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Boston College: Breaking down the Eagles 2021 recruiting class

Four star defensive back Clinton Burton headlines a talented 2021 class for the Eagles.

National Signing Day is one of the biggest days on the college football calendar. Especially now that it is two days. Wednesday was a big day at the Heights as 25 recruits signed their letters of intent to play at Boston College.

The 2021 class is one of the best in program history. The group was ranked 38th overall by ESPN, 34th by Rivals and 39th by 247 Sports.

The crowd jewel of the class was four star defensive back Clinton Burton Jr. Jeff Hafley and defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim were able to land Burton, the program’s first ever four star recruit. Burton might be the most notable player in the class but there are impact players that signed yesterday and are poised to make an impact. Here is a list of the entire class.

2021 Boston College Football Recruiting Class

Shawn Asbury II, DB, 5-11 185, Stafford, Va./North Stafford

Cole Batson, S, 6-4 197, San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente

Jaylen Blackwell, S 6-2 195      McDonough, Ga./Union Grove

Lewis Bond, WR/RB 5-11 185      Chicago, Ill./Kenwood Academy

CJ Burton, DB 6-0 170 Richmond, Va./St. Frances Academy (Md.)       

Jalen Cheek, DB, 6-2 190 Sicklerville, N.J./Winslow Township

Tyeus Clemons, DL                    6-3 250, Decatur, Ala./Sparkman

Xavier Coleman, RB, 5-10     190, Willingboro, N.J./Lenape

Donovan Ezeiruaku, DE,  6-3       210, Williamstown, N.J./Williamstown

Shawn Gates, DB  6-0 185      Akron, Ohio/Firestone

Otto Hess, OL, 6-7 300, Oswego, Ill./Oswego

Quintayvious Hutchins, DE , 6-5 250   Bessemer, Ala./Bessemer City

Jamareeh Jones, ATH                 6-0 205      Richmond, Va./Highland Springs

Ilija Krajnovic, OL                   6-8 325, Zrenjanin, Serbia/IMG Academy

Connor Lytton, K/P, 6-2 200      Christiansburg, Va./Radford

Owen McGowan, LB, 6-1       225, Canton, Mass./Catholic Memorial

Emmett Morehead, QB, 6-6       227, Woodside, Calif./Episcopal (Va.)

Neto Okpala, DE/OLB, 6-2       235, Loganville, Ga./Loganville

Casey Phinney, LB, 6-1 230      Marshfield, Mass./Noble and Greenough School

Danté Reynolds, WR                   5-11 190, Chicago, Ill./Kenwood Academy

Bryce Steele, S, 6-2       213      Raleigh, N.C./Millbrook (Va.)

Owen Stoudmire, DT                    6-2 315,  Creston , Ohio/Norwayne

Nigel Tate, DT 6-4  310      Washington, D.C./Bullis School

Jaden Williams, WR                   5-11 180, Pflugerville, Texas/Hendrickson

Jalon Williams, DB, 5-10     185      Grand Prairie, Texas/South Grand Prairie

Landing a player of Burton’s caliber is even more impressive when you consider that coaches could not set up visits or recruit players face to face. It was all done via social media, by phone and teleconference.

Hafley and his staff focused on defensive back but they recruited across the board and not only improved the talent on the team, but the depth as well. Here is a breakdown of the Eagles by position.

Recruiting Class by Position

Defensive Back (5)

Safety (3)

Wide Receiver (2)

Defensive End (2)

Defensive Tackle (2)

Linebacker (2)

Offensive Line (2)

Athlete (1)

Defensive End/Outside Linebacker (1)

Defensive Line (1)

Kicker/Punter (1)

Quarterback (1)

Running Back (1)

Wide Receiver/Running Back (1)

When it comes to getting these commitments, Hafley and his coaches left no stone unturned. This is a national and international recruiting class. Here is a break down of the states Hafley and his staff recruited.

Recruiting Class by Location:

Alabama (2)

California (2)

District of Columbia (1)

Georgia (2)

Illinois (3)

Massachusetts (2)

New Jersey (3)

North Carolina (1)

Ohio (2)

Serbia (1)

Texas (2)

Virginia (4)

Recruiting areas that the program has traditionally not recruited is important. It is not often that Boston College goes into Texas and California but they did with this class.

As you can clearly see, the focus in this class was on defense. Shawn Asbury and Clinton Burton could play as freshmen while Jaylen Blackwell, Cole Baston and Jalen Cheek all have the potential to start by their sophomore year or at the very least be in the mix.

The two Massachusetts linebackers, Owen McGowan and Casey Phinney add toughness and leadership to the class. McGowan profiles as a MIKE linebacker while Phinney can play both MIKE and SAM linebacker.

Quintayvious Hutchins, Neto Okpala and Tyeus Clemons all have the potential to be special edge players defensively for the Eagles. All three are raw but offer big time pass rush upside.

I also like the two defensive tackles that were in this class. Owen Stoudmire is disruptive and explosive. He was one of the best defensive players in the state of Ohio last season. Nigel Tate is long and offers scheme versatility.

Hafley and offensive line coach Matt Applebaum want big, long offensive lineman that can play guard or tackle. Well, they got two good ones in this class in Serbian import Ilija Krajnovic from IMG Academy and guard Otto Hess out of Illinois.

Finally, the Eagles were able to land some speed and athleticism with Jamareeh Jones who is listed as an athlete and wide receiver Jaden Williams. Wide receiver Dante Reynolds is also a player to watch in this group.

The talent has been upgraded. Hafley lived up to his reputation of being a terrific recruiter with this class. The 2022 and 2023 classes are shaping up to be even better.

 

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