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Recruiting notebook: Reviewing signing day, recent portal commits

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Boston College now has a top 20 transfer portal class in the nation according to 247, as after Wednesday’s signing day Boston College has added two more names via the transfer portal.

BC received the commitment of Vanderbilt wide receiver Jayden McGowan Friday, as the speedy 5-foot-8 has had a big two seasons for the Commodores. In 24 games played he’s caught 80 passes for 836 yards, and BC flipped him from South Carolina. On kickoffs, he’s returned 335 for 845 yards and a touchdown. McGowan has a huge YAC ability, and yes, the Zay Flowers comps have already started with him also wearing No. 4 in the commitment post — the number is obviously available now after Ryan O’Keefe medically retired.

Today BC also got another defensive back from Ohio State (joining Ryan Turner), Cameron Martinez. The senior in Martinez appeared in just three games during the 2023 season but prior to this season he had registered 25 games with an interception and 38 tackles.

Transfer in list: CB Cameron Martinez, WR Jayden McGowan, WR Jerand Bradley, RB Jordan McDonald, TE Ryan Boultwood, CB Ryan Turner RB Treshaun Ward, TE Kamari Morales, CB Bryquice Brown

Transfer out list: WR Taji Johnson, CB CJ Clinkscales, WR Jaden Williams, QB Emmett Morehead, RB Pat Garwo, RB Xavier Coleman, RB Cam’ron Barfield, DL Josh Hardy, CB Jason Scott, DL Shitta Sillah, CB Alex Washington

And as for the recruiting class of high school seniors, it’s ranked last in the ACC. But it’s a smaller class and it seems as if the transfer portal is the route of interest for this offseason. Three-star athlete Syair Torrence out of New York also committed to BC last minute on signing day.

“(It is a) smaller class. I know you probably have questions of why,” he said Wednesday. “It was done with the intent of a little bit of a change in how I wanted to attack this class. I think a lot of you have seen why lately. Smaller class done on purpose.”

Kemori Dixon – LB (George Washington HS) (VA)

“Linebacker, 6-1″, probably 210lbs. right now from Virginia. Very athletic linebacker, probably can play safety. He’ll probably grow into that type of guy who can come downhill and get in the box. Long, athletic. Missed his junior year but was very highly recruited as a younger player. Missed his junior year with an injury, came back and I mean, we were all about him. That was a hard fight at the end, he had other people come in but stuck with us.”

Judah Pruitt – OL (Malcolm X Shabazz HS) (NJ)

“One of the top players in New Jersey. I think he was one of the NJ Players of the Year as an offensive linemen. Originally he was committed somewhere else and we flipped him pretty early in the process. A bunch of coaches kept coming in to recruit him and I appreciate him sticking with us. Big, strong, huge smile that kind of lights up a room. He was up again this weekend watching practice with his family. Obviously, we’re excited about him.”

Jonathan Montague Jr. – QB (Clayton HS) (NC)

“He committed to us over the weekend on a visit. We were looking at a couple other quarterbacks and he was up on a visit…we got really excited about him and got him to commit. Just listen to these numbers: He’s rushed for 2,500 yards. He’s had over 40 touchdowns this year, you’re talking about just this year. Threw for 1,500 yards…you want to talk about an athletic guy and then he’s big. He’s over 200lbs. I would say he’s 6-2″ and what a great kid. What an athlete. You guys should check out his film if you have not. Really excited about him.”

Turbo Richard – RB (Northwestern HS) (SC)

“Short and stalky, not small. He’s probably 5-8″, 208-210lbs. Really good with the ball in his hands. He’s had some huge games and he’s one of the best backs in all of South Carolina, one of the best players in South Carolina. We were on him early and he stuck with us.”

Charlie Comella – DB/ATH (Xaverian HS) (MA)

“Local guy…fell in love with Charlie in our camp. One of the most competitive high school athletes that I’ve seen in a long time. Very fast, played offense and defense at camp. Saw him play live a year and two years ago. He broke his collarbone so he really didn’t get a chance to play this year. I saw him compete at DB and instinctively cover and go get the ball and I offered him at camp. He probably would have blown up this year with a senior year. Two-sport athlete playing baseball, that’s how athletic he is. Really excited about him.”

Jayzen Flint – DE (West Catholic Prep) (PA)

“From Philly, defensive tackle/defensive end. Another kid we had up here quite early. His film was fun to watch. He actually played Wildcat running back and quarterback, so he’s a bigger athlete. He’s definitely not going to play those positions in college, but he gives us a big athlete that can probably play end and tackle.”

