CB Will Blackmon

2003 Statistics

Coach: Tom O'Brien
48-36, 7 years
2003 Record: 8-5
at Penn State WON 27-14
at Connecticut WON 24-14
at Temple WON 38-13
at Syracuse LOST 14-39
at Rutgers WON 35-25
at Virginia Tech WON 34-27
Colorado State WON 35-21

2003 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2004 Outlook

Even with some key losses, Boston College is still considered one of the nation's top 40 teams. This is an experienced squad that should be able to continue the momentum generated from last year's strong finish. They need to find a tailback, there could be a huge hole at defensive tackle, and Toal may have to take on some of the responsibilities left by Ott - a tall task, but highly achievable for this true freshman. Even so, BC is one of the more consistent winners in the country. You can always expect to see enough wins to land a bowl bid and an upset or two here and there. A Big East championship? Not out of the question, but they will again lose a few they shouldn't for that coulda-woulda-shoulda mantra again leading into '05.

The non-league schedule includes Penn State, Wake Forest, Notre Dame and Ball State, meaning BC could be anywhere from 1-3 to 4-0. This stretch will, as it did in '03, define which tier the Golden Eagles perch upon this campaign. With perennials Virginia Tech and Miami now ACC-bound, their Big East slate is highly winnable, so don't be surprised if…

There are some holes that could potentially become gaping. The biggest concern might be tailback where, either Jeff Ross or true freshman A.J. Brooks has to emerge. Toal will make too much of an impact at linebacker to be considered at running back. Neither is expected to be as productive as Knight. In the meantime, look for the passing game to carry the offense until the tailback situation is resolved.

Another (at least) eight-win season is probable. They're as good as Pittsburgh, but perhaps not on par with West Virginia, yet they are capable of beating both. Challenging for the Big East crown and reaching a bowl game for the sixth consecutive season has to be considered a success.

Projected 2004 record: 8-3
QB - 3 DL - 3.5
RB - 2.5 LB - 3
WR - 3 DB - 3
OL - 2.5 ..

Passing: Quinton Porter, 250-140-6, 1764 yds., 14 TD

Rushing: Quinton Porter, 78 att., 159 yds., 2 TD

Receiving: Grant Adams, 46 rec., 720 yds., 5 TD

Scoring: Grant Adams, 6 TD’s, 36 pts.

Punting: Jeff Gomulinski, 66 punts, 39.8 avg.

Kicking: None

Tackles: Ray Henderson, 88 tot., 45 solo, 8 TFL

Sacks: Mathias Kiwanuka, 13 sacks

Interceptions: Will Blackmon, 4 for 21 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Will Blackmon, 36 ret., 25.6 avg.

Punt Returns: Nathanael Hasselbeck, 14 ret., 11.1 avg.


QB Quinton Porter
OFFENSE: Augie Hoffmann-OG, Keith Leavitt-OT, Sean Ryan-TE, Greg Toal-FB, Derrick Knight-TB, Horace Dodd-TB, Sandro Sciortino-K, Chris Snee-OG (NFL)

DEFENSE: Tom Martin-DT, Doug Goodwin-DT, Brian Flores-LB, Josh Ott-LB, Paul Cook-SS, Jeff Gomulinski-P (suspended)


If Paul Peterson is the starter, it's nice to know that Quinton Porter is equally as effective, and/or vice-versa. Peterson is more of a runner than a pure passer, while Porter is tall, intelligent and a threat to beat you with the run or the pass. Their numbers are comparable, with Peterson having a higher TD% and Porter with a lower INT%. A one-two punch is again to be seen, making the unit stronger via this rotation. But the two-QB system is often a liability more than an asset, so keep your (Golden Eagle) eyes on this prize to see how the team's fate reflects such. The wild card is Pittsburgher Karim El Nokali - he didn't take a snap in '03, but is a big quarterback with an energetic arm. Though still rough around his edges, the ball will be all his in '05, so expect to see him peppered in for experience.

