Some have compared national signing day to Christmas, a day of gifts for college football fans. But for Boston College, it’s less kid-on-Christmas-morning and more financial-planner-recommending-investments.
“Sure, that stock has huge potential, but it also comes with huge risk,” the planner says. “What you really want is this U.S. Treasury bond!”
In other words, BC investments are typically long-term.
“The lifeblood of our program exists through recruiting and the development of the student-athletes we already have,” coach Steve Addazio told reporters at a news conference Wednesday afternoon. “The recruiting process is critically important.”
The Eagles finished 2014 with a 7-6 record for the second straight season, losing the Pinstripe Bowl in heartbreaking fashion in overtime to Penn State on a missed PAT and a Nittany Lions TD.
Despite some success in his first two seasons, Addazio has said, more than once, that it’ll take three or four full recruiting classes to get the roster stocked as he wants it.
He now has two.
This year's 25-player class includes one four-star recruit (ESPN 300 offensive lineman Wyatt Knopfe) and 24 three-star recruits (led by offensive tackle Anthony Palazzolo). Only Arizona, with 25, has more three-star recruits signed up than BC does in this class.
Addazio reiterated Wednesday that in his first two seasons the Eagles’ roster has been short on numbers, with a roster size closer to the FCS level than the FBS level.
“We have to really be able to load our team back up with a full roster of 85 scholarship players,” he said. “We have to encourage and develop a larger walk-on population. When you have that, you’re a healthier football team; you can practice at a higher level, and you become a much more fundamentally developed team.”
The class of 2015 recruits hail from nine states: seven from Massachusetts; six from Florida; four from Connecticut; two each from New Jersey, Ohio and Virginia; and one apiece from California and New York.
Addazio is also bringing aboard another graduate transfer, defensive lineman Evan Kelly from the University of Richmond.
The Eagles added five offensive linemen, three wide receivers, two quarterbacks, one running back and one tight end on offense, and six defensive backs, four defensive linemen and three linebackers on defense.
It’s no coincidence that the class is heavy on linemen. The Eagles graduated their entire starting offensive line in 2014, and will have an all-new unit in 2015. So it’s important to rebuild the depth in that position group.
“I think we’ve really increased our athleticism, our team speed, yet it all starts up front in the building of your offensive and defensive lines, and we certainly attacked those positional needs,” Addazio said. “You’re talking about roughly 56 of our 85-man roster is now comprised in the last two recruiting classes, which is an awfully large chunk and a very young football team. They are great building blocks for the future success of the program.”
Of course, this year’s O-line recruits are likely a while away from contributing -- it’s rare to see underclassmen on the line at BC -- and it’s worth noting that one of the five (Dudley native Chris Lindstrom) has arrived on campus sporting a mouth full of braces.
The Eagles have high hopes for these players, but they’re all still kids.
So, the coach was asked, will any of them turn out to be “dudes”?
“I hope they’re all dudes,” Addazio said. “That’s the goal right now. We think we’ve got some dudes, but that remains to be seen.”
BC begins spring practice on Feb. 25. The 2015 season will start with four straight home games, including two against FCS-level opponents Maine and Howard, leading up to a Friday prime-time matchup with Florida State.
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.