Pape Abdoulaye Sy – OL (NFL Academy) (Senegal)

“From Senegal and no I did not go out and home visit him in Senegal. Found him in the NFL Academy. Chris Snee did a good job there with Osi Umenyora – who were teammates – Osi got him into the NFL Academy. They sent us a bunch of film. You want to talk about a giant with a wingspan like I’ve never seen before. One of the coolest visits that we’ve had. You talk about someone that gets here with an appreciation and a smile on his face over the little things that make you kind of take a step back and appreciate it…whether it’s sleeping on a comfortable bed. It’s the first time he’d been in a bed that big. Eating food…just so grateful for everything that he could have had on a visit with a huge smile on his face. Here we are watching and evaluating his film, he’s doing drills in sand. We’re watching video of this giant – it looks like it’s 110 degrees – he’s doing footwork drills in sand, he’s running in sand and boy, did he look athletic. He’s got a chance guys. He’s a different build. He’s a tough kid, he’s grateful. It’s really cool to see a guy get an opportunity like that and I’m excited to see what he can bring. He’d been committed to us for a long time, we just kind of kept it quiet because schools were sniffing around and we did believe he’d blow up. We wanted to make sure this was going to be his home. This guy is a massive human being.”

Cedric Lott – WR (John Horn HS) (TX)

“You guys haven’t seen this kid or many pictures…this kid is a long, beautiful looking receiver. Saw a lot of 7-on-7…Coach Wyatt did a great job with him. Saw a lot of the 7-on-7 film with him. He hadn’t played much in high school. He’s a big time basketball player. I actually went down there two weeks ago to watch him play basketball. You want to talk about a smooth, soft-handed, body control…can dribble, he goes and dunks like it’s me playing on a mini basketball net. Really good athlete who I think is going to have a chance to be a special player and develop with Coach Wyatt. A guy with a ton of upside.”

Ashton McShane – CB (McKinney HS) (TX)

“Another Texas kid from McKinney. I think this kid slipped through the cracks in Texas and a lot of the local coaches kind of said the same thing when I just visited him. Really good player. Instinctive, competitive, smart. Great ball skills, really good coverage skills. Really good size, great kid. Excited about him.”

Jadon Lafontant – OL (Brunswick School) (CT)

“This was a hard fight. Offensive linemen, tackle, guard. When I first saw him…he looks like Mahogany, that’s the type of body size that he has, very athletic…he’ll be an offensive linemen for us. He was committed to Kentucky, had a really hard fight with him with a bunch of schools. We stayed on him, stayed consistent. In our opinion, that’s a local guy, one of the top local guys that there is in the New England area. We had him up two weekends ago at the start of the period when we could get him back. Had him and his mom on campus. He was at practice, spent a ton of time in my office and we were able to flip him. That was a big win for us. We needed to do that in New England. He’s got a chance to be a really special player.”

Ryan Boultwood – TE (Mt. San Antonio) (CA)

“He’s a tight end out of a California junior college, so it’s almost like getting an older player. Kind of got on him late, turned on his film…Coach Schimko is the one who first showed me his film. Big, strong, plays with kind of like a defensive mindset. Violent. Very energetic. Kind of guy when he catches the ball he tries to run through you and accelerate…he’s a guy I believe will have a chance to come in and play. I’m really excited about him.”

Syair Torrence – DB (Christian Brothers Academy) (NY)

(This was the name Hafley said they were waiting on when he met with us, so nothing from Coach on him just yet.)

*Transcript via Kevin Stone of Rivals*

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Football

Boston College Football Recruiting Board: Class of 2026

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Welcome to our Class of 2026 recruiting board for Boston College football.

Every player is a 3-star unless stated otherwise.

June 24 (2024): QB Corin Berry
The Eagles picked up their quarterback for the Class of ’26, as BC picks up a massive recruit out of California — also the Eagles’ second quarterback commit in the past week. Berry stands at an athletic 6-foot-3 frame with a powerful arm and he chose the Eagles over an offer from Arkansas. Berry threw for over 2,000 yards as a sophomore starter this season for Charter Oak High in California.

March 3 (2024): OL Marcelino Antunes Jr.
Antunes Jr. out of Catholic Memorial is the first commit in the Class of ’26, as the 6-foot-7, 285-pound offensive lineman ranked as a top-50 ’26 lineman in the country committed to the Eagles before his sophomore year concluded. He’s ranked as the No. 2 ’26 player in Mass.

