With the early signing period quickly approaching and a host of new Eagles poised to join the program, the last week has seen a flurry of movement in the opposite direction for Boston College football, as a number of players have announced their entrance into the transfer portal.
The group is headlined by receiver Kobay White, who was a key player for the Eagles during his first three years on the Heights before missing most of the past two seasons due to a torn ACL. White previously entered the transfer portal after the firing of head coach Steve Addazio in December 2019, but removed his name just 18 days later to come back for the start of the Jeff Hafley era.
The other Eagles heading to the transfer portal are linebackers Hugh Davis and Joe Sparacio, defensive backs Deon Jones and Jahmin Muse, and kicker Aaron Boumerhi. Sparacio started at linebacker for BC in 2019 but fell out of favor under the new regime and has mainly seen time on special teams over the last two seasons.
The potential transfers are not limited to former Addazio recruits, though. Jones came to the Eagles from Maryland after Hafley’s hire as head coach. He started six games in 2020 before hardly seeing the field this year as he struggled with injuries and new players stepped up in the secondary.
While neither the coaching staff nor the athletes in question provided specifics on their individual cases, the timing of the announcements indicates that some of the players were informed by the BC coaching staff that they would not be offered a scholarship for next season.
The NCAA granted all athletes an extra year of eligibility for this season due to extenuating circumstances from the COVID-19 pandemic and allowed all programs to exceed the normal 85-scholarship cap. But the change to the scholarship cap will not continue for next season, putting BC and programs across the country in a tough spot when it comes to roster management. Should the Eagles want to bring in a normal-sized recruiting class for next season, some current players in the program would not be able to use their continued eligibility on the Heights.
“If I wanted to keep 15 super seniors, they would have to fit in our 85, which means I would have to recruit less high school players,” Hafley told the media on Sunday. “If I continue to do that each year, all the sudden I’m not going to have any young players on the team to develop.”
BC’s recruiting class sits at No. 25—the highest place the Eagles have held in the recruiting rankings era—and currently contains 23 players, suggesting that the coaching staff has every intention of taking a full class. Most other coaching staffs appear to be following the same approach and over 100 players entered the portal on Monday alone.
“I can’t guarantee every one of our players who has the extra year to be on the sixth year here,” Hafley said. “Now some of them might choose to go use their sixth year elsewhere or some of them might just say, ‘Hey coach, I’m gonna go get a great job. I got a great degree.’”
Hafley said that he would speak to players who would not be offered another scholarship on Monday, the same day that Sparacio and Davis entered the portal. Muse and Boumerhi made their announcements a day later, and White and Jones followed on Wednesday.
While it remains unclear where any of the transfers might land next, Thursday’s news that Addazio has been fired from Colorado State removed what had previously been a common destination for former Addazio recruits. Six Eagles joined Addazio in Colorado Springs after he took the job there last year, including former starting running back David Bailey and quarterback Matt Valecce.
Featured Image by Ikram Ali / Heights Editor