March 3, stating in a tweet that he “wanted to find an institution that will allow [him] to grow as a man and help [him] excel in the classroom as well as groom [him] to be the best linebacker in the country.” Even though he committed under Addazio, it appears that the new head coach Jeff Hafley’s philosophy of competing in everything will hold true for Smith as he heads to the Heights next season.
The Eagles lost a major offensive player in AJ Dillon, who recently declared for the NFL draft, but this class could add some more life to the movement of the ball after his departure. The class of 2024 includes four offensive skill players in tight ends Charlie Gordiner and Hans Lillis, wide receiver Taji Johnson, and running back Andre Hines, Jr. Gordiner, another New Jersey recruit, is the No. 32 tight end in the nation for his class, while Lillis, hailing from Pennsylvania, sits at the No. 54 spot. Hines Jr. comes from Staten Island, N.Y., and boasts the No. 62 ranking for his position. Johnson attended camps and unofficial visits at conference rival Florida State but eventually decided on BC.
The last two signers on Wednesday morning were two cornerbacks: Jason Scott from Olney, Md. and Denzel Blackwell from Houston, Texas. Scott comes from Our Lady of Good Counsel High School where he was named first team all-conference his junior and senior years. His team also took home the conference championship this season. Blackwell comes from Strake Jesuit High School, where his senior season highlights included 53 tackles, four interceptions, two forced fumbles, and four defensive touchdowns.
With any luck, the balanced nature of the early signing class will predict the offensive and defensive balance that Hafley should hope to incorporate into the Eagles’ play next season. Though the early signing period yielded fewer recruits than previous years for BC, the quality of prospects hasn’t changed. There’s still a lot of time to fill out the class of 2024, and a win against Cincinnati in the Birmingham Bowl could be the difference maker for high school players still on the edge.
Featured Image by Nick Lisi / AP Photo