Watching film on wide receiver Zay Flowers wasn’t enough to give Boston College head coach Jeff Hafley the full picture.
As a true freshman for the Eagles a year ago, Flowers played in all 13 games, caught 22 passes for 341 yards and three touchdowns, but hardly scratched the surface of his potential.
Hafley got a better idea of the weapon Flowers could become when he saw him in spring practice and training camp once the Eagles returned from the COVID-19 hiatus for voluntary workouts in June.
“It wasn’t really that I saw him in person — move around, do one-on-ones, accelerate, get in and out of breaks, catch the football, block,” Hafley said before BC’s 24-21 victory over Texas State in the home opener Saturday night at Alumni Stadium. “I saw a glimpse of it on tape, but I really didn’t know who he was.”
Flowers' game-changing potential was on full display in the Eagles season opener against Duke a week ago, when he grabbed five passes for 162 yards and a touchdown, a performance that earned him Atlantic Coast Conference Receiver of the Week honors.
Hafley stopped short of saying how high Flowers' ceiling could be, and instead pointed to the growth it would take for Flowers to reach it.
“I certainly said he’s got a chance,” Hafley said. “This kid’s got a great skill set, now let’s see if he can understand the offense and show up on game day. If you look at him, too, he has not played a ton of football, so I’m hoping he’ll improve.”
Although he wound up with two fourth-quarter catches for 20 yards vs. Texas State, Flowers’s role will undoubtedly increase with the loss of the Eagles top returning receiver Kobay White.
White, a graduate student, underwent season-ending surgery last week to repair a torn ACL. He caught 20 passes for 460 yards and five touchdowns in 2019.
“We’ll miss him,” Hafley said. “Not only a great player, but a great leader. But he’ll be back.”
While White was unable to play, Hafley said he insisted on contributing to the Eagles season opener at Duke in some way.
“Friday night before the game, he knew he wasn’t playing last week,” Hafley said. “He knew what was going on. He called me up that night, probably about 10 o’clock, and asked if he could go early with the equipment people to go help set up the locker room because he wanted to contribute to the team.”
Hafley said White was in good spirits immediately after the surgery.
“A little groggy, but he was in good spirit and he’ll come back strong,” Hafley said.
Eagles expand roster
The Eagles added graduate transfer Maximillian Roberts to the active roster after arriving at the Heights this week.
The 6-foot-1-inch, 250-pound defensive end from Delaware, Ohio, played in 11 games for Maine last season, then entered the transfer portal in August.
Roberts started his career at Fordham where he played 20 games in three seasons, logging 74 tackles, 13.5 for loss, and 6.5 sacks with three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
Roberts had a quarterback hurry and then forced a third-and-22 when he dropped Texas State QB Brady McBride for an 11-yard loss in his second quarter debut.
He joined Cal graduate transfer defensive lineman Luc Bequette as additions the Eagles made in the short lead-up to the start of the season.
Texas St. QB out
Texas State was without quarterback Tyler Vitt, who did not travel with the team from San Marcos, Texas, due to COVID protocol, according to The Austin American-Statesman. Vitt completed 40 of 61 attempts for 602 yards and 6 touchdowns in the Bobcats' 1-2 start. McBride, who sat out the last two games due to COVID concerns, started in his place.
Hafley made a change at kicker this week. In the opener against Duke, junior Danny Longman handled the kicking duties, connecting on both of his attempts, one from 24 yards out and another from 29. But, in the home opener vs. Texas State, graduate student Aaron Boumerhi, who handled the field goal duties for the Eagles last season, was back in the starting spot and delivered with a winning 36-yard field goal that enabled BC to improve to 2-0. This after Boumerhi had a 47-yard attempt blocked in the first quarter . . . BC strong safety Jahmin Muse, a 6-foot, 214-pound redshirt junior, was forced to depart the game with 12: 46 remaining in the second quarter when he was disqualified for a targeting violation on Texas State receiver Drew Jackson . . . Texas State lost one of its top defenders when Jarron Morris, who blocked Boumerhi’s 47-yard field goal try, was ejected after he leveled Travis Levy on a punt return with 3:15 left . . . In addition to White, BC listed 11 other players as being unavailable for the home opener. They included: redshirt sophomore linebacker Joe Sparacio , redshirt sophomore tight end Joey Luchetti, freshman receiver Justin Bellido, redshirt sophomore defensive back Tyler Days, redshirt sophomore linebacker Vinny DePalma, redshirt sophomore long snapper Tito Pasqualoni, redshirt freshman DB Connor Grieco, redshirt freshman DL Izaiah Henderson, redshirt freshman DL Spencer Ness, freshman DB Gio Holmes, freshman tight end Hans Lillis.
Julian Benbow can be reached at email@example.com.