On Sunday, we swung by the first one-day camp of the summer for Boston College to get a look at some prospects and pick up a few tidbits to share.
Although BC likes to keep certain information from these events private, we were able to find out a few things to pass on.
Football Championship Subdivision, Division 2, and Division 3 programs from all over New England were in attendance to get a glimpse of the roughly 300 student-athletes.
Blue-chipper Kalel Mullings, a running back/outside linebacker out of Boston who attends Milton Academy, was there, but did not participate in drills. Mullings already holds offers from nearly everyone, including BC, so every visit to Chestnut Hill, even though it is not out of the norm for him, is a positive for the Eagles.
BC's first class of 2020 commit was another highly-touted local player in Milford High offensive tackle Kevin Pyne, and the Eagles have been making Mullings a priority for a long time now. Even though the 6-foot-1, 220-pounder's options are plentiful, BC has enough selling points to stay in the running until he makes his decision.
One player who impressed the BC staff enough to earn an offer was Diante Vines, a 5-11, 189-pound wide receiver/defensive back who will be entering his senior season at the Taft School (Watertown, Conn.).
Vines starred at quarterback at Danbury High before repeating his junior season in 2018 at the NEPSAC school. He made an immediate impact there, and was an all-New England selection at wide receiver. The Eagles already have three verbal commits for the 2020 class at that position, but Vines is talented enough to play on either side of the ball.
One program that is starting to get aggressive locally is Merrimack, which is jumping to the FCS level this season as a member of the Northeast Conference. The Warriors handed out a number of offers to Everett High players recently, and yesterday extended one to Deerfield Academy quarterback Cortland Dicks, a member of the 2021 class.
Dicks, a native Derby, Conn., is 6-2, 180 pounds, and is part of a Deerfield team that should be making some waves at the NEPSAC Class A level this season.
Since BC does not release a list of players at the camp, it was tough to gauge who was there from each high school program, but it was easy to notice that there was a significant Everett contingent.
Although we did not see every member of the Crimson Tide compete, one who looked solid in one-on-one receiving drills was class of 2021 speedster Tyrese Baptiste. The 5-10, 175-pounder already holds offers from FBS programs like UMass and Syracuse, and can create separation both before and after the catch.
Bryant recently offered Springfield Central 2020 linebacker Dante Bolden, and the 6-2, 225-pounder put in a good performance from what we saw Sunday. As we stated last week, more FCS offers are coming, and he has the attention of some FBS programs, as well.
In a setting like this with so many players on hand, we obviously cannot give mention every one, and the majority of those in attendance will not play at the major college level. That said, one of the better parts about covering an event like this is seeing the coaches that put in as much effort at improving the games of everyone who comes, regardless of their scholarship potential.
Eagles beef up
After making a run on wide receivers and other skill players for the 2020 class, BC added the second offensive lineman to its haul when Addison Penn out of Southlake Carroll HS in Southlake, Texas verbally committed Monday.
Penn measures in at 6-4, 275 pounds, and hails from one of the top programs in the Lone Star state. The Dragons are a traditional spread team, but Penn is a mauler at the point of attack and perfectly fits in to the type of player coach Steve Addazio and Co. want in their interior linemen.
McDonald moves on
One of BC quarterback Anthony Brown's backups, Matt McDonald, has transferred to Bowling Green. Former Eagles offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler is now the head coach with the Falcons, and former Eagles linebacker and running back Davon Jones also transferred to play for Loeffler.
McDonald's departure is not insignificant. Throughout the spring, he was neck-and-neck with Andover native EJ Perry for the primary backup role, and could have been in line to be a starter at some point down the road.
Still, this isn't reason to panic over the depth at the position, either. One of the pleasant developments of the spring for the Eagles was the progression of Matt Valecce, a redshirt freshman who will probably be the third option behind Perry now.
UMass continues to make waves in the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area of the country, as running back Jared Cole verballed to the Minutemen on Sunday.
Cole, a 5-9, 180-pounder from Ashburn, Va., plays at one of the top programs in that part of the country in Stone Bridge High, a consistent state title contender. Although he plays running back, Cole has the versatility to kick out to the slot and be a weapon in the passing game, too.
Pope John fallout
When we heard the news of the closing of Pope John XXIII in Everett, we reached out to the Tigers' coach from last season, Paul Sobolewsk,i to find out what's next for his former players.
Sobolewski noted that other Catholic Central schools are going with open enrollment admissions, which should help some of the students find new surroundings.
Still, the issue of Catholic schools, both big and small, but particularly the latter, seeing shrinking enrollment numbers is a troubling one. Sobolewski expressed concern over the trend, as it does not appear to be slowing down.