Sports, Football, Top Story

Phil Jurkovec Granted Immediate Eligibility

After seven months of waiting, Boston College football transfer quarterback Phil Jurkovec is free at last. 

Just a few weeks after the hashtag #FreeJurk—an attempt by BC fans and players to encourage the NCAA to grant Jurkovec’s waiver—began to circulate on Twitter, the redshirt sophomore finally has the green light to compete with the Eagles this fall. 

Jurkovec transferred to BC from Notre Dame as a full-time student in January of 2020, and he has been awaiting approval on his waiver ever since. Between January and August, the NCAA has granted waivers to many student-athletes who announced their transfer after Jurkovec, including his new teammate Jaelen Gill

Jurkovec, a native of Pittsburgh, redshirted his freshman year at Notre Dame in 2019 and appeared in six games in 2019. As the backup quarterback to Fighting Irish standout Ian Book, the former four-star recruit out of high school rarely saw action, which he cited as one factor in his decision to transfer. 

One of his six appearances last year, however, came against the Eagles, in which he completed one pass for 10 yards and carried the ball five times for 42 more. 

Out of high school, Jurkovec was one of the most decorated quarterbacks in Pennsylvania history. He finished his career at Pine-Richland High School with 11,144 total yards—8,202 of which were through the air—71 touchdown passes, and 68.4 completion percentage (523-of-765). As a senior, he earned a spot in the 2018 U.S. Army All-American Bowl and led his high school team to a 2017 Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association 6A state championship.

That year, he also threw for a career-high 3,969 yards in 16 games, including a 72.8 percent completion rate and just six interceptions all year. 

The #FreeJurk movement began with a tweet from a former BC women’s soccer player and Superfan known as @BCDee on Twitter way back in early July. From there, the push for the quarterback’s eligibility grew among the BC community.

Some BC fans suspected that the NCAA delayed granting his waiver due to the fact that BC and Notre Dame will face off in ACC competition this season, but there has been no confirmation of that suspicion. 

“This is typical, non-sensical NCAA action,” Rod Gilmore, an ESPN/ABC college football analyst tweeted last month. “Coaches & assistant coaches leave and face their former team the next year all the time. And they know more secrets than players. Stop punishing players for transferring. Let him play.”

Regardless of the reason for the delay, Jurkovec finally has the green light, and he joins a BC offense that returns a large chunk of its starters from the 2019 season. While star running back AJ Dillon headed to the NFL this offseason, playmakers Kobay White, Hunter Long, and Zay Flowers all return. 

Featured Image Courtesy of BC Athletics

August 4, 2020