There are not many surprises on this year's TheInsiders.com's Top-50 Northeast region list. Not only are these the best players in their respective region, but the cream of the crop are some of the top players in the entire nation.
Wesley Jefferson, arguably the best high school linebacker not named Ernie Sims, is the number one prospect in the region, followed closely by DT Nate Robinson and TE Greg Olsen. Olsen is, by most accounts, the best tight end in the country.
Center John Sullivan, a Notre Dame commit, is listed at number six, and he is one of the top centers in the country, if not the best. At 6'4", 280 pounds, he will be the anchor of the Fighting Irish offensive line for the next four years.
BC's top recruit, WR Dorien Bryant from New Jersey, checks in at lucky number 13. The Eagles landed Bryant after a hard-fought battle with NC State, Michigan State and Penn State, and he will see playing time as a true freshman. His combination of speed, hands, and agility will bring BC their first "big-play threat" at the WR position in the Tom O'Brien era.
The future anchor of BC's offensive line- tackle Gosder Cherilus, a monster of a kid from Somerville, MA- is the highest-rated OT on this list at number 21. He is clearly the best tackle in the region, and he is still very raw. He runs a flat 5.0 40-yard dash, and that time could easily be bested during the summer workouts. He will be a tremendous talent, and should continue the Boston College tradition of churning out NFL-caliber offensive linemen.
The first of BC's two running backs on the list checks in at number 30, JoLonn Dunbar. Dunbar is listed at 6'0", 205 pounds, but has a reputation of being more of a bruiser than a slasher. He could see playing time his freshman year just to get acclaimated to game play, because of the loss of RB Brandon Brokaw, and the looming graduation of Derrick Knight and Horace Dodd after the 2003 season. Tom O'Brien and staff will likely play one of BC's newest backs so as to avoid coming into the 2004 season with two raw red-shirt freshman backs.
Andre Callender is the other BC running back on the top-50 list, at number 46. Callender was a great acquisition for Coach O'Brien and his staff, and along with Dorien Bryant, pushed this BC recruiting class over the top down the stretch. Callender is a good-sized back with great speed and vision. He could also challenge for playing time next year, although I doubt O'Brien will play both Callender and Dunbar. One will most-likely redshirt.
Matt Ryan, one of BC's two quarterbacks in this class, rounds out the Eagles on this list at number 39. Ryan is a pure drop-back passer whose game is very similar to that of BC's tabbed starting QB, Quinton Porter. Although Ryan has a tremendous arm and great field vision, his speed and mobility leave something to be desired. Gosder Cherilus and Ryan have identical 40-yard dash times. Ryan will redshirt next year, as Porter, Paul Peterson, and Dan Berglund will most-likely be the three-deep at the QB position.
As for the players that BC couldn't seal the deal on? Well, Sullivan was listed at six, and Jermaine "Live and Let" Dias checked in at 11. Albert Young and Conrad Bolston were 17 and 18 respectively, and Ambrose Wooden stands at number 44.
While Dias would have made this class complete, nobody should be complaining about the caliber of BC's recruits from the Northeast region.
By the way, BC also has a few players from Ohio that are pretty good... but we'll save that for another time.
Michael Chevallier is the publisher of EagleInsider.com. He can be reached at EagleInsiderGuru@aol.com.