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Boston College Spring Football Defensive Line

The defensive line will be one of the most intriguing position groups this spring for Boston College. The Eagles will need to replace three All-ACC starters – defensive ends Zach Allen and Wyatt Ray (both invited to the NFL Combine) along with defensive tackle Ray Smith. All three players could be selected in this year’s NFL Draft.

Allen and Ray should give BC three drafted defensive ends in the last two drafts after Harold Landry was picked in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans. All told, the trio combined for 54.5 tackles-for-loss and 29 sacks over the last two seasons.

It’s clear that the leader of the 2019 defensive line for the Eagles will be senior defensive tackle Tanner Karafa. A first-year starter in 2018, Karafa started all 12 games and finished the year with 47 tackles, 8.5 tackles-for-loss and four sacks. A rugged, tough, hard-nosed defender, Karafa will be the glue that holds together the d-line.

Several promising young players will vie for the other starting assignment at defensive tackle, led by junior TJ Rayam. The Alabama native played in 10 games in 2018 and totaled eight tackles as one of the primary backups for Karafa and Smith.

Redshirt sophomore Jaleel Berry, redshirt freshman Kyiev Bennermon and redshirt freshman Ryan Betro are three players looking to make an impact in 2019. Berry played in five games a season ago and totaled four tackles.

Both Bennermon and Betro have the size and ability to see the field this season. Bennermon added close to 40 pounds to his frame since arriving at Boston College as both players tip the scales at 300 pounds this spring.

True freshman Izaiah Henderson enrolled in January after a standout prep career at Mater Dei in New Jersey. A 6-5, 290-pound athlete who could play end or tackle, it will be exciting to see Henderson battle for playing time this spring.

The defensive end position might have more questions in terms of who will step up to replace Allen and Ray, but the position group is filled with talent and potential. Redshirt junior Brandon Barlow earned extended playing time at the end of 2018 and started to really come on for the Eagles. Replacing an injured Allen in the regular season finale, Barlow totaled a career-high 10 tackles against Syracuse. A fluid athlete with good size, Barlow finished the year with 15 tackles and 2.0 tackles-for-loss in 10 games in 2018.

Redshirt sophomore Marcus Valdez proved to be a player BC could count on in his first year on the field in 2018. The New Jersey native played both end positions with a vengeance, showing toughness and grit to go along with a strong motor. Valdez played in all 12 games, totaling 13 tackles for the Eagles.

Redshirt junior Bryce Morais battled injuries throughout the 2018 campaign but is another player with the potential to make a major impact. He played in five games last season for BC.

Redshirt freshman Joey Luchetti arrived at BC last season as a tight end, but was moved to defensive end during the season and came on strong throughout bowl practices. A gifted athlete who was a standout basketball player, Luchetti packed 15 pounds onto his frame since coming to the Heights. Luchetti has the potential to be a major, impact force for the Eagles at defensive end in 2019.

Redshirt sophomore Drew McQuarrie is another former tight end who transitioned to the defensive line during his career and should be in the mix for a spot in the two-deep as a contributor in the fall.

Redshirt junior Isaiah Miranda and redshirt sophomore Reggie Terry, Jr. are two additional edge rushers who look to battle for a spot in the two-deep this season. Miranda played in five games in 2018 for the Eagles.

In all, this group of defensive linemen might be lean on game experience, but its filled with talented players who are hungry and anxious to make their mark on the field this fall for the Eagles.

Created By
Jason Baum
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Credits:

Ben Solomon

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