August 8, 2008
Jags Moving Pieces to Get the Right Fit
Boston College held its annual media day at Conte Forum on Friday, and there were a few new developments that came out. The biggest news of the day was that Coach Jeff Jagodzinski announced that senior linebacker Kevin Akins has moved to cornerback.
"I moved Kevin Akins to the bench (boundary) corner, so there's a 220 pound corner sitting there on the edge now. The first five days of our practice is installation. Kevin's been playing linebacker and he knows that position, Razzie knows corner so he knows that position." Jags continued, "We're trying to get the best guys and the best combination on the field. Kevin's doing a good job; it makes it hard to run at that corner out there."
Defensive Coordinator Frank Spaziani expanded on Akins moving to corner.
"Razzie Smith left to play offense, and we felt if we didn't take a look at Kevin over there now, we couldn't do that in five or six days. He's been at the linebacker long enough that in the next three to five days if we feel the team would be better with him at linebacker he could go back there and not miss a beat," said Spaziani.
How has Akins looked so far?
"You can't teach experience. Kevin's played in games and been productive. He's adapted real well to it. There's a couple of issues that I need to see more of to see if he can really do it over there. Kevin's a football player, and that was one of the reasons we moved him over there because he's productive. We're just trying to get him on the field more," said Spaziani.
Is there a plan in place to have Akins platoon in cornerback in rushing situations?
"Not really, but he could. One of the problems we're having on defense is depth, it's a big issue. There's certain things that he can do right now at the boundary corner that he's fine with and he could do them, and then there's certain things I've got to be careful of what I'm asking him to do," said Spaziani.
Some other positional changes that were known headed into today were Razzie Smith moving to running back and Codi Boek moving to fullback. Coach Jags explained the thought process behind those decisions.
"I think the placement of personal is just as important as any coaching decision you make. Razzie Smith hasn't played running back, but we talked about it as a staff. I was looking for more speed back there. He's a skill guy that can run. I asked Razzie what he ran in high school and he said a '10.6 100 meter'. That guy can fly, we haven't had that back there." Jags continued, "Codi moved to full back. We were a little bit shy at fullback. We have James McClusky there. We have Jerry Kelly there as a true freshman. Codi's a 4.6 kid at 220 pounds. He understands the offense because he's been through it at quarterback. He understands the routes, where everyone's supposed to be and he understand the protection. I'm going to get my best eleven guys on the field."
Coach Jags didn't mention any other position changes, but it should be noted that quarterback Chris Johnson was working out with the tight ends during practice. All of the tight ends were in a group catching passes off of the machine, and Johnson was partaking in the drill, albeit with his green quarterback jersey on.
Another hot topic of conversation was about how the offensive line was coming together. Jags announced that the starting offensive line right now is Anthony Castonzo at left tackle, Rich Lapham at left guard, Matt Tennant at center, Thomas Claiborne at right guard, and Cliff Ramsey at right tackle. Coach Jags was not shy to admit that he was impressed with some of the young guys on the line.
"I've been really excited about Emmett Cleary. He has done a nice job. He's another version of Anthony Castonzo. Actually, he's probably farther along than Anthony was when he first got here. He's a little bit bigger but he's very athletic. Nick Halloran from right down the road has impressed me with his toughness. We're going to be fine in the offensive line. I think we're better as a group right now and the kids have a better understanding of what we want and how Jack (Bicknell) does things now than at any point last year. I'm really encouraged about that group right now."
Is there anything behind the latest recruiting classes being bigger?
"They're bigger framed but they're athletic. They range from 260 to Mike Goodman who's 320. He's too heavy right now. All of those guys in a few years will be 6'4-6'6" and 310. I'm not sacrificing size for anything. I want more athletic ability and guys that can move and adjust when they get into a bad position," said Jags.
When asked what position he was most concerned with Coach Jags joked, "Yeah, whoever is going up against Ron Brace and BJ Raji. I don't worry about anybody else. I worry about getting 11 guys on the field all doing it as a team. That's my biggest concern, my biggest goal, actually."
That statement echoed Jags' earlier remarks about what goal he's set for the team this year.
"Our mentality, and it will be for as long as I'm here, is to win the ACC Championship. We're going to do everything we can to get to that ballgame, and this time hopefully we get a chance to win and get to the Orange Bowl. That's going to be the goal for this program every year," said Coach Jags.
On the injury front, Alex Albright wasn't dressed for practice, and was wearing a medical jersey. He didn't appear to be walking about with any limp, so either it was precautionary or an upper body injury. Likewise, with fullback James McCluskey. In addition, red-shirt freshman linebacker Dan Williams was on crutches, and couldn't put any weight on his right leg.
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