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BC depth chart is juggled

Harris (knee) isn’t ready to face Duke

By Mark Blaudschun
Globe Staff / September 15, 2011

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Starting out 0-2, as Boston College has done, can magnify a team’s mistakes. Throw in some injuries and you have a formula for change.

Such was the case yesterday, when a close look at the Eagles depth chart for Saturday’s game against Duke revealed some startling and perhaps discomforting information.

Seven players who were on the depth chart for last week’s game against Central Florida were not listed. Even more revealing was the youth on the chart. Of the top 44 players, 29 were freshmen, redshirt freshmen, or sophomores. Only three seniors - cornerback Donnie Fletcher, linebacker Will Thompson, and tight end Lars Anderson - were listed.

Among the missing was senior running back Montel Harris, who is recovering from the arthroscopic knee surgery he had in mid-August. Harris tentatively had projected that he would be available for this week’s game, but the 5-foot-10 inch, 200-pounder was again held out of practice yesterday and is not ready,

That has led to speculation that he might be redshirted.

The changes were noticeable everywhere, and they included newly appointed interim offensive coordinator Dave Brock, who steps in while Kevin Rogers takes a leave of absence for health reasons.

The biggest shift was on the offensive line, which has been a work in progress all season. Missing entirely from the two-deep were left guard Nate Richman (back) and center Mark Spinney (leg).

Moving into their roles were Bobby Vardaro, a 6-5, 301-pound redshirt freshman, and Andy Gallik, a 6-3, 284-pound redshirt freshman.

“We always feel we can take advantage of the defensive line,’’ said Gallik, who was the starting center two weeks ago when Spinney was moved to guard because of Richman’s back problems.

Richman was back practicing on a limited basis yesterday and could play against Duke. Spinney seems less likely.

But Gallik and Vardaro feel they are ready for prime time roles again.

“We’re really a tight-knit group,’’ said Vardaro, who viewed the 30-3 loss to Central Florida as a “learning experience. “Last week we had a couple of foulups on play calls, a couple of misses. Not everyone was working, which they have to do to be successful at doing their job.’’

There also are changes defensively. Along the line, Max Holloway and Kaleb Ramsey are missing from the depth chart. Holloway was back at practice yesterday, but Ramsey did not practice.

Jim Noel has moved into the boundary cornerback slot as a replacement for C.J. Jones, who went down for the season with a knee injury in the loss to Central Florida.

Coach Frank Spaziani has had to juggle his lineup on both sides of the ball several times, and now he has a new offensive coordinator calling the plays.

It has hardly been tranquility base in the BC coaching offices on the third floor of the Yawkey Center this week.

The issue of Harris has been most perplexing and frustrating for Spaziani, who knows the offense needs all the help it can get.

“It’s very peculiar,’’ said Spaziani, when asked Harris’s comeback process. “It’s more on him being comfortable going out there and doing it.’’

With an 0-2 record, BC needs as many of its players as possible to come out and do things.

Mark Blaudschun can be reached at