Running Back
This could be either a potential problem or a surprise development, we haven't decided (nor has BC) yet which it will be. The top two rushers are gone, and it's not a good sign that the leading returners are quarterbacks Peterson and Porter. Jeff Ross might be the answer, unless they turn to true freshman A.J. Brooks from Florida. Ross is a born leader (football and track captain) with size and evident speed, and he was named Boston Globe's Division II Player of the Year. Coahces will bring Brooks in early and often, knowing that real-game reps are all he is missing. Whatever happens, experience will not be a strong suit - the three returning backup tailbacks have only seven career college carries. Coach Tom O'Brien indicated on national signing day that he hasn't ruled out short-yardage running situations for Brian Toal, the prep phenom ex-LB.

Wide Receiver
The receiving corps should again be dazzling, if unheralded. Grant Adams and Joel Hazard are now (with Fitzgerald's early exit) as good as any receiving twosome in the Big East. Both seniors, Adam's takes safeties deep, while Hazard's lunch-pail ethic makes middle seams work for BC. Backups Tony Gonzalez and Jason Lilly are speedsters who have great deep-threat potential. True freshman Marquise Liverpool, a prep All-American out of New Jersey, will somehow find his way on the field. So will Brandon Robinson. Fresh legs here will help late into many fourth quarters.

Tight End
Dave Kashetta, who played behind departed tight end Sean Ryan, is not the blocker Ryan was, but he runs good routes and his hands are a soft as drugstore cotton.

Offensive Line
Plenty of depth and talent here to go around. Tackle Jeremy Trueblood and center Pat Ross anchor the unit as returners. Center Chris Hathy and guards Josh Beeckman and Shadu Moore were backups who will find prominent roles. No matter who leaves or returns, Boston College traditionally has a strong offensive line.

Peterson played well after taking over the starting role in the final three games, so there should be no real problem other than finding a way to use their two QBs. Replacing Knight, however, will take time, especially if a true freshman has to be thrown in against Big East-level competition. BC will lean on its passing game, rife with roll-outs, play-action, options and shotgun formations, until the running game develops. The line has the most pressure to perform, especially with the contingent ground game.


WR Grant Adams


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Paul Peterson-Sr (6-0, 184) Quinton Porter-Sr (6-5, 224)
FB Mark Palmer-So (6-3, 245) Everett Lee-Sr (5-11, 208)
TB Jeff Ross-So (6-0, 199) L.V. Whitworth-Fr (6-0, 215)
Andre Callender-Fr (6-0, 185)
WR Grant Adams-Sr (6-1, 200) Larry Lester-Jr (5-7, 185)
WR Joel Hazard-Sr (5-10, 185) Jason Lilly-So (6-1, 215)
TE Dave Kashetta-Sr (6-4, 256) Justin Hinds-Sr (6-4, 271)
OT Jeremy Trueblood-Jr (6-8, 315) Ryan Poles-Fr (6-5, 295)
OG James Marten-So (6-8, 312) Ton Anerski-Fr (6-4, 272)
C Pat Ross-Jr (6-4, 294) Chris Hathy-Jr (6-4, 320)
OG Josh Beekman-So (6-1, 320) Joe Graziose-So (6-4, 287)
OT Gosder Cherilus-Fr (6-7, 290) Ty Hall-Fr (6-4, 278)
K Mike Fassel-Sr (5-11, 172) William Troost-Jr (5-9, 150)



Defensive Line
There aren't too many defensive ends in the country better than Mathias Kiwanuka (NC.net Honorable Mention All-American). He has the size, speed and quickness to become a future first round draft pick. Mathias will garner double-teams galore, making it easier for all on this side of the ball. Phillip Mettling is not the pass rushing demon that Kiwanuka is, but he's a decent athlete who makes plays. Tackles Tim Bulman and Al Washington are ready to start and complete one of the strongest defensive lines in the country. They must, however, stay away from injuries because the depth is questionable.

