If most Boston College fans were asked to predict who would be the surprise offensive star for the Eagles against Villanova, few would have said linebacker-turned-fullback Bobby Wolford.
In fact, many people probably didn’t even know his name. And no one could blame them, after the 6-foot-2, 233-pounder redshirted his freshman season in 2012.
“He’s a heavy run-set guy for us,” BC coach Steve Addazio said. “We moved him from linebacker over to fullback [in camp]. He’s been a great camp surprise for us, he’s done a wonderful job. And then of course he was able to get open because of the play-action looks.
“Because they were so heavy forcing the run -- I mean, they had nine guys in the box at times. We had to be able to take advantage of that, and we did.”
Wolford was a big part of that, coming out of the backfield to catch six passes from quarterback Chase Rettig for 84 yards and a touchdown.
“When Jake Sinkovec got injured, we knew we had an issue there,” Addazio said of the fullback position. “So we put [Wolford] over there, and we knew from day one that’s his natural position.”
Asked if it was hard to give up linebacker, Wolford said it was a little. But he trusted the coaches’ decision.
“Coach Addazio, he’s been around the game a long time and he knows what’s best,” he said. “Give the credit to him for making the change.”
Wolford’s touchdown came in the first quarter. The Eagles used a heavy dose of Andre Williams and a number of short passes from Rettig to Alex Amidon and Spiffy Evans to get down to the 1-yard line. On third and goal from the doorstep and with the Wildcats reading run, Rettig faked the handoff and found Wolford wide open in the right flat for the 1-yard score.
It was Wolford’s first career catch for his first career touchdown.
“I think it just kind of came naturally, with a lot of our run game,” Wolford said of his involvement in the offense. “If you only run the ball and you don’t really have any play-action passing, you can’t really be successful. So it kind of just advanced out of the natural workings of our offense.”
The redshirt freshman from Jacksonville, Fla., also helped set up the go-ahead score. Rettig hit him with a short pass and the big back barreled down the right sideline for 34 yards.
“Chase threw a great pass,” Wolford said. “Honestly I wasn’t really thinking, I was just running and making sure I didn’t fumble the ball.”
Wolford managed to hang onto the ball just fine, and on the next play Williams thundered up the right sideline into the end zone to give BC a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
After Saturday, chances are Eagles fans know who Bobby Wolford is now.
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.