In three years at Boston College, coach Steve Addazio will have his third starting quarterback.
Make no mistake, each has come from a different mold. Chase Rettig was a pocket passer. Tyler Murphy made his biggest plays with his legs. Now Darius Wade is expected to bring his on twist, thanks to his ability to both run and pass with equal proficiency.
While the type of quarterback has changed, the emphasis has not -- Boston College wants to run the ball, and run it well. For this season, that means using the depth it has at running back to its full advantage.
Its top five running backs from last year -- Jon Hilliman, Myles Willis, Sherman Alston, Tyler Rouse and Marcus Outlow -- return, giving the Eagles the deepest, most productive returning group of backs in the ACC. Murphy led the team with 1,184 yards, but these five backs combined for 452 carries and 2,111 rushing yards. Those numbers alone would have put Boston College ahead of five other ACC teams in carries and eight other teams in yards. So it is easy to see the Eagles return a powerful and productive group.
"We are going to rotate it around and we’re also going to use our running backs in a lot of different roles," Addazio said. "The fact that’s comforting to me is you have depth at that position. What happens sometimes is you get committed to that run game and you lose that running back, then it’s hard. So our depth should give us the ability to sustain a diverse and strong run game."
The big question is the offensive line, which must be completely revamped. But Addazio believes what he has seen out of the young players in the spring, particularly Chris Lindstrom and James Hendren, will leave the Eagles in good shape.
"We’ll have a better view of that at the end of training camp, but with some of the younger players and the older players we do have, I think we're going to come up with a pretty good unit," Addazio said. "I really do."