Steve Addazio didn’t have to be solicited for an endorsement of Josh Bordner.
The Boston College football coach was voluntarily effusive in his praise of the 6-foot-4-inch, 226-pound senior and the challenge he accepted to switch positions from quarterback to wide receiver this offseason.
“Josh Bordner, I just think, has had a knockout spring,’’ Addazio said. “He has emerged as being one of the more critical weapons on our football team.’’
In what way?
“He’s a hybrid guy,’’ Addazio said Wednesday as the Eagles wrapped up practice in preparation for Saturday’s annual Jay McGillis Memorial Spring Game. “He can flex out, he can attach in, he’s like a real true ‘H.’ He’s really going to have a great year. I’m really excited about what he’s done this spring. We didn’t have him last year, we didn’t have that kind of guy. We messed around with a couple of guys last year, but we didn’t have that guy.’’
That’s because Bordner spent game days holding a clipboard and charting plays as QB Chase Rettig’s backup. No more.
Addazio proposed to expand Bordner’s role and better utilize his size to overmatch smaller defensive backs, strength to help block, and speed to run past defenders.
“Coach Addazio and I had a conversation and we were talking about the situation and he kind of brought it up, and I was all for it,’’ Bordner said. “I really wasn’t expecting our meeting to go that way, but once it did I was all for it. I was really happy and excited.
“Then came the process of what I needed to do to my body to get ready and all the different techniques I needed to learn on my route running and blocking.’’
At no time did Bordner consider transferring. After all, changing scenery and working with a sixth different offensive coordinator would have been a much more difficult proposition than staying put and changing positions.
“I really hadn’t thought about it that much,’’ said Bordner, who graduated last May and is pursuing a master’s degree. “I love BC . . . If I were to transfer, I could’ve been in the same situation, or worse. So I just really wanted to stay here.’’
Bordner played five games at quarterback as a freshman, scoring a pair of rushing touchdowns. He played three as a sophomore, and saw the field once as a junior.
This year, Bordner will see more of the field and it is Addazio’s hope that it will help BC’s offense stretch defenses.
“He’s a matchup problem,’’ Addazio said. “He can come in and play into the line of scrimmage, but he’s a big, tall great-hands target out there. He’s hard to cover in man coverage and, grouping-wise, they treat him like a wide receiver, but we run a power run game. It’s hard. The defense has to watch what groupings we’re in.’’
Bordner, who had not played receiver since his sophomore year in high school, found it a jarring transition at first.
“It’s all new,’’ he said. “I’m not really used to route running, and catching the ball in traffic, and blocking, in particular. So that was all new, but I’m getting used to it and it’s becoming second nature to me now.’’
So will BC’s spring game serve as Bordner’s coming out party?
“I don’t know,’’ Bordner said. “We’re just trying to figure out as an offense what our identity is going to be. I think the spring game, we’re down a few guys and whatever they showcase, they showcase. I don’t know if there’s going to be certain plays we’re going to run or not going to run.
“I just think, as a whole offensively, we’re just trying to get better and trying to figure out our identity.’’