- BOSTON — The latest class of Boston College football recruits will have a very familiar ring to Patriots fans.
Tyler Vrabel, a 6-foot-5, 285-pound offensive lineman from Bellaire, Texas was among 19 players to sign a letter of intent to Boston College, the school announced Wednesday. The lineman from Saint Pius X is the son of former Patriots linebacker and current Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel.
“We all know his dad, Mike,” Eagles coach Steve Addazio said Wednesday. “They say Mike was a late bloomer. Well, Tyler is probably along those lines. I’ve seen him over the last year. He’s grown incredibly. His whole body has changed right in front of us. We had him in camp. He’s a ball guy, now. Not shocking. He’s a ball guy. And I think he’s going to have a great future as a tackle for us here. I loved him, I loved his ability to pass protect, his feet, in camp. He’s playing at a high level of football in Texas. They just finished last week, and I think he’ll bring a mentality, a passion for the game like his dad had — has. And so, we’re very, very excited about Tyler.”
The Boston College thumbnail on Vrabel is as follows:
Rated as the No. 237 player in Texas and the nation’s No. 152 offensive tackle according to 247Sports … the No. 171 player in Texas and the country’s No. 103 offensive tackle according to ESPN Recruiting … all-state first-team selection and first-team all-district … finalist for the offensive lineman of the year in Texas … team captain … played for head coach Stephen Hill at Saint Pius X High School … son of Mike and Jen Vrabel … his father Mike is the Houston Texans defensive coordinator and won three Super Bowls as a player with the New England Patriots.
Addazio also registered a big win by inking one of the most accomplished high school quarterback in New York State history. The signing of 6-foot-5 215-pound Matt Valecce from Fordham Prep in Mamaroneck is considered a significant signing.
“Matt’s from New York, played at Fordham Prep. This is a guy that is a big guy now. I mean he’s 6’5, 220-, 25-pound guy, may end up being next year 235,” Addazio added. “He can flat fling it. He is a really good athlete. He’s got great measurables, and he’s got a powerful, powerful arm and very, very smart, kind of gets things immediately. Very impressive young man, extremely impressive, the way he carries himself. And again, another guy that understands and completely bought in, wants to be a part of what Boston College stands for. He is a student-athlete and … he’s a vicious competitor. So, we couldn’t be more excited about Matt and his future here.”
One of the all-time passing leaders in New York prep history … top-ranked quarterback in New York and the nation’s No. 44 pro-style signal caller according to 247Sports … No. 15 overall prospect in the Empire State according to 247Sports … No. 1 quarterback in New York and the state’s No. 13 overall player by Rivals.com … ESPN Recruiting’s No. 1 quarterback in New York, New York’s 16th-best player overall and the nation’s No. 48 pro-style quarterback … News 12 All-New York City first-team selection as a senior … played for head coach Pete Gorynski at Fordham Prep … led the state of New York with 3,333 passing yards as a senior … threw 41 touchdowns and just seven interceptions during his senior season to help lead the Rams to the Class AA title game … Bronx Times All-Bronx honors as a sophomore, junior and senior … 2,416 yards and 27 touchdowns as a junior … threw just three interceptions during his junior season to lead the Rams to the Class AA semifinals … top-three in New York history in career passing yards and 112 career touchdown passes … two-time all-state selection … News 12 High School Player of the Year … 112 career touchdown passes … team captain … son of John and Anita Valecce.
Another interesting storyline is the signing of John Tessitore. The kicker from Wallingford, Connecuticut (Choate Rosemary Hall) is the son of ESPN college football announcer Joe Tessitore.
Four-year letterwinner for head coach L.J. Spinnato at Choate Rosemary Hall … voted team captain of the four-time, undefeated New England Class A Prep School champions as a senior … holds school record for single-season points by a kicker with 76 as a junior … scored 16 points in the 2016 New England Class A championship game … in the 2016 NEPSAC championship victory over Trinity-Pawling, converted all three of his field goal attempts, ran in a pair of two-point conversions and added three successful PATs … won 39 straight games during his career at Choate Rosemary Hall … rated as the No. 9 player in Connecticut and the No. 16 kicker nationally according to 247Sports composite rankings … honored with the 2017 Michael R. Sadler Award for “Excellence On & Off The Field” at Kohl’s National Invitational Scholarship Camp … went two full seasons without missing a field goal attempt of 40+ yards … two-time All Central New England selection as a junior and senior … also played quarterback, defensive back and wide receiver … will join former high school teammates Will Harris and John Fadule at Boston College … one of the few players in New England history to play in five NEPSAC bowl games … played varsity football as an eighth grader at Hamden Hall as the starting kicker … son of Joe ’93 and Rebecca Tessitore … his father Joe is a play-by-play announcer for ABC/ESPN.
