GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Steve Addazio is looking for the quarterback who is going to return Boston College to the consistent nine- and 10-win seasons of a decade ago. Of course he will have all the physical tools and on-field IQ, but Addazio wants intangibles. He wants a quarterback who has "it" -- something as hard to define as it is cliché.
Simply put, Addazio says, he is looking for Tim Tebow.
“When I saw Tim Tebow, I watched him play in high school and will never forget it. To me your quarterback has to have the ‘it factor,’ and I’ve never seen a guy with the ‘it factor’ more in my life,” Addazio said. “It was oozing off his uniform. I saw him put his whole team on his back and win. He was going to lead and win championships.”
“… I talk to our [Boston College] staff all the time about this. We got to be right about this. One of those young guys needs to be a guy that can win a championship for you. If you don’t do that, you struggle.”
The Eagles’ coaching staff has brought in five quarterbacks since Addazio was named coach following the 2012 season. Four quarterbacks have signed out of high school and Tyler Murphy transferred to Boston College from Florida, where Addazio coached from 2005-10.
Legendary Boston College quarterback Doug Flutie certainly qualifies as a player with intangibles rarely seen in college football, and Addazio is hoping it’s genetic. Troy Flutie, the nephew of Doug, is a freshman with the Eagles.
“I think he does,” Addazio said when asked if Troy has the intangibles he covets. “Obviously we didn’t take him because of his size (6-foot, 178 pounds), but he’s a gym rat and I think he’s got a lot of that it in him. That’s why we took him.”
Addazio admits it is an inexact science and it’s the type of decision that can lift a program to new heights or get a staff fired. A common gripe among coaches is they don’t get to spend enough time with recruits to get a strong enough read on a player’s character. Putting a program in the hands of such an unknown is frightening and Addazio said determining whether a quarterback can lead a team to a title is the “$60 million question.”
It can be a divisive debate among staff, and Addazio witnessed that in 2005 as Florida was recruiting Tebow. Addazio was the offensive line coach on Urban Meyer’s staff, which also included Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen as the offensive coordinator. But it was defensive coach Greg Mattison that went to bat for Tebow when the staff considered passing on him. Even in high school coaches questioned whether Tebow was a better quarterback or linebacker. Addazio said Tebow was a tough sell to the entire staff.
“Thanks to Greg Mattison we got Tebow,” Addazio said, “because Greg stood on the table and pounded the table, like you guys are nuts we got to take Tebow.
“Nuts right? A lot of people got a lot of jobs because of that.”