Boston College football coach Steve Addazio unveiled his first class of recruits Wednesday. The 17 signees included a pair of late pickups in transfers Matt Patchan, a former five-star offensive lineman who graduated from the University of Florida, and tight end Louie Addazio, the coach’s son who left Syracuse to be with his father.
“I’m excited about the class of student-athletes that we’re bringing in in 2013,’’ said Addazio, who had eight weeks to recruit and little wiggle room, with 17 commitments and only 17 scholarships to give when he came from Temple to take over as BC’s head coach Dec. 5.
“I think there’s a really fine amount of talent there,’’ he said. “I think there’s some guys who’ll end up being the Anthony Castonzos, the Luke Kuechlys, the Doug Fluties [of the future].
“I think there’ll be some of those guys in that class and I’m really excited about coaching those guys and starting to build a relationship with those guys, as short as it may be.’’
In filling out the group with the late additions of quarterback James Walsh, running back Tyler Rouse, Patchan, and his son, Addazio said he took a measured approach, relying on his own talent evaluations and past relationships he had cultivated with the players.
“If you just try to grab guys because they flash on the tape, that’s when sometimes it’s hit or miss,’’ Addazio said. “But I think high-character guys will find a way to be really good football players.
“What I can honestly tell you is I think we have a bunch of high-character guys who really love BC, and that’s exciting to me.’’
The lack of offensive linemen appeared to be a glaring deficiency in recruiting — before Wednesday, the Eagles had not signed a single one — but that was addressed with the addition of Patchan.
The 6-foot-6-inch, 304-pounder from Tampa played in 11 games as a true freshman on Florida’s defensive line before switching to offensive line in the spring of 2009. He was ranked the fourth-best offensive tackle by Scout.com coming out of Armwood High.
As a graduate student, Patchan will be immediately eligible to play.
Addazio had recruited Patchan at Florida when he was offensive line coach there.
“He’s projected to be one of the elite offensive linemen in America,’’ the coach said. “Obviously, I’ve got a strong relationship with him. Probably no one has a stronger relationship with him than I do and with he and his family.
“No one knows him inside and out and upside-down like I do. Coached him most of his career, so he’s a great fit.’’
Addazio was excited about the prospect of coaching his son — a first for both.
“I’ll tell you what he has,’’ the coach said of his 6-3, 245-pound son, who did not play at Syracuse because of injury and hopes to retain four years of eligibility at BC. “He’s got a great work ethic and he’s got a toughness to him, and he can block. He’ll bring that to the table.
“He’s certainly got a lot more athleticism than his father, but we’ll see how all that works out.’’
Addazio intended to target BC’s traditional recruiting areas in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, and New Jersey, but it was his objective to erect a figurative fence around his own backyard in New England to keep more prospects at home.
Last month, the coach and his staff began working on the class of 2014 by hosting a junior day that brought 50 top prospects to the campus.
“Our goal here is to have one of the finest recruiting classes in the ACC — that’s what we want to get done,’’ said Addazio, whose first BC recruiting class did not register a blip among the national rankings. “BC is a phenomenal place. BC is a place that you can recruit to. BC is a place that’s very attractive.
“It’s just up to our aggressiveness, our determination as a staff, my push and involvement as a head coach in the recruiting, because we have it all right here. Now we’ve got to go out and do it, because we’re in the middle of that process.’’
Michael Vega can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.