Sunday, August 30, 2020

Falcons Add Syracuse Transfer to QB

And BG adds a transfer QB to the room.

His name is Drew Gunther and he is transferring to BG from Syracuse.  He entered the portal a couple of weeks ago.  

He is from Malvern, PA, which is over in the Philly area.  He's 6'2" and 203, which is a nice size for a D1 QB.

Gunther was a HS star at Malvern.  He finished as their all-time leader in passing yards and TDs.  This is a school that Ryan Nassib also attended--though I suspect that Gunther had a slightly more up-tempo offense to work with.

Originally, Gunther was headed to Virginia Tech.  The QB room got crowded so he decided to be a PWO at Syracuse.  He red-shirted last year and then entered the portal in August.

According to the story above, a lack of elite arm talent probably kept him from being more recruited.

He joins Matt McDonald, Riley Keller and Tucker Melton in the QB room for whenever we play.  Jacory Jordan is committed as a QB to the 21 class.

Welcome to the Falcons, Drew.

UPDATE:  As you can see in the comments below, an alert reader has reminded me of FR Kody Sparks, who will be in the QB room too.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

BG Loses Director of Ops to NFL

Olivia Passy will leave BG, where she was the 23-year old Director of Ops and work as a scout for the Miami Dolphins. according to The Blade.

She came to BG from Boston College and made an immediate impact.  Coach was in the paper calling her a "superstar" and it seemed to be clear that she was the real deal.  Which is now appears she is.

Good for her.  It highlights the challenge we have at BG.  Your best people get opportunities to move on.  You are constantly under pressure to recruit talent to the program, and by definition, we're talking undiscovered talent.

Best of luck to her.  Derek Miller will move up to that position.  He was the recruiting coordinator, a position that will presumably be filled.  Whether Derek continues his role of placing motivational quotes onto Twitter remains to be seen.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

BG MBB Lands JUCO Player

We have some men's basketball news....a little stale, but I'm getting around to it.  We keep working away, even though there's no certainty of a season.  My guess is that the best we can hope for is early 2021, but who knows?

Anyway, a while back when Mattos left we wondered what Huger was going to do.  He told The Blade that he might try to find a JUCO player and he might leave the scholarship go if he couldn't find the right guy.

Last week, that question was answered.  BG picked up 6'8" 220 pound F Jacob Washington of Cerritos College, which is in Norwalk, CA, which is between LA and Long Beach.  Also, Cerritos are the Falcons, so he won't have to change nicknames.  He went to George Washington Prep HS in LA--the first Falcon player ever to go to a high school that matched his surname, which is a fact I made up just now.

He played his first JUCO year at Los Angeles Harbor College, and was productive in the way you'd like to see.  He scored 10.3 on 49% shooting and 7.5 rebounds in only 12 minutes a game, based on this.

At Cerritos, he made 25 starts, played 22 minutes a game, scored 10 PPG on 46% shooting and 6.6 rebounds per game.

I know I always think we need a pure 5.  I just hate to see teams put a 5 on us and post up and have us not have an answer.  Having said that, I might be a little old-fashioned on that front.  More and more teams are playing with a more position-less and athletic lineup and BG was most effective last year in that kind of lineup.  I was worried about our lack of a rim protector on defense, but I did some research (which eventually I will put here) that indicates that a true shot-blocking rim protector isn't a predictor of good 2FG defense...which was BG's defensive weakness last year.

Also, we have Dylan Swingle who was playing his first D1 season and I still believe can develop into a solid D1 player.

Huger has done very well with his JUCO players.  Teams are taking different approaches.  UB seems content to live and die on the JUCO route.  Akron, Kent and UT are using a lot of transfers.  Huger seems more focused on high school players with JUCO guys filling in the gaps.  Trey Diggs, Michael Laster, Marlon Sierra, Jeffrey Uju, Wes Alcegaire...have all been productive players at BG. Washington is probably in the Sierra and Uju mold...but, again, if he can provide stable minutes, guard and rebound, that becomes a piece a championship team can use.

Welcome to the Falcons, Jacob.

Sunday, August 09, 2020

What a Time to be Alive

 What a time to be alive.

When the basketball tournament was cancelled, I remember thinking, "this has to be resolved by the time football starts."  But, knowing what pandemics are like, you had to wonder.  And it has come true.

I applaud the MAC for what they did.  I also give them credit for having the courage to be first.  That was the position no one wanted to be in, but it had to be someone.

This is 100% the right thing to do.  You don't have to go any farther than Andrew Clair's tweet, where he noted that it wasn't safe for people to sit and watch the games but it was OK for the players to play and "smash heads."

It laid the truth bare.  You can't justify that.

No doubt, football is an economic engine and the ramifications are ugly.  But, if you have created a world where you have to send college students into situations of uncertain safety to meet the budget, you've created  situation headed for a reckoning and it might as well be now.

I always believed our people would do the right thing.  I love the MAC because I think we're much closer to the ideal of the student athlete.  We're not pure, but it's much more like the way things are supposed to be.  I never believed we would do this to our athletes and we didn't.  It was reasonable to make the decision as late as possible, but when the time came they made the call.

From what I read online, NIU was the leader, possibly to the point where they were preferred to go it alone, or not go it alone, as it were.

I mentioned above the phrase "uncertain safety."  I understand that many people reading this think that the whole virus reaction is hype.  I don't see it that way, but we can't get stuck on it.  There are plenty of contradictions to how this situation as evolved and it just points out how little we know.  If the risk was known, we could make a decision.  There are known risks to playing football.  These are unknown risks and we didn't send our students into it and I believe we did the right thing.

The implications of this are hard to even fathom.  Less so if we play in the spring, but that's not certain either.  What happens to eligibility?  What happens to scholarship limits?  How do we pay the coaching and support staff?  Do athletes transfer?  And...let's remember that this impacts other sports, too, some of which had their seasons outright cancelled.

They just spin and spin, but we listened to experts and showed our integrity.

As a fan, I'm so disappointed.  I can't believe I won't be sitting up there in my seats with my friends and watching my team play...the first fall since 1971 when BG football had a part of my Fall.  It's just so disappointing.  But those players shouldn't have to take unknown risks just for my amusement.  I'll be fine, my life has many blessings.  Watching sports is a privilege and I'll be there whenever we are back.