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Football

Boston College Football Recruiting Board: Class of 2025

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Welcome to our Class of 2025 recruiting board for Boston College. Every player is a 3-star unless stated otherwise.

The Eagles currently rank as the 38th best recruiting class in the country.

June 24: WR Dawson Pough
The Eagles land their third wide receiver of the class, as Pough plays both sides of the ball but is recruited as a wideout. The 6-foot-1 wideout had offers from several Power-4s and a number of G5s. He’s a top-30 rated recruit in teh state of Virginia out of Leesburg.

June 23: CB Charleston Coldon
The 6-foot-1 defensive back out of Belleville, Illinois had several other Power-4 offers and visited just two days ago. His brother, CJ Coldon, played at Wyoming as well as Oklahoma as this is the seventh defensive back in this class.

June 19: CB Ashton Cunningham
A smaller-sized — 5-foot-11, 155-pounder, Cunningham is a top-100 corner out of Oklahoma. He’s teammates with Shaker Reisig, who flipped from Utah to BC the day prior.

June 18: QB Shaker Reisig
Some big news came out of Oklahoma this week as Reisig, a top-50 QB in the country flipped his commitment from Utah to the Eagles. Reisig is a 6-foot, 200-pound passer who is regarded as an accurate passer who threw for 2,366 yards along with a completion percentage above 75% in his junior season — and is overall a good get for the Eagles.

June 16: LB Zacari Thomas
Thomas is a 6-foot-2 linebacker from Gray, Georgia. He had a couple of Power-4 offers but after visiting BC the week prior Thomas announced his commitment.

June 16: CB Njita Sinkala
The 5-foot-11 corner in Sinkala is a top-15 player from Connecticut and held offers from schools mainly on the East Coast, but committed to BC just two days after his visit.

June 15: EDGE Israel Oladipupo
Oladipupo is a 6-foot-3, 215-pound edge rusher from Indiana that had interest largely from the MAC as well as a few other Power-4 schools — totaling 16 offers. It’s BC’s first edge rusher in the 2025 high school class, and he ranks in the top-75 in the country at his position.

June 13: OL Robert Smith
A 6-foot-4, 290-pound inside offensive lineman out of Cleveland, Smith was one of several to commit after their June 7 visit to the Eagles. Cincinnati was his only other Power-4 offer.

June 11: S Rae Sykes Jr.
A 6-foot-2 safety out of Rome, Georgia, Sykes visited BC four days prior to his commitment. He had Power-4 interest as well as in-state interest at Georgia State, but ended up choosing the Eagles.

June 11: S Omarion Davis
One of two safeties to commit on June 11th, Davis is a top-25 recruit in the state of South Carolina and just outside of a top-100 country-wide safety ranking. Georgia Tech was his only other Power-4 offer.

June 9: WR Semaj Fleming
Fleming is a speedy 5-foot-10 receiver that has had a good ordeal of success in track and field. Out of Orlando, Florida, Fleming is BC’s second recruit out of Florida and held several SEC offers.

June 3: S Marcelous Townsend
A 5-foot-11 athlete out of Georgia, BC was Townsend’s only Power-4 offer despite going on a visit to Michigan as the Eagles have picked up two players from Roswell on the same day.

June 3: ATH Bryce Lewis
A 6-foot-6 athlete out of Roswell, Georgia, the two-way player in Lewis is a top-100 player in the state of Georgia and is the son of Boston College defensive coordinator Tim Lewis. Lewis had several Power-4 offers though committed four days after his visit to Boston College.

May 3: RB Mekhi Dodd
The Eagles retain a tailback from the state of Mass., Dodd is another top-5 player from Massachussetts and a top-100 runningback in the country. The 6-foot tailback out of Catholic Memorial missed part of the 2023 season but is ranked well despite only having one other offer from UMass.

April 15: DL Micah Amedee
Amedee attends Xaverian Brothers and is a top-5 player from the state of MA, though BC being his only Power-4 offer. He committed over a month before his visit as the 6-foot-3, 275-pounder is ranked as a top-100 defensive lineman in the country.

April 15: ATH TJ Green
The 5-foot-11 receiver out of Ohio had over 1,000 yards last season in his junior campaign as well as some solid numbers defensively. He’s a speedy asset that has potential to play on either side of the ball.

March 12: WR Nedrick Boldin
The 5-foot-11 receiver is one of the Eagles’ earlier commitments in the class and had plenty of Power-4 interest out of Palm Beach, FL. He is a quick runner that also cometes in track & field.

