August 17, 2009

A look at the true freshmen

18 new faces arrived at Boston College during the summer and are going through the paces of practice, including their first intrasquad scrimmage this past Saturday. After just a week of evaluation, here's a breakdown of what we see from each of the newbies.

QB Dave Shinskie -- Shinskie is unlike any other freshman to ever suit up at Boston College. At 25 years old, he's older than any fifth year senior and brings a world of life experience with him. He also brings good size, a strong arm and he's very unflappable and has a laid-back approach to things. He won't be nervous out there at least, but the learning curve and shaking off the rust is a challenge.

QB Michael Marscovetra -- Speaking of unflappable, Marscovetra looks like he's 25 years old on the field. He shows no emotion, has ice in his veins and isn't overwhelmed by anything. He has an adequate arm, good accuracy and great pocket presence. He'll be the backup to Shinskie and will push him all season, just watch. He has the initial look of a special one which makes it inexplicable that no one else offered this kid.

RB Rolandan Finch -- Finch is short in stature but has good lower body power and strength and adequate speed. He won't run away from many, but he's physical and will also be a good blocker. He's a bit over his head right now and has that wide-eyed stare of a true freshman, but he has potential.

RB Sterlin Phifer -- Phifer seems to be picking things up a bit quicker than Finch and he runs with more power, but he's not quite as quick. If one of the two running backs is going to play early based on week one, it would be Phifer because of his ability to block, catch the ball and pick up the offense, but right now neither looks ready.

FB Kasim Edebali -- Edebali was moved to fullback right away and his has good hands, an impressive athleticism about him and he can block. He's taken to the position very well and playing time as a true freshman wouldn't be a shocker.

WR Jonathan Coleman -- Talk about raw, that's Coleman. He has great size as he's every bit of 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, but he is a bit awkward and still learning to work with his frame. Remember, he's only played football for a couple of years so his learning curve will be large.

TE Mike Naples -- One of the most impressive of the freshmen physically, Naples would play early if BC weren't so deep at tight end. He has good size, speed and is physical and he wants to learn.

OL Keith Bourne -- So hard to evaluate the young offensive linemen this early. Physically he looks the part of a guard with good agility but he's no close to playing time.

OL Bryan Davis -- Davis is No. 3 at center and could end up seeing time if there's an injury or if he surpasses Mark Spinney. He's short and plays naturally low to the ground and it wouldn't be a stunner to see him on the field next year at the latest.

OL John Wetzel -- Wetzel is the most impressive looking offensive lineman of the group. He's 6-foot-7 and already looks close to 300 pounds. He's huge and he will be a monster down the line.

OL Ian White -- White is bigger than he was in high school as he looks close to 285 pounds or so and he has a physical way about him. But, like the others, it would be a surprise if he cracked the two deep and avoided a redshirt.

DT Conor O'Neal -- O'Neal has very good size, especially in his lower body, and he plays with good leverage. However, he is overmatched at this point and it would be surprising if he played as a true freshman unless the light bulb goes on in the next few weeks.

DT Dillon Quinn -- The best-looking freshman at BC ever? He could be. He's every bit of 6-foot-6, easily 300 pounds in pad with little body fat and a nasty, physical temperment. The surprisingly thing is how coachable Quinn is as he's soaking things up like a sponge and wants to learn more and more. Once he gets his pad level down, he's going to be a monster.

LB Luke Kuechly -- The steal of the recruiting class so far, Kuechly is already in the two-deep and much bigger and stronger than he was in high school. He looks to be about 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds already and he can run. But most importantly, he is smart, picks things up well and not intimidated.

LB Andre Lawrence -- Lawrence is still very skinny up top but he has a very strong and muscluar lower body. He's not physically ready to make an impact yet, but he is athletic, has very good speed and will fill out with a redshirt year.

LB Jake Sinkovec -- Sinkovec will either be a boom or bust. He has very good size, much moreso than in high school, as he looks to be like 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds instead of the 210 he was in high school. He's been a bit dinged up early so he's hard to evaluate but you can't teach his size.

DB Jim Noel -- Noel is still skinny as heck on his 6-foot-3 frame and he won't be ready to contribute this year, but he's already showing something he never showed in high school -- a mean streak. Noel is fearless and will put his hat on anyone and that's a great sign for what we think is a future free safety.

K Nate Freese -- Freese won't impact this season but he has shown a live leg and adequate accuracy early.

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