2 Montel Harris, Running Back, 5’10” 207 (Senior)
Montel Harris suffered a minor setback in mid-August when he had to undergo an arthroscopic surgery on the knee he injured in November, 2010, but he will only miss three or four weeks. My hope is that Harris doesn’t see a ton of the field this year, mainly because he’s already received so much attention at BC in his three years there. He has already become the school’s all-time leader in rushing attempts as well as 100 yard performances, and he is second on the all-time list with 3,600 rushing yards. He has not been overly active in the passing game, but he is a very well-built runner with good vision. Doesn’t often go down on initial contact and is slippery between the tackles. Obviously he is a good finisher, as he ranks third in Boston College history with 27 career rushing touchdowns. He is not the type of player you can arm tackle whatsoever. Lots of mileage on him already, and he will have to learn to be effective in a rotational/reserve type of role, something that he could be well-prepared for after this year at BC.
96 Kaleb Ramsey, Defensive Tackle, 6’3″ 302 (Senior)
In a down year for defensive tackles, Ramsey has a real opportunity to make himself stand out and become a high draft pick. He displayed the tools last year that NFL scouts want to see, now he has to really up his game to make himself a top 64 draft pick. Last season, he led all BC defensive linemen with 39 tackles, and had 7.5 tackles for loss as well as 2.5 sacks. Had arguably his best game of the season against Nevada, where he had five tackles, a sack, and two tackles for a loss. He flashed quickness off of the snap and good leverage against interior offensive linemen, but he needs to work on disengaging from his blocks and making more plays at the LOS and in the backfield. Showed solid explosiveness and good closing speed/finishing ability on sack against 2nd round pick Colin Kaepernick, one of the fastest quarterbacks selected in the 2011 NFL Draft. Consistently gains leverage on opposing offensive linemen, definitely a player to watch for the 2012 NFL Draft.
40 Luke Kuechly, Inside Linebacker, 6’2″ 237 (Junior)
Also known as “Clark Kent” because of his very reserved look off the field and Superman-like play on the field, Kuechly (pronounced Keekly) is one of the best linebacker prospects in the class of 2012, and possibly one of the best prospects overall. He is a supremely talented athlete with great speed, smarts, and overall ability. He is what you would consider a “five-tool” player at his position, and he could be a top 10 pick when all is said and done. The former ACC Rookie of the Year and now two-time All-American is poised to have another huge season for the Eagles on the inside. When you watch this guy play, you can see that he dedicates a lot of time to the film room. He has incredible instincts, great closing speed, and if you try to run past him, or even near him, you are making a mistake. Last year as a sophomore, he was a consensus All-American and he led the nation with 183 tackles, and added three interceptions, two forced fumbles, and 1.5 sacks. He shows very good ability in coverage for a young linebacker, and reads the quarterback’s eyes well. This kid is simply relentless, and he will only get better as he takes the reins as the true leader of the Eagles defense with the departure of Mark Herzlich. He should undoubtedly be one of the top linebackers selected in the next two years, and he is only going to improve as he is only 20 years old.
4 Donnie Fletcher, Cornerback, 6’1″ 200 (Senior)
Emerged last season as a junior when he earned a starting role and became one of the best defenders overall on the team. Showed he was both capable of defending the pass as well as helping out against the run when he had 58 tackles and a team-leading five interceptions. Has very good size for a cornerback, and showed last year that he can convert that size into some playmaking ability by picking off five passes, taking one to the house against Florida State. BC has him playing 7-8 yards off the receiver on most plays, which is familiar to me being that I am an Iowa football guy, so BC obviously does a lot of Cover two, where cornerbacks need to be able to tackle and use closing speed to get to the ball quickly. He definitely needs to be more consistent with closing in on receivers. Notre Dame ran a lot of short passes against BC, and he was just a step or two behind the ball at times. Against Florida State, he did a brilliant job of jumping a couple plays and making an interception. Definitely has good ball skills and can make plays, would like to see more consistency and better closing speed from him.