((An outsiders view of goings on at Boston College, aka The Heights)
Three weeks into training camp and still there is no official word on who has won the No. 1 starting QB at Boston College, redshirt freshman AJ Brown or junior Darius Wade.
With training camp coming to an end later this week and preparation for the Sept. 1 season opener at Northern Illinois, BC coach Steve Addazio has not given any real hint as to which QB will emerge, other than to emphasize the depth BC now has at QB.
Three scrimmages haven't established a front runner yet, although the evaluations that Addazio and offensive coordinator Scott Loeffler make on the QBs may be different than the public perception--which is there is NO clear cut front runner. Privately, Brown, a 6-foot-1 inch 210 pound QB from Cliffwood, N.J. appears to have established himself as a front runner.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
And at this stage of pre-season, Addazio could easily justify not revealing his starter until opening night.
The problem that BC faces is that neither QB has very much game experience. Brown has yet to play a down and Wade's career at BC has been halted by injury and a shuffling in the depth chart which kept him on the sidelines.
When Brown arrived at The Heights a year and a half ago, he immediately was given a potential star label. There was a strong sentiment in some quarters to play him in the middle of last season, but Addazio preached patience and did not want to waste a season on a team that was stuck in the mire of mediocrity.
Brown admitted that sitting last season was difficult, especially with a tag of great expectations ""We all have to grow up, so to play in this league, you have to be a grown man and you have to learn how to take on that role,'' said Brown. "I'm slowly getting into it I don't have the experience, but some day I will. I'll have to get used to it.''
Brown says that a year spent learning the system without the pressure of performing helped. ""It was kind of a little iffy at first,'' he said. ""but I was a little used to it from what I used to run in high school and I just had to get acclimated to the plays and tempo and leadership and pushing offense and stuff like that.''
Winning the opener is essential for BC, which needs to bounce from the bottom tier of the ACC to the middle of the pack at least. Although Northern Illinois is not the same Mid-American Conference power of a few years ago, winning on the road for a QB making his first collegiate start will be the biggest challenge Brown has faced in his short athletic career.
The upside to this is all good, since a win will build confidence in the team and in the QB and the home opener at Wake Forest should be easier than dealing with Notre Dame or Clemson the following two games.
Brown does not lack confidence, but is smart enough not to show any cockiness. He will have help with a veteran offensive line, a running game which has looked solid in training camp, more depth at wide receiver and a defense which is regarded as the strength of the team.
And for the present, he looks more like the future of BC football than Wade, who has done nothing wrong. What Addazio must do--if he has not done so already--is tell his freshman QB that recess is over.
It is time to get to work and show everyone at BC and beyond what he has in his arsenal.
The guess here is that he will get that opportunity on Sept. 1.[/membership]