After sitting out half the season with a leg injury, the latest setback in three-plus disappointing seasons at Boston College, senior defensive lineman Dillon Quinn decided to leave school for “personal reasons,” coach Frank Spaziani said Thursday.
Quinn was the highest-rated player in the Eagles’ 2009 recruiting class when he came out of Trinity-Pawling in New York. At 6 feet 6 inches and 301 pounds, he was a monster who hunted down quarterbacks in high school. But after redshirting his freshman season, he missed the first three games of the 2010 campaign because of a suspension for violating team rules, and things were spotty from that point on.
Quinn played 24 games for the Eagles, and his production (40 tackles, two sacks) never met the high expectations. After starting eight of 10 games last season, he dropped in the depth chart. He made eight tackles in four games this year.
Spaziani declined to comment on the reasons for Quinn’s departure.
“It’s a personal privacy thing,” Spaziani said.
In a recruiting class that included starting offensive linemen Ian White and John Wetzel, safety Jim Noel, kicker Nate Freese, running back Rolandan Finch, defensive lineman Kasim Edebali, and Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, Quinn was the recruit with the highest profile, ranked the 10th-best defensive lineman in the country by Rivals.com.
He’s the fourth player from his class to leave the school, along with defensive lineman Conor O’Neal, offensive lineman Keith Bourne, and running back Sterlin Phifer.
Along with the departures, Spaziani has had disciplinary issues to deal with. The coach said he’s met with suspended wideout Colin Larmond (violation of team rules), and the senior receiver will miss his third straight game this weekend when the team faces Wake Forest.
“Colin is still suspended and it will be reviewed this weekend,” he said.
Even though Finch has fallen off the depth chart, Spaziani said the junior running back is not in his doghouse. Finch went from leading the Eagles in rushing a year ago to spending part of his practice time in a gold scout team jersey.
After sitting out the season opener with a foot injury, Finch played in just two games before losing his job. But Spaziani said Finch has been consistently working in practice and still has a chance to see the field.
Andre Williams has settled into the role of feature back, with freshman David Dudeck spelling him. But coming off a game in which their ground attack managed all of 8 yards and Williams committed a costly fumble at the goal line, there were questions about Spaziani’s other options.
“It’s not like he’s off on some island somewhere where he can’t get back,” Spaziani said of Finch. “No jersey’s tattooed on you. It doesn’t matter what color it is, it’s not tattooed. Things change, situations change.
“Every player is responsible for themselves and can change their status — good and bad. You can be a starter and work your way out of a starting role. You can be down on the depth chart and work your way up.”
Julian Benbow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.