Spring practice is finished, and the recruiting cycle for the 2014 class is well underway. With the first quarter of the recruiting calendar behind us, here's a look at how the ACC is faring on the trail.
Who they have: It is almost a shock, but Boston College already has seven commitments in the 2014 class, and many of them had significant offers elsewhere. First-year coach Steve Addazio is an offensive line coach at heart, but he is building up the skill positions on offense. Four-star running back Marcus Outlow (Norwich, Conn./Norwich Free Academy) got the ball rolling for BC when he committed in February. Outlow fell in love with Addazio's plan for the Eagles. Receiver Isaac Yiadom (Worcester, Mass./Doherty Memorial) came next, and he will be joined by athlete Thadd Smith (Springfield, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara), who will likely be a slot receiver in college. The offense will be centered around dual-threat option Darius Wade, though. Wade had an offer from Nebraska among other schools but ultimately went with BC.
Who they want: Four-star linebacker Connor Strachan (Wellesley, Mass./St. Sebastian) is a name under the radar, but the No. 19 inside linebacker prospect has an offer from BC. Running back Jonathan Hilliman (Jersey City, N.J./St. Peter's Prep) has the Eagles among the schools he is highest on, and a former teammate signed with BC in February. The Eagles would like to add another backfield piece in addition to Outlow, so Hilliman, four-star running back Johnathan Thomas (Danvers, Mass./Saint John's Prep) and C.J. Hilliard (Cincinnati/St. Xavier) are all hearing extensively from Boston College.
Spring storyline: As far as recruiting goes, Addazio looks to be the right man for the job. He built a solid foundation at Temple, where new coach Matt Rhule is reaping the benefits, and Addazio has the energy to turn BC into a contender in the ACC. He's adding the right recruiting pieces to do that, too. Bold prediction: One of those three running backs the Eagles are after will join the fold, and BC will finish in the top half of the ACC recruiting rankings. -- Jared Shanker
Scouts' overall take: Even. The Eagles have been clearly trending down in recent years. Coach Frank Spaziani had some successes on the recruiting trail signing players like LB Luke Kuechly and QB Chase Rettig, but overall there had been a sharp decline for BC under his direction. Taking over a program that went 2-10 in 2012, new coach Steve Addazio has his work cut out for him to try and get things trending back up, but deserves the benefit of the doubt. Time will tell if Addazio and his staff get things going back up or if they'll continue down, but call it "even" for now as the Eagles' 2014 class has eight verbals so far, led by four-star running back Marcus Outlow. -- Craig Haubert