Boston College coach Steve Addazio made quite a splash when he culminated Thursday’s practice by accepting an Ice Bucket Challenge and had a 5-gallon cooler of ice water poured over his head by quarterback Tyler Murphy.
Saying he did it in honor of late BC sports information assistant Dick Kelley, who died from ALS in February, and in recognition of former BC baseball player Pete Frates, 29, who has ALS, Addazio took part in the viral movement initiated by Frates and his family on Facebook and Twitter.
Those who are nominated have 24 hours to complete the challenge. If a nominee declines, they are encouraged to make a donation to an ALS charity.
“I really want to do our part to help fight ALS, a terrible disease as you all know,’’ Addazio said. “It’s really important that our players and everybody at our university is behind it and doing whatever we can do to help find a cure to ALS.’’
Former BC linebacker Mark Herzlich nominated the second-year BC coach after taking his challenge alongside fellow BC alums and current Giants teammates Mathias Kiwanuka and Andre Williams.
Addazio joined a growing list of BC sports figures who have taken part in the movement.
BC hockey coach Jerry York and former players Ben Smith and Johnny Gaudreau, 1984 Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, Bruins Brad Marchand and Torey Krug, former Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, and Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman are among those who accepted the challenge.
“Any attention we can bring to it and any fund-raising we can do for it, we’re certainly behind it,’’ Addazio said.
Getting his kicks
One of the bigger challenges the Eagles will face this season will be finding a replacement for kicker/punter Nate Freese, the school’s all-time leading scorer.
After serving as Freese’s understudy last season, Alex Howell, a 6-foot-5-inch, 206-pound senior will get his chance.
“It’s my chance now and I’ve got to perform,’’ said Howell. “It’s not really the pressure of [replacing] Nate Freese, it’s the pressure of not letting my teammates down and coaches down.’’
Switching it up
Among the players making position changes this season, Addazio seemed most excited by Josh Bordner’s conversion from quarterback to wide receiver, where the 6-4, 230-pound senior hopes to make an impact playing alongside 6-5, 237-pound junior Dan Crimmins, and 6-4, 220-pound redshirt freshman Charlie Callinan.
“They’re real big-bodied receivers,’’ Addazio said. “They have the ability to be hybrid — hybrid in the sense that they all can play out there as a wide receiver but can come closer to the box and help in the run game and the play-action game. Those guys are following that pattern.’’
For Bordner, though, the switch required some adjustment — to becoming not just a better receiver, but a blocker as well.
“It’s obviously different coming from the quarterback position, but in the spring I was able to learn some technique and learn how I needed to do certain blocks,’’ he said. “In the spring, they were all coming at me and giving me a lot of information, but I definitely feel more comfortable now that I’ve had a spring to go through and now I have to work on getting down all the details I need to.’’
Bordner, who wasn’t likely to see the field at quarterback with Murphy having transferred from Florida, readily embraced the chance to switch positions and gain playing more time.
“Like I told some people, every athlete wants to get on the field,’’ he said. “For me, it was an opportunity to get on the field and I took it and ran with it and now I’m making the most of it.’’
A new middle man
With the departure of middle linebacker Steele Divitto, Steven Daniels, BC’s leading returning tackler, will make the switch from weakside to middle linebacker. “It’ll definitely be a transition,’’ said Daniels, who made 88 tackles last year. “But whatever is going to help the team, I’ll study it and do whatever I need to do to give to the team what I can.’’ . . . Addazio said wide receivers Harrison Jackson and Bobby Swigert, who was out of action all last season, were likely to be question marks because of knee injuries for the Aug. 30 opener against UMass. T he coach also said his son, Louie Addazio, a senior tight end, “is rehabbing a tweak in his shoulder from the end of training camp.’’ Addazio also indicated junior tight end Bobby Woolford (foot) and freshman defensive end Harold Landry (knee) both were progressing after undergoing offseason surgery . . . The Eagles will hold their first full-padded workout Friday in preparation for Saturday morning’s scrimmage. “We’ve got a young team, and they’ve got to learn how to play the game, so you’ve got to operate in a live setting,’’ Addazio said.