Prep All-American Brian Toal is one of the highest rated players to ever sign with BC and he should have an immediate impact. A first-team USA Today All-American, a Parade All-American, and New Jersey's Gatorade Player of the Year, Toal led Bosco Prep to a 43-2 record and consecutive state championships his junior and senior years. Ray Henderson will start at middle linebacker until Toal unseats him, and junior Ricky Brown, a former defensive back will push for more time. But both Brown and Henderson have underachieved so far, so work is cut out for this unit. The staff is still waiting for Patrick McShane to make a contribution. The LBs were the glue of a defense that ranked 44th in '03, but this corps has a long way to go before it can perform with the same consistency or effectiveness.

Defensive Back
This is a very strong and deep unit. Cornerback Will Blackmon is perhaps the team's best all-around athlete with his good size and outstanding quickness. Fellow CBs compliment Blackmon well, both size and speed-wise, so look for stunts to be run that leave the BC coverage in capable hands. Free safety T.J. Stancil is a body rocker who was named the Most Valuable Defensive Player in the San Francisco Bowl after a career-high three INTs. Strong safety Larry Anam is also sized right for his intrusive approach. But all of the safeties have too under-produced so far in their college careers. We expect battle scars to put this group ahead of the curve, allowing the past to be their upper hand that overcomes past marginal play. They do keep the play in front of them ok, but more will have to be done so they are not again ranked as a middle-of-the-pack secondary.

There's nothing fancy about defensive coordinator Frank Spaziani's system. He runs a 4-3 and two deep zones. Ott will be missed, but the new star is Kiwanuka who plays at an All-American level. If Toal is as good as advertised, BC will have enough quality playmakers to promise another strong season. But the entire back-seven has to step up the intensity, and they will up it that one extra notch for improved overall results.


DE Mathias Kiwanuka


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Mathias Kiwanuka-Jr (6-6, 249) Myran Hunter-Sr (6-2, 241)
DT Al Washington-Jr (6-0, 286) Justin Bell-So (6-3, 275)
Danny Zepp-So (6-4, 270)
DT Tim Bulman-Sr (6-4, 285) Robert Ziminski-So (6-3, 251)
DE Phillip Mettling-Sr (6-3, 261) Nick Larkin-Fr (6-4, 241)
LB Ricky Brown-Jr (6-2, 238) Tyronne Pruitt-Fr (5-11, 218)
LB Ray Henderson-Jr (6-3, 231) JoLonn Dunbar-Fr (6-1, 220)
LB Jon Misiewicz-Jr (6-3, 216) Jeff Burns-So (6-3, 235)
CB Will Blackmon-Jr (6-0, 198) DeJuan Tribble-Fr (5-10, 186)
CB Peter Shean-Sr (5-9, 177) Larry Anam-So (6-0, 193)
SS Jazzmen Williams-Jr (5-8, 183) Ryan Glasper-So (6-0, 190)
FS T.J. Stancil-Sr (6-1, 212) Jamie Silva-Fr (5-11, 207)
P Dennis Eaton-Fr (6-1, 162) ..




There are plenty of options to replace Sandro Sciortino. Tyler DiPace, Mike Fassel and William Troost are back and BC also signed James Ohliger to compete.

Jeff Gomulinski did a good job replacing Kevin McMyler, even though his power has been questioned. True freshman Johnny Ayers will be groomed as his replacement. Something different will have to be done with the defensive depth so that BC doesn't again rank 103rd in net punting.

Return Game
Nathanael Hasselbeck was a decent punt returner, but his quickness won't blow anyone away. Will Blackmon may be a better option returning punt, but he's already a jazzy kick returner. BC's lack of speed overall hurts its return game. And with only 22 returns for all of '03, BC has to make the defense be part of what bolsters this unit's resurgence. Field position was a major factor for why a statistically sound and respectable 2003 Golden Eagle squad went 8-5.