BC Notebook

Building on connection

Rettig-Swigert combo completely in synch

Former BC star Matt Ryan was a surprise visitor at the McGillis game. Former BC star Matt Ryan was a surprise visitor at the McGillis game. (Winslow Townson/For The Globe)
By Mark Blaudschun
Globe Staff / April 17, 2011

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They met last summer before either had played a down for Boston College. They became friends during training camp, wondering and waiting for an opportunity to prove themselves.

The first chance came in prime time — Saturday night, Oct. 2, national television audience against Notre Dame at Alumni Stadium. Neither freshman could have scripted it better — Chase Rettig connected with Bobby Swigert on a 58-yard touchdown pass to cut the Irish lead to 21-7.

Rettig hurt his ankle shortly after that pass and Notre Dame rolled to a 31-13 victory, but the Rettig-to-Swigert combination had a foundation. Rettig quickly advanced from the quarterback of the future to the quarterback of the present. Swigert became his go-to guy.

Fast-forward to yesterday’s annual Jay McGillis intrasquad game at Alumni, the official end to BC’s spring football practices, and not much has changed. In a game of very little offense, Rettig and Swigert were once again playing catch.

Rettig completed 20 passes, six to Swigert, a 6-foot-1-inch, 180-pounder from Louisville, Ohio, who has been the model of consistency since he arrived at The Heights.

“[Swigert’s] still got a ways to go yet,’’ said wide receivers coach Ryan Day, who had to mix and match his receivers because of injuries and other ailments that have been plaguing the team since training camp last summer. “But he’s a competitive kid. He likes to work and he is always out there.’’

That is an important consideration for Day and coach Frank Spaziani, who believe players need to practice to be able to play in games.

With prospects Colin Larmond Jr. (knee) and Shakim Phillips (eyes, hands, feet) in and out of the lineup, Swigert has shown up every day. Playing catch with Rettig has also helped.

“I’m a lot more comfortable now,’’ said Swigert, who caught 39 passes for 504 yards last season. “It was a two-step process. Getting used to college, which was a lot faster than I had been used to, and then getting comfortable with a new offense and a new offensive coordinator [Kevin Rogers]. With Chase, it’s also easier because I got to know what the QB is thinking. On scramble plays, I know where he likes to go.’’

Rettig said their comfort level is high. “We’re friends and he is a good receiver and we do know each other,’’ he said.

Spaziani again emphasized the importance of being on the field. “Bobby is one of those guys you can count on,’’ he said.

White over maroon The white team outscored the maroon team under a complicated scoring system that awarded points for first downs, turnovers, and pass breakups. There was one touchdown, a 2-yard run by reserve quarterback Shane Cranmore, and a 37-yard field goal by Nate Freese . . . Senior cornerback Donnie Fletcher won the Jay McGillis Defensive Back Award . . . After the scrimmage, Spaziani drew applause from his players when he announced that wide receiver Hampton Hughes, a 6-3, 200-pound walk-on from Dallas, had been awarded a scholarship for next season . . . Former BC star Matt Ryan was a surprise visitor and talked to the team before the scrimmage . . . Running back Montel Harris made a cameo appearance, carrying the ball once in the first series. He then removed himself from the game and did not reappear. Harris is recovering from a knee injury suffered last season.

Javorski top rusher Mike Javorski led all running backs with 82 yards on 20 carries. Rettig completed 20 of 29 passes for 182 yards and was sacked once. Tight end Lars Anderson had a scrimmage-high seven catches for 78 yards . . . Quarterback Dave Shinskie continued his battle for a backup job, completing 9 of 15 passes for 103 yards, but he was sacked four times . . . Quarterback Mike Marscovetra said he hit his hand on a helmet in the first part of the scrimmage. “It feels like I broke a finger,’’ said Marscovetra, who completed 4 of 14 passes for 35 yards . . . Sophomore Josh Bordner, also in the hunt for the backup QB role, completed 2 of 6 passes for 21 yards . . . In basketball news, reserve guard Dallas Elmore has left school. The 6-5 junior from Fort Collins, Colo., played 34 games last season and averaged 2.3 points.

Mark Blaudschun can be reached at