Sports, Football

Phil Jurkovec Explains His Decision to Transfer to BC

While Boston College has had an incumbent starter at quarterback in Anthony Brown during the last two seasons, the role for the 2020 season is up for grabs as the team heads into spring practices. Brown, the go-to starter for the past three years, has entered his name in the transfer portal and is yet to declare his decision. Sophomore Dennis Grosel started the final seven games of the season after Brown went down with an injury, but with the transfer of Phil Jurkovec, he has not been promised the job next year.

Former Notre Dame signal caller Jurkovec has entered the competition as well, announcing his transfer to BC on Jan. 11. Per NCAA rules, transfers who have not yet graduated have to sit out a year. Jurkovec, who is a sophomore, has applied for a waiver to become immediately eligible to play, but his status is still uncertain, as he stated in the press conference. 

Jurkovec opened up about his process of coming to the Heights on Thursday, speaking in a press conference alongside Kobay White, Max Richardson, and Hunter Long.

Jurkovec cited BC’s new coaching staff as an important factor behind his decision. 

“The two criteria I was looking at when making a choice as to where to go were really about the coaches,” said Jurkovec. “[I looked for] the coaches that were going to believe in me and develop me, because I think I have a lot of room to grow. And that’s what I found with Coach Hafley and Coach Cignetti.”

This time of the offseason is particularly busy for coaches, as they seek to put together the final pieces of the 2020 recruiting class with the Feb. 5 signing deadline fast approaching. Still, Jurkovec said that BC’s coaches took the time to make their enthusiasm about him known. 

“Coach Hafley and Coach Cignetti showed a lot of interest, and it was a clear choice as to where to go for me,” said Jurkovec. 

Jurkovec said that BC never recruited him during his first time through the recruiting process. Jurkovec, a native of Gibsonia, Pa., was a four-star recruit coming out of high school and ranked as the No. 83 player in his class according to 247Sports. He had offers from many of the top football programs in the nation, including Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State.

While Jurkovec said that the uncertainty of the transfer process was scary, he described how the similarities between BC and Notre Dame have made the change more manageable.

“I do see comparisons in the schools—the number of students, the type of students, and the football—so the transition has been easier because of that,” he said.

The teams on BC’s schedule will also not be completely unfamiliar. Though Notre Dame is unaffiliated with a conference in football, it has a deal with the Atlantic Coast to play five ACC teams every season. In 2019, Notre Dame faced Louisville, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Duke, and BC. Both Duke and Louisville are on the Eagles’ 2020 schedule

Jurkovec joins a BC offense that returns nearly all of its starters from the 2019 season. While star running back AJ Dillon declared for the NFL draft in December, playmakers Kobay White, Hunter Long, and Zay Flowers all return. White, who had entered his name in the transfer portal, announced last week that he would be returning to BC

“Working alongside the wide receivers, I think it’s a very cohesive unit,” said Jurkovec. “There’s a lot of playmakers, so I think we can do a lot, and I know that Coach Cignetti is very excited about what we have.”

Jurkovec declined to discuss his pending application for an eligibility waiver, and it is unknown when the NCAA will make a decision on his case. The NCAA approved waivers for Justin Fields and Tate Martell, two high-profile quarterbacks who transferred last offseason, on Feb. 8 and March 19 of last year, respectively. Fields transferred from Georgia to Ohio State, while Martell transferred from Ohio State to Miami.

Featured Image Courtesy of BC Athletics

January 31, 2020