And the starting quarterback for the 2009 Boston College Eagles will be . . . well, it's tough to tell right now.
This much we know. It won't be Dominique Davis, the only QB on the BC spring roster with any game experience. That became official this morning when the school announced that the 6-foot-4-inch, 198-pound redshirt sophomore had been suspended from school for academic reasons and was transferring from Chestnut Hill.
With Davis's departure, the Eagles' depth chart looks like this:
- 1. Codi Boek: He saw duty on special teams last season but hasn't taken a snap at quarterback in a game in two years since transferring from American River (Calif.) Junior College.
2. Justin Tuggle: The son of former Atlanta Falcons linebacker Jesse Tuggle redshirted last season and stood out on the scout team but did nothing to move past Davis or Boek on the depth chart during spring drills.
3. Alexander Atiyeh: Like Tuggle, he also redshirted last season.
4 . Michael Marscovetra: A true freshman who will join the Eagles in summer camp.
Frank Spaziani, who has been the Eagles' coach for six months after Jeff Jagodzinski was fired, could only joke about having an offense whose main option was to punt, or kid about a switch to the Wildcat offense, which diminishes the role of QB considerably, with direct snaps to the tailback. "Already working on it,'' cracked Spaziani.
The long-range option at QB for the Eagles is Joe Boisture, who committed to them in the spring but is finishing his senior season at Saline High School in Michigan.
And another option could be Billy Flutie, a receiver, punter, and holder who could go back to the position he last played at Natick High School in 2005. Flutie certainly has the pedigree, with uncles Doug and Darren part of BC lore.
Davis, for better or worse, seemed like the transitional option for next season. He was force-fed the system as a starter last season after Chris Crane went down with a fractured collarbone. He completed 63 of 138 passes for 741 yards with 6 TDs and 4 interceptions. He was the starter in losses to Virginia Tech in the ACC title game and to Vanderbilt in the Music City Bowl.
When Spaziani replaced Jagodzinski in January, he made it clear the QB position was open and Davis would have to compete with Tuggle, who came on board as the latest QB of the future, and Boek, who had been switched to fullback last season by Jagodzinski.
But Davis didn't dazzle, and Spaziani and new offensive coordinator Gary Tranquill described his progress in terms of "inches''. Davis still had the No. 1 spot, but there was even less of a certainty that he would start than there was before spring practice.
The problem was that neither Tuggle nor Boek emerged, which left Spaziani with a queasy feeling about who would be his starter in the season opener against Northeastern Sept. 5.
With Davis gone, now there will be even more angst for Spaziani and his staff.
- Michael Vega
- Mark Blaudschun
- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell