Frank Spaziani on signing day: ‘We feel we’re back on track’
|02.02.11 at 4:51 pm ET|
Boston College football coach Frank Spaziani received no surprises on signing day Wednesday, as all 23 players who verbally committed to the Eagles signed letters of intent (click here for the complete list).
“Signing day is always a day of optimism and excitement,” Spaziani said on a conference call Wednesday afternoon. “We’re no different than anybody else. Were excited about the 23 players we signed.”
Spaziani completed his second season as head coach, and he explained that it’s been a challenge to get things back in order following the surprising departure of Jeff Jagodzinski in 2009 after just two seasons.
“When I took over the job, we had spacing issues that we had to address, and we’ve been doing that in the last two years,” he said. “We’ve addressed some of our needs, so we’re excited about it. We feel we’re back on track.”
Added Spaziani: “It’s important that you have a plan as far as how many numbers you want at all positions, because you have to build depth that way and you have to develop players in college. So, once we’ve establish what numbers we need, then we’re going for our depth. And then we certainly have to address — they’re tied in together, as far as needs go.
“Usually if you don’t have the right spacing or something happens — someone leaves or gets injured or whatever — then you have to address some specific needs. We’re looking for the best players to fill the positions with the correct numbers that we want to go forward in the 85 limit.”
One of the highest-profile recruits is Brockton High School defensive back Albert Louis-Jean, who already has enrolled at the college.
Spaziani said the BC coaches got to know Louis-Jean over the past few years and was pleased to continue the Brockton-BC connection.
“He’s certainly a very productive athlete, can play offense and defense, and he’s very skilled,” Spaziani said. “We were excited about getting him for all of those reasons. And we felt that he fit the type of profile that we’re looking for at BC.”
Louis-Jean fits the BC profile, which Spaziani explained for reporters.
“We’re looking for a rounded athlete,” he explained. “We’re looking for somebody that — obviously we’re connected because we’re dealing with sports and football. But college has much more about it. And winning is a lot more than just the most talented player. You have to have character. You have to have a want to be at the university. You want to participate in the academics, in the social life. All of that goes into building a type of program.
“You know, 15 of the 23 players were captains [in high school]. These are little things that go into what type of player we’re trying to get here. Because the difference in teams is not very much. It may seem like a lot, but it’s not very much once you get the talented guys that you profile. So, what is the difference? And part of the difference is the type of individual you have and their motivation for being at your university.
“There’s a lot more that goes into being on the football field. Although there’s a lot of time involved, and they spend a lot, they’re out there in the community — the school community, if you will, academically and socially, a lot. So, it’s important to us that that’s a happy fit also.”
Another of the incoming freshman is 6-foot-3 quarterback Christian Suntrup from Chaminade College Prep in St. Louis. Spaziani said it’s too early to say for sure that Suntrup will be expected to sit for a year or two before getting his shot.
Said Spaziani: “Here’s how you do it in recruiting: You’re always trying to improve your position and you’re trying to evaluate and bring in guys that you think can be as good as or better than the ones you have. Maybe Suntrup is — who knows, right?”
Added Spaziani: “When he comes in here, we’ll see exactly where he is. He’ll know and we’ll know, real fast, what avenue we have to pursue with him. But we’re excited about him coming in, make no mistake about it.”
Spaziani said the ideal situation would be to redshirt as many newcomers as possible, but that’s not always how it works out. In fact, this past season BC relied on a number of true freshmen to step in and contribute right away.
“As you develop your depth, you would like to redshirt as many guys as you can. Because that means you have some veterans that are playing that are in the program and it goes to the developmental problem of getting depth,” he said. “Having said that, there are certain areas — because we’re still trying to get our numbers correct, as far as this staff’s philosophy — so there’s going to be some areas just like last year where some young kids might have to play or might be asked to play a little bit sooner than you would normally like. It goes to how we’re recruiting the numbers.”