We are going to look at some of the colleges that had the biggest impact on the Class of 2017 football recruits that played in or have ties to Massachusetts high school football. Let’s take a look at another school we feel had one of the best recruiting classes this year.
Boston College – BC had a very good year recruiting in the Bay State with commitments from Lawrence Academy RB AJ Dillon, Andover QB EJ Perry, Shepherd Hill OL Alec Lindstrom and Deerfield Academy TE Hunter Long. Getting Dillon to de-commit from Michigan and to commit to BC was the biggest story of the 2017 recruiting class for the Eagles as they look to once again compete for an ACC Championship. It is interesting to note that all four of these recruits will likely play on offense as that has been the problem at BC for the past two seasons. While having a top ranked defense the past two years, BC has been hampered by an offense that has struggled to score and have played a number of different quarterbacks with limited success. The offensive line is young but has played together for two years and returns largely intact next season which should help jump start the BC running game and give QBs Darius Wade or Anthony Brown time to throw. AJ Dillon is probably to be the only player who sees the field in his freshman year as it is likely the other three recruits will be redshirted as they become accustomed to the speed and complexity of college football. Dillon will compete for time at running back with junior Jon Hilliman and St. John’s Shrewsbury’s Davon Jones who are both coming off of productive seasons for BC. Lindstrom will look to eventually join his brother Chris (who also attended Shepherd Hill and just completed his sophomore season) as a starter on the BC offensive line. Perry becomes the third former Massachusetts high school quarterback on the BC roster as he joins Natick’s Troy Flutie (now a wide receiver) and Wellesley’s John Fadule who both saw action at quarterback last season. Should QB Darius Wade decide to transfer out of Boston College (which seems likely), Perry may have the opportunity to compete with Brown and Fadule for playing time as a true freshman. Long will join a number of young tight ends on the BC roster including St. John’s Prep’s Jake Burt and Lawrence Academy’s Chris Garrison. These four Massachusetts recruits heading to Boston College could all play an important role in turning around the BC offense as the Eagles look to turn their program around in 2017 and beyond.
Next up: Brown University
We are going to look at some of the colleges that had the biggest impact on the Class of 2017 football recruits that played in or have ties to Massachusetts high school football. Let’s take a look at the school we feel had one of the best recruiting classes this year.
Harvard – The Crimson recruiting class of 2017 includes some of the best football players in the state with Catholic Memorial’s LB Jack McGowan (ITHMA Mr. Football for 2016) and Duxbury star receiver Ryan Reagan leading the class. Add in ISL MVP running back Michael Silva from Milton Academy and former Barnstable QB turned DE Griffin Burke (Cheshire Academy) and Harvard probably has the top group of 2017 recruits from Massachusetts for this recruiting year. If we were to sit down and choose the top players from the 2017 class it may very well be these four who all dominate on the field as tremendous athletes with an aggressive style of play. You can’t help but want players like this on your football team as they play the game at a different level of intensity and they play to win. The combination of playing Ivy League football while receiving a top notch education is a tremendous option for high school prospects who have both the football talent and the necessary academic grades. Reagan and Silva are two tremendous athletes who both received FBS scholarship offers but chose to attend Harvard instead. Harvard recruits nationally because of their reputation but they may have found four of their best players for the Class of 2017 right here in Massachusetts. Harvard and its coaching staff have done a remarkable job in identifying Jack McGowan, Ryan Reagan, Michael Silva and Griffin Burke as four of the top players in Massachusetts and by getting them to stay home they have positioned their football team to compete for Ivy League championships for the next four years.
Next up: Boston College.
Let’s take a look at five more high performing juniors from the Class of 2018. This list is in no specific order as we will add them to our 2018 rankings at a later date.
Cam Reddy – Londonderry, New Hampshire / Lawrence Academy – TE / LB – Reddy stands 6’3” and 250 pounds and has very good hands but Reddy really excels as a run blocking tight end as he regularly opened up holes for AJ Dillon and crew to exploit. He plays very physically as a run blocker and when utilized as a receiver picks up good yardage after the catch. Reddy can line up all over the field as both a traditional TE and one they split out into space. Reddy is also a solid player on the defensive line for LA but his blocking skills and good hands make him a top tight end prospect in this class. Reddy has recieved interest from multiple schools including Old Dominion University, Syracuse and Boston College.
Camden Gagnon – Governor’s Academy – DE / T – At 6’5” and 240 pounds Gagnon is an aggressive and intimidating force on the Governor’s defensive line. Gagnon uses his hands well and he also uses good leverage to shed blocks, stuff running gaps and to get into the opponents backfield. Gagnon regularly goes up against other top talent in the ISL and holds his own on the edge and he plays to the whistle on every down as he has a terrific motor.
Kyle Peck – BB&N – C – Peck stands 6’3” and 300 pounds and is a smothering force in the middle of the Knights offensive line. Peck is very aggressive and moves well in small space for someone his size. Peck is a physical center who can both run block and provide pass protection while also being athletic enough to get down field to make second level blocks. Given his physical size it will be interesting to see if he remains at center or is looked at more as an offensive guard down the line.
Owen Deignan – Saint Peter-Marian (Worcester) / Phillips Andover – T / DT – At 6’4” and 285 pound Deignan is a mobile right tackle who excels at run blocking while also being a solid pass blocker. Deignan uses his speed as a pulling tackle to set the edge and open up lanes for the running backs. Deignan is also a very disruptive DT that uses a good push to cave in the offensive line, close interior gaps and get after the quarterback. With his ability to pull on running plays it will be interesting to see if Deignan eventually moves to guard, stays at tackle or develops more on the defensive side of the ball.
Matt Drouillard – Xaverian Brothers HS – OLB – Drouillard is a very fast and agile OLB who stands 6’0″ and 210 pounds. He may ultimatley end up as a safety given his size, speed and hitting ability. Drouillard plays very aggressively once he diagnoses a play and gets to the ball carrier or QB with a physical vengeance. Drouillard will be given a much bigger role in the Hawks’ defense next season as they graduate linebackers AJ Ryan and Colin Lama from this year’s team that made it all the way to the Division 1 State Championship.