April 8, 2008
CHESTNUT HILL Codi Boek is hoping that history repeats itself for him and Boston College.
Paul Peterson history, that is.
"I have been hearing lots of things about Paul Peterson," Boek said recently, as he went through his first spring practice with the Eagles. "Hopefully, that's supposed to be the plan somewhere along the road."
The plan for Boek would be to do what Peterson did: step in as a junior college transfer and become the starting quarterback at The Heights. If he has half the success Peterson enjoyed, it will be another marriage made in heaven.
These stories have similarities. Peterson was a junior college QB who sent out videotapes to try to get big-time schools interested. Boek did the same thing. Both came to the Boston area from way out west.
And, Boek said, "My quarterbacks coach from Idaho State last year (Joe Borich) coached (Peterson) in junior college."
Both players hit the BC roster, which normally does not contain junior college players because of the school's academic policies, with stories that stretched further than just sending out tapes.
Peterson was a Mormon who already had spent two years in Nicaragua doing his religious missionary work. Boek was recruited to Idaho State, left there after sitting out his freshman season when his father was stricken with cancer, then played into only his third game at American River Community College.
There are differences. Peterson was just 6-0 in height. Boek is 6-3. Peterson came to BC with two years of eligibility remaining. Boek has three. He applied for a medical redshirt for last year but didn't get it.
"Our styles of play are similar, too, from what I hear," Boek said.
You get the picture. There are connections here, and BC can only hope that Boek will have the success Peterson enjoyed. Peterson finished 12-2 as a starter for the Eagles, with two bowl wins. He became the only BC quarterback ever to win his first six starts.
Boek sent out tapes and e-mails (to "pretty much every Division I school") looking for a place to play, and BC assistant coach/recruiting coordinator Mike Siravo was the first to call. It happened within minutes.
The Eagles had a need. They were losing senior Matt Ryan to the NFL draft, and backup Chris Crane was the only other quarterback on the roster with any experience at all. The rest of the talent at the position was younger, so it was natural for a bridge to be brought in.
On the record, BC coach Jeff Jagodzinski and his staff have labeled Boek as that bridge. He's the guy who can come in, spice up the competition, and perhaps also provide a player who could take over as the starter in 2009, as a junior. Crane has only one year of eligibility left.
But the coaches also know that Crane, the likely starter this fall, is still unproven. And competition, of course, is good for everyone.
"Chris Crane's got the upper hand right now," Boek said. "He's been under Coach (Steve) Logan (the offensive coordinator), and he's in the system, and he's had the advantage that he got to sit in on all the meetings last year and all that. Definitely, he's doing a real good job in the spring.
"But I'm not really worried about the competition right now. I'm just trying to think about these plays and staying in the playbook and not really worrying about anybody else. I'm just kinda worrying about myself right now, and trying to get a good grasp on this offense and doing what I can do."
So far, Boek loves what he sees of the BC offense, one that's geared toward success for the quarterback.
"Coach Jags and Coach Logan sit in on every meeting with the quarterbacks, and it's just a great spot for a quarterback to be," Boek said. "These guys really know what they're talking about, with all their experience with football. They're helping me along, and I couldn't be in better hands."
Boek said the coaches already have had him doing different things, including taking some snaps as the punt protector.
Boek's dad, Nathan, is "doing great" and was set to join his son in Boston for the rest of spring practice. "I talk to him about four or five times a day," the younger Boek said, adding that he and his dad are thrilled with the choice of BC.
HADEN SHINING IN EARLY GOING
Running back Josh Haden, an early arrival after finishing high school in December, already was listed as No. 1 on BC's depth chart at the position. That's not a shock, considering that he's the first new runner to arrive and there are no returning tailbacks. According to Boek, Haden is opening eyes.
"He's been impressing everybody. The kid's a stud," Boek said. "Right now, we're pretty short on running backs in the spring, and he's getting quite a bit of the reps. He's carrying the load for us in the spring. I think he's pretty much impressing everyone. He's taking some shots and just bouncing right back."
SKINNER LOSING SPEARS, KABA
Shamari Spears, a sophomore forward on the basketball team, and seldom-used guard Daye Kaba both have been released from their scholarships and are seeking transfers from coach Al Skinner's program.
A North Carolina native, Spears is expected to seriously consider Charlotte as his next destination. Kaba, a native of France who played high school ball in New York City, is expected to end up at a program further down the Division I ladder. Spears proved to be an ACC-caliber player for the Eagles. Kaba did not.
Spears, who averaged 9.6 points and 6.1 rebounds per game last year, was likely to lose some playing time with Joe Trapani, who sat out the 2007-08 season after transferring from Vermont, set to join the lineup.
Spears started 30 games during his two seasons at BC. He was to have joined Tyrese Rice, set for his senior year, and fellow junior-to-be Tyler Roche as the main core of upperclassmen on next year's roster.
Rice, of course, could leave for the NBA, but he said toward the end of the Eagles' disappointing 14-17 season that his going pro seemed unlikely.
The Eagles have three freshmen (led by promising Colorado guard Reggie Jackson) coming in to join what will be another young team, and they remain interested in a handful of high school seniors.
Among those BC continues to follow is 6-10 Maurice Sutton, a center from Maryland who recently visited Chestnut Hill. Sutton, like many spring prospects, still is working to overcome a once-shaky academic situation.
Skinner, you may recall, once gained a commitment from Jared Dudley (who went on to become the ACC player of the year in 2007) that came so late in the summer after Dudley's senior year of high school that it has become one of the all-time classic stories of the basketball recruiting trail.
The overall track record of spring signees in college basketball is not very impressive, but under Skinner the Eagles have beaten that trend on more than a few occasions. Rice, for example, a 2008 first-team All-ACC selection, inked with BC during the NCAA's spring signing period three years ago.