March 11: ATH Griffin Collins

A top-5 player out of MA, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound athlete commits out of Worcester Academy as he’s the second player in the class to commit. Collins plays both tight end and linebacker.

December 2 (2023): RB Nolan James

James had plenty of Power-4 interest but the DePaul Catholic (NJ) tailback chose to be the Eagles’ first member of the Class of ’25. The 5-foot-11, 200-pound tailback ran for over 1400 yards in his junior season.

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Basketball

DiMauro: All in all, a solid year for BC sports

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If you are reading this, chances are your primary means of remaining connected to Boston College runs through athletics.

Oh, and we’ve been tortured souls, too, especially in recent years. We are idealists and fatalists, demanding yet forgiving, loyal and resilient, even if sometimes it feels as though we make the long trek up the cliff to Lovers Leap … only to get shoved.

All of which makes the sports year of 2023-24 a time to celebrate. Boston College did itself proud, no small occurrence given that in this unsteady (perverse?) time of expansion and realignment, schools like BC must always look their Sunday best, with no overt warts or love handles.

Women’s lacrosse, BC’s working definition of pride and joy, capped the sports season with the national championship Memorial Day weekend in Cary, NC. It was the program’s second natty in four years, a three-hour infomercial for the entire institution and more proof that, yes, it can be done at BC with the right coach.

Acacia Walker-Weinstein – you’ll note that only the letter “W” separates her from “Einstein” – not only hung a banner, but helped BC earn a distinction few other athletic programs in the country could trumpet. How many other schools made national championship games (both televised by ESPN) in two different sports fewer than two months apart?

Think about that one: Men’s hockey, during an otherwise memorable season, fell short in the national championship game. But the Sons of Greg Brown did the school proud all season. Not a bad accomplishment to see “BC in the national finals” on the ESPN scroll in mid-April (hockey) and late May (lacrosse). It’s hard to buy that kind of advertising, particularly when and if realignment and expansion happen again.

Football won a bowl game over a ranked team at Fenway Park, returns a dynamo in Thomas Castellanos and then made the splash of a cannonball, hiring Bill O’Brien as head coach. Three other women’s sports showed promise as well: field hockey (11-7, made the ACC Tournament); softball (30-24, made the ACC Tournament) and volleyball, which continues to improve steadily under coach Jason Kennedy, finished 19-13 and made the ACC Tournament.

Otherwise, baseball gets a pass as new coach Todd Interdonato assimilates to the ACC and establishes his culture; the soccer programs (3-9-5 and 3-9-6) were lousy; and I remain concerned about men’s and women’s basketball. Put it this way: Sure feels as though better players are leaving than are entering.

Off the field, “Friends Of The Heights,” BC’s Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) collective, grew massively, keeping BC competitive in a cutthroat environment. Friends Of The Heights also homered into the upper deck, hiring veteran athletic administrator Jim Paquette as its new Chief Development Officer. Paquette will advise the Board on overall development strategies, using his 16 years as an administrator at BC that specialized in fundraising.

BC’s overall cachet also made a splash on social media when Forbes Magazine named it one of the country’s “New Ivies.”

Based on its researchForbes, the century-old national business magazine, reported that American companies are souring on hiring Ivy League graduates, instead preferring high achievers from 20 other prominent universities – “Private and Public New Ivies.”

BC joins private school “New Ivies” Carnegie Mellon, Emory, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, Rice, Notre Dame, Southern California and Vanderbilt. Ah, to be judged by the company one keeps.

One school year hasn’t produced this much for BC in years. And it’s significant. The idea now is to build, not regress.

Full disclosure: There are many things I still don’t like. I’m told Father Leahy neither attended the Frozen Four nor the lacrosse Final Four. It is disrespectful to the players, coaches and alumni to have a leader who acts as if so much about what makes BC great is beneath him. And we still seem to have these spasms of tone deafness, such as patrolling the parking lots like stormtroopers the day of the spring football game.

But 2023-24 was an encouraging year for BC in many ways. Yes, we always want more. But we were getting less for a long time. Not this year. A tip of the cap to athletic director Blake James, his staff, the coaches and the kids.

We pause now to enjoy summer and await Labor Day night in Tallahassee. Here’s to 2024-25, hollering “Mr. Brightside” again with the kids from the crowded bleachers.

Mike DiMauro, a columnist in Connecticut, is a contributor to Eagles Daily and a member of BC’s Class of 1990. He may be reached at m.dimauro@theday.com or @BCgenius 

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