That's what would've been. Experience, talent, and leadership at every spot and two of the most intimidating safeties in the ACC. But with Glasper out and not likely to return, the Eagles will be forced to use youth to fill his spot.
"The Glasper situation," Tom O'Brien said, "gives the opportunity to [Paul] Anderson and [Marcellus] Bowman, one of those guys. With Silva, the three of them will somehow have to work it out. Obviously some freshmen will have some opportunity to work into that position."
Anderson seems to be the starter for now. He practiced with the first team Friday and has more experience than Bowman. Last season, Anderson got into 10 games as a true freshman (while Bowman redshirted) and made the most of it by grabbing an interception against Army and blocking a punt against Virginia. He has the talent to start (he recorded two interceptions in the Spring Game), but I'm sure the coaching staff didn't imagine he would have to this early. Tribble certainly didn't.
"When [Glasper] got hurt I knew he was going to be done for a pretty good amount of time," Tribble said, "but I thought he was going to be back before the season started. Right now, the depth chart came out for practice and Paul Anderson is the starting safety. I think he's going to have to work for it [to get comfortable], but I think Paul, with the dedication he has, he's looking forward to the season coming up."
Tribble seemed confident that Anderson could handle the role, but seemed genuinely disappointed that Glasper was out of the rotation. They can survive with some talented youngsters in the mix, but the highly anticipated secondary everyone expected has been amputated in a way. Without Glasper, it loses a considerable amount of stability, swagger, and - possibly his most important characteristic - leadership.
"We're looking for someone else to step in and fill his shoes as best they can," Tribble said, "because Glasper, he's really our vocal leader in the secondary. He gets everybody situated. He's kind of like the captain of the secondary."
While the combination of Anderson and Bowman should be fine next year, they are going to have to learn as they go. That might force the rest of the secondary (Silva, in particular, according to O'Brien) to compensate for the newbies' lack of experience by playing roles or dropping into coverages to which they're not accustomed.
Despite the key loss, the secondary should still be a lot of fun to watch this year. Silva hasn't hit someone (in a real game) since 2005 and is probably tackling random people around campus at this point (look out, freshman orientation groups). Tribble is getting better every year and says he plans to make a name for himself nationally. Anam has moved from safety to corner and it should be interesting (hopefully good interesting) to see how he adjusts. If nothing else, the competition between Anderson and Bowman (plus, potentially, some true freshmen like Wes Davis and Chris Fox) to see who emerges as a future star should be one to keep an eye on.
The Eagles coaching staff should be able to solidify a plan for the secondary before the Central Michigan game. Unfortunately, it just won't be the one BC fans were expecting.