March 16, 2012

In-state prospects getting respect

Ask most coaches about their recruiting strategy and they will tell you that success starts close to home. Boston College isn't blessed with as much local talent as some other schools but in the Class of 2013 there are several key in-state recruits that are gaining momentum on the circuit.

EagleAction.com has reported extensively on John Montelus, Maurice Hurst Jr., Tevin Montgomery and more recently Jack McDonald.

All are from Massachusetts and all have offers from the Eagles. Their decisions could largely determine how much bright the future looks in Chestnut Hill when the dust settles next February.

With a few decommitments in last year's class many fans are taking a wait-and-see approach and won't rest easy until Letters-of-Intent are signed. For now, however, things are looking pretty good.

Today we'll take a closer look at the top in-state targets for the Eagles, break down where BC stands and give our thoughts on what kind of shot Frank Spaziani's program has at landing each of them.

It's an especially good time to do this as Hurst, Montgomery, tight end commit Andrew Isaacs and several other prospects will be visiting BC this weekend.

John Montelus
6-foot-5, 295-pound offensive tackle
Everett (Mass.)
Offers: BC, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State and many more

Montelus is clearly the top prospect in the state. A member of the Rivals250, Montelus has the potential to move into the Rivals100 down the road.

He's going to be tougher to land than any of the other in-staters, as we've said.

Montelus is still relatively new to the game of football and is barely scratching his potential.

Where BC stands: Montelus is familiar with BC and was at the school most recently with Hurst and Montgomery last month. He knows he's the Eagles' top priority in the class and that matters to him. He was also at the junior day in late January. It's worth noting that Montelus' mother is very fond of BC because of the academic prestige and how close it is to Everett. We all know that mothers are important but they don't always have the final say.

What's coming up: Montelus would like to visit Florida, Florida State and Miami sometime in April. After that he hopes to make a Midwestern tour, hitting schools like Notre Dame, Michigan and Ohio State.

BC's chances: 35-40%. We think BC has as good a shot as anyone but so many programs are involved right now it would be difficult to get too optimistic.

Maurice Hurst Jr.
6-foot-2, 285-pound defensive tackle
Xaverian
Offers: BC, Michigan State, Missouri, Nebraska, UNC, Virginia and others

Hurst's stock has been exploding recently. It's unlikely that anyone will unseat Montelus as the top prospect in the state but many other years Hurst would have that honor.

Expect a lot more offers to come in. Hurst seems like the kind of guy that might be inclined to make an early decision but it's also clear that he enjoys all the new attention he's getting.

Hurst should ultimately be recognized as one of the top defensive tackles in the entire nation. It took a little while for schools in other regions to find out about him but now word is spreading quickly.

Where BC stands: Before Boston College offered Hurst listed the Eagles as one of the schools near the top of his list. Since the offer the Eagles have skyrocketed to the number one spot on his list and they've had a firm grip on that spot even as new offers roll in. There's no reason to think that's going to change anytime soon.

What's coming up: Penn State is one school Hurst is hoping to visit soon and the Lions are one of the few schools that could potentially challenge BC's position. Hurst is also expecting an offer from Ohio State.

BC's chances: 70-75%. Simply put, losing out on Hurst would really hurt. He loves the school and if he were deciding today, even with an impressive offer list, it would be BC. We'll see what he really thinks if (and perhaps when) Penn State and Ohio State offer him. Hurst is likely to make an early decision but maintains that he wants to take all of his officials even if he's already committed to a school. In other words, buckle up.

Tevin Montgomery
6-foot-5, 295-pound defensive tackle
Tabor Academy
Offers: BC, Rutgers, Temple, UMass

Montgomery isn't quite as heralded as Montelus or Hurst but he's a legitimate three-star candidate with the size and athleticism to be a difference-maker in college.

Not too many guys his size can run a 4.85-second 40-yard dash. Hurst's offer list exploded overnight. Montgomery's is going to continue to grow but the growth is likely to be slow and steady.

Like Montelus, Montgomery is a former basketball player who has made a realistic assessment of his future and decided football is what he needs to be playing. Good choice.

Where BC stands: Montgomery hasn't been quite as vocal about his interest in BC as Hurst has but the same level of interest is there. If Montgomery were deciding today, BC would be the choice. If Hurst commits you can probably assume BC's chances with Montgomery would improve dramatically as the two are very close. Montgomery has recently noted that he feels more comfortable with BC than any of the other schools recruiting him and he loves the balance of athletics and academics.

What's coming up: Montgomery will be at BC this weekend with Hurst and a handful of other prospects.

BC's chances: 75-80%. He wants to make his decision in the later part of the summer or early in his senior season and if things hold true to form the Eagles are in great shape. Right now UConn and Rutgers are definitely on his mind but not at the level of BC.

Jack McDonald
6-foot-5, 275-pound offensive guard
BC High
Offers: BC, Maryland

Where BC stands: McDonald is playing things somewhat close to the vest but it's obvious the Eagles are in good shape. BC was the second school to offer (Maryland was first) and he's much more familiar with the Eagles than any other program. McDonald is very close friends with Hurst and is just getting to know Montgomery.

What's coming up: McDonald will be at Duke on March 31 and Maryland on April 14. He also hopes to visit Wisconsin sometime in April.

BC's chances: 70-75%. It's tough to tell right now because McDonald has said a lot of good things about BC and he's spent plenty of time at the school. However, he's probably not done picking up offers and we'll know more after we gauge his reaction to other schools that might get involved. As we said of Montgomery, if Hurst pulls the trigger for BC it would greatly help here, too. In fact, Montelus is the only in-state prospect who will likely be entirely unaffected by what the others do.

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