Lee and Kashetta are both gone, but the Eagles return a number of players with game experience from 2004, including former starting fullback Mark Palmer. Palmer compiled 18 receptions out of the backfield in the six games he started, including six grabs for 47 yards against Massachusetts.
He lost his starting job to Lee around the middle of the season; apparently the coaching staff was not thrilled with his propensity to avoid contact down the sidelines and go out of bounds.
If Palmer can overcome this problem, he gives the Eagles a solid blocker and a sure-handed threat out of the backfield. Heading into camp the job appears to be his, although Paddy Lynch will get a look as well. Redshirt freshman Keith Willis played fullback in high school, although he is now listed as a defensive end. It will be interesting to see if he ever winds up back on the offensive side of the ball.
At tight end, the Eagles lost not only their best pass-catcher at the position, but they also lost a team leader in Dave Kashetta, now with the Washington Redskins of the NFL.
Fortunately for BC fans, senior Chris Miller showed that the drop-off between the Eagles' number one and two tight ends was nothing more than a mere two receptions. Kashetta recorded 22 to Miller's 20 catches in 2004, while Miller's 11.4 yards-per-catch were more than Kashetta's 9.9. Miller also had the distinction of scoring the Eagles' first touchdown of the season against Ball State.
Heading into camp, Miller- who is a huge kid at 6'5", 258 pounds- is the Eagles' number one tight end and has a very good relationship with quarterback Quinton Porter. Porter and the Eagles hope that either sophomore Trey Koziol or redshirt freshman Ryan Purvis can step up and provide production from the number two tight end position.
Under Dana Bible, the Eagles have historically had multiple tight ends who can catch the ball. It will be interesting to see how Koziol and Purvis- two former highly-ranked recruits- respond during camp. Whoever steps up will likely earn the job.
While the Eagles lost their number one tight end and fullback from the 2004 campaign, there are more than enough capable players waiting in the wings to contribute in '05. Camp will provide a forum for competition at the fullback and tight end positions; the battle for the number two tight end will be one to keep an eye on as camp progresses, while Mark Palmer and Chris Miller will look to solidify their number one status.