Boston College Reasserts North Jersey Kinship

The Record (Bergen County, NJ), December 21, 2017 | Go to article overview

Boston College Reasserts North Jersey Kinship


WAYNE – Welcome to the new pipeline, which is the same as the old one.

For the last five years, football signing day in North Jersey has created national news with prominent players signing all over, but it was Michigan that everyone wanted to talk about. The Wolverines got Rashan Gary. They got Kareem Walker. They got Jabrill Peppers. They got Drew Singleton.

Wednesday was the start of the early signing period for football in North Jersey. There's still maize and blue in the area, don't get me wrong, but Michigan didn't start the North Jersey pipeline, Boston College did and it's running better than ever.

With its entrenched North Jersey connections, Boston College reestablished itself as a major player in getting the signatures of four North Jersey stars Wednesday: Evan Stewart (St. Joseph), Nick DeNucci (Pope John), Johnny Langan (Bergen Catholic) and Vinny DePalma (DePaul).

"They want Jersey guys, North Jersey guys especially," said DePalma. "Everyone should want North Jersey guys."

It's true. Every college seeks North Jersey football players. Turn on a college bowl game in the next three weeks and you're sure to see a lot of guys who know their way around a jughandle and have a favorite diner. The reason for this is pretty clear. North Jersey football is still played with a physical component, and college coaches want players that can block and tackle, not just catch and run.

"Those North Jersey guys, they're tough dudes," said Langan after signing his letter in Oradell. "They are going to make it happen up north in Boston."

When this North Jersey generation gets to Chestnut Hill, they will find lots of friendly faces.

A closer look at the 2017 roster shows Boston College with 15 New Jersey natives, including former Westwood star wide receiver Nolan Borgersen. Of course, Rutgers has the most New Jersey natives of any Football Bowl Subdivision team. Temple, where DePaul monster lineman Khris Banks committed Tuesday night, has 28. Syracuse has nine. Michigan, if you're wondering, has 13. "I think the college sells itself, it's beautiful, it's close to here where you can get back and forth, the education is top notch and the football is really good," said DePaul head football coach John McKenna about Boston College.

"This has always been a very important territory for them in recruiting," said Bergen Catholic coach Nunzio Campanile. "They didn't maybe have as much of a stronghold as they do right now. …

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