Breaking Down the Depth Chart: Offense

Tom O'Brien (AP)

On Sunday afternoon Head Coach Tom O'Brien released his depth chart for the BC home opener this coming Saturday. Here's a deeper look at the starters and reserves on the offensive side of the ball.

The biggest story on offense as training camp wore on was the brewing quarterback controversey between juniors Quinton Porter and Paul Peterson. Peterson looked to have the edge early, as he put up some huge numbers in the first two scrimmage games. But in the end Tom O'Brien went with the guy who he felt knew the system better and would give the Eagles the best chance of winning.

Peterson's strong performance earned him an opportunity to play as well; the Eagles will revert to the pre-"Brian St. Pierre prima donna" days and O'Brien will give Peterson playing time in the second quarter of games.

The shifty QB from Utah will give the Eagles a different look than the strong-armed, drop back passer Porter. Both will be able to escape the pocket but Peterson is more of a scrambler. I expect the offense to run efficiently under both quarterbacks; there shouldn't be a significant drop-off in talent from one to the other.

Any way you slice it, BC fans should be happy with the depth at the QB position. The BC coaching staff should be congratulated for bringing in such a capable back-up in Peterson.

At the RB position there were no surprises in the two-deep. Derrick Knight will start and Horace Dodd will spell him and should see time in short-yardage situations. The PSU-transfer worked hard to bulk up during the offseason and will be rewarded by the BC coaching staff with more carries than a season ago.

Beyond the two-deep rumor has it that true freshman Lennox Whitworth, better known as "L.V.", will be the third-string RB behind the two seniors.

No major surprises at fullback as Greg Toal will be the starter; the job was handed to him as soon as J.P. Comella departed for the NFL Draft last April.

Everett Lee will back up Toal, but he is listed at 5'11" and a shade over 200 pounds. He will probably not see too much action in this role.

The top-two wide receiver positions were pretty much etched in stone heading into camp, as juniors Joel Hazard and Grant Adams both had spectacular Motor City Bowl perfomances in 2002 solidifying their claim to the starting positions.

The main competition in camp was for the third receiver position, which was won by redshirt freshman Jason Lilly. Tony Gonzalez will be the fourth receiver, having beaten out fellow redshirt freshman Taylor Sele and senior Derek Webley for the job.

BC fans will wonder throughout the season- especially if Lilly, Gonzalez and company falter- how good the receiving corps could have been with Dorien Bryant in the mix. However I am confident that Lilly and Gonzo will be able to make plays for the BC offense this upcoming season.

The offensive line two-deep went according to plan, except for a wrinkle at reserve right tackle. True freshman Gosder Cherilus reportedly dominated during summer scrimmages and drills; he routinely shut down Mathias Kiwanuka on passing plays. He earned the nod over Anthony Crosson, who will struggle to see playing time in 2003. Cherilus will be a good one for the Eagles and will see a ton of time as a true freshman on the offensive line, something hitherto unheard of in the Tom O'Brien era.

Keith Leavitt is the starter at right tackle, while Jeremy Trueblood and James Marten form the two-deep on the left side. Augie Hoffmann and Chris Snee are the starting guards from left to right, and Josh Beekman and Shadu Moore will back them up.

Center is a question mark for the Eagles. Pat Ross will start against Wake Forest but coaches have contemplated moving Snee to center in which case Beekman would step in at one of the guard positions. This scenario will likely not occur until Ross has been given ample opportunity to prove himself. Sophomore Chris Hathy is the reserve center.

Senior Sean Ryan will be a valuable weapon for the Eagles at the TE position in 2003. He will be backed up by David Kashetta who has tremendous upside and could end up being better than Ryan when all is said and done. Offensive coordinator Dana Bible loves to drag the TE across the middle on a delay while sending his receivers deep. I expect this to be a very effective play for both Ryan and Kashetta as it was several times in 2002.

The Eagles are loaded at the TE position with Chris Miller, Trey Koziol, and even converted-everything Justin Hinds. Hinds may see action in blocking sets, while Miller is the long-snapper, and Koziol will likely redshirt.

For Wednesday: a deeper look at the defensive depth chart.

Michael Chevallier is the publisher of EagleInsider.com. He can be reached at EagleInsiderGuru@aol.com.

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