Just a few things we have picked up along the way as the early signing day looms a week from now.
— Boston College had some tough breaks lately, losing formerly-committed linebacker Tommy Eichenberg from Cleveland powerhouse St. Ignatius to Ohio State. Also, former Virginia Tech verbal and Everett wide receiver/defensive back Mike Sainristil pledged to Michigan.
That said, the Eagles have a chance to not only close pretty strong, but lock up a lot of their class next Wednesday. Don't be surprised to see close to a 90 percent hit rate in that respect, which would be huge for the Eagles.
Currently at 16 commitments, two players left on BC's board who can round things out are two Florida prospects. Zay Flowers, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound wide receiver/defensive back out of Fort Lauderdale's University School, would help ease the loss of Sainristil. Also, Ezeriah Anderson from Armwood High in Seffner is a 6-4, 200-pound wide receiver who could be a part of this class.
— UMass suffered some losses when new coach Walt Bell took over, but that is to be expected when there is such major staff turnover. A rash of new offers came out over the past week, but rather than go through every new one, it's worth noting that, in general, this early signing period can partially work in Bell's favor. The late-bloomers who will be left out of a lot of classes elsewhere will be more in play for the Minutemen after the 19th.
Right now, the only two verbal commits are two of the best players from Massachusetts in Mike Ciaffoni, a lineman out of Lincoln-Sudbury, and Mashpee defensive end Xavier Gonsalves.
An important aspect to Bell's early communications with players is how well they respond to his sell on the culture he wants to mold for the program. That is a goal he talked about in his introductory press conference, and will be a little more tangible than it may seem at first glance.