4. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE BOSTON COLLEGE DEFENSE
– There was talent on the BC D, and it did an okay job overall, but it was a far cry from a few years ago, when it was a brick wall. Just four starters are back from the ACC’s 11th-best defense, and now linebacking coach extraordinaire Bill Sheridan will take over the defensive coordinator duties. Job One will be to figure out the line.
– The Eagles lose Zach Allen and Wyatt Ray off the ends, and won’t have Ray Smith around on the inside. The line was strong, but it should’ve been a whole lot better considering all the experience and star power, and now it has to start rebuilding around 285-pound senior Tanner Karafa at one tackle. He can get into the backfield, but he’ll need a whole lot of help even though no other returning lineman registered a sack.
Junior Brandon Barlow has a little time logged in on one end, and sophomore Marques Valdez and redshirt freshman Joey Luchetti have to combine to star on the other side. Overall, it’s a very young line that’s going to need a whole lot oof time.
– Leading tackler Connor Strachan is done from the linebacking corps, but the Eagles are okay with Isaiah McDuffie back after coming up with 85 stops on one side, and Max Richardson coming up with 76 tackles on the other. These two can get into the backfield, and 240-pound junior John Lamot is a bigger option than Strachan in the middle.
– Interception machine Hamp Cheevers and his seven picks left early, and Taj-Amir Torris is done after coming up with three. Brandon Sebastian is a good-sized corner, and it would be nice if redshirt freshman Tate Haynes is ready at the other spot. It’ll take a rotation of safeties to replace Will Harris and Lukas Denis – senior Mehdi El Attrach and junior Mike Palmer have a little time logged in.