— Damien Woody (@damienwoody) December 20, 2017
Here are some other notes on the 2018 recruiting class:
17 high school captains
Seven players won state titles
State breakdown: Position Breakdown:
Massachusetts: 4 Linebackers: 5
New Jersey: 4 Defensive Backs: 3
New York: 3 Offensive Linemen: 3
Texas: 2 Defensive Tackles: 2
Connecticut: 1 Quarterbacks: 2
Florida: 1 Running Backs: 1
Indiana: 1 Specialists: 1
Maryland: 1 Tight Ends: 1
Pennsylvania: 1 Wide Receivers: 1
Rhode Island: 1
The others signing on Wednesday (courtesy Boston College sports information):
Ridgely, Md./North Caroline
Rated as the number one running back prospect in Maryland by Rivals.com and 247Sports … led North Caroline High School to a 10-1 record as a senior … played for head coach James McCormick at North Caroline … Bayside Conference Player of the Year as he led the Bulldogs to the state semifinals … scored 35 touchdowns as a senior, despite sitting after halftime in most games, the first eight of which included a running clock for most of the second half … averaged three touchdowns per game and scored four touchdowns or more in four games his senior season … rushed for 1,582 yards on 114 carries, averaging 13.9 yards per carry … No. 65 running back nationally and No. 21 prospect in Maryland according to 247Sports … ranked as the 20th-best prospect in Maryland according to Rivals.com … ranked one of the top 100 running backs nationally by ESPN and the No. 27 prospect in Maryland … two-time first-team all-state selection … team captain … son of David Bailey and Lori Anne Demby.
Standout two-way player for Clinton Desouza at Spackenkill High School … New York’s top-ranked defensive tackle prospect according to 247Sports … rated the No. 22 prospect in the state of New York and the No. 114 defensive tackle nationally by 247Sports … 79 tackles as a senior, including 11.0 tackles-for-loss … finished his career with 179 total tackles and 17.0 TFLs … 13 sacks and 13 quarterback hurries over his prep career … also played tight end and averaged 17.4 yards per reception over his career, including two touchdowns … earned Journal All-Star honors as a junior after posting 55 tackles, four sacks, and two blocked kicks to help lead the Spartans to the Section 9 quarterfinals … also played basketball and was a member of the track and field team … team captain … son of Tyrell and Christal Bennermon.
Walpole, Mass./Lawrence Academy
Standout defensive tackle for head coach and former Boston College All-American Paul Zukauskas at Lawrence Academy … top-ranked defensive tackle and the fifth overall prospect in Massachusetts according to Rivals.com … No. 3 player in Massachusetts and the state’s top defensive tackle prospect according to 247Sports … ranked as the No. 54 defensive tackle nationally by 247Sports … one of three Lawrence Academy standouts to sign with Boston College … rated by ESPN as the No. 5 player in Massachusetts and the No. 83 defensive tackle in the nation … Independent School League All-Star … finished senior season with 44 tackles, 18 TFLs and six sacks … also forced one fumble, recovered one fumble and recorded two pass deflections … team captain … son of Richard and Pamela Betro.
Dynamic playmaker at linebacker for head coach Rick Streiff at Cathedral High School … No. 1 inside linebacker prospect in the state of Indiana according to Rivals.com … rated as Indiana’s eight-best overall prospect and the 26th overall inside linebacker nationally by Rivals.com … won the Mr. Football award at linebacker in Indiana as a senior … helped guide the Irish to the Class 5A regional championship his senior season … No. 13 player in Indiana according to 247Sports and the state’s second-best linebacker … second-ranked linebacker and No. 9 overall prospect in Indiana according to ESPN … Indianapolis Star City Defensive Player of the Year as a senior … led the Irish with 18 TFLs and 65 tackles … honorable mention all-state honoree as a junior … son of Vern and Darolyn Davis.
Denville, N.J./Pope John XXIII
No. 1 inside linebacker in New Jersey according to 247Sports … rated as the state’s No 14 overall prospect and the No. 25 inside linebacker nationally by 247Sports … played for head coach Brian Carlson at Pope John XXIII High School … rated the No. 30 player in New Jersey by Rivals.com … ESPN’s No. 2 inside linebacker prospect in New Jersey and the Garden State’s 32nd overall prospect … ranked 44th nationally among all inside linebackers by ESPN … named to the NJ.com and News 12 New Jersey All-State First Team … recorded 115 tackles, seven sacks and 18 TFLs as a senior … also rushed for 479 yards and nine touchdowns on offense … as a junior, totaled 122 tackles, three sacks and one forced fumble … played safety and outside linebacker as a freshman and h-back as a sophomore, before moving to middle linebacker for his final two years in high school … three-year starter … team captain … son of Nick and Pam DeNucci.
Wayne, N.J./DePaul Catholic
Top-ranked inside linebacker in New Jersey according to ESPN … the 25th overall prospect in the Garden State in ESPN’s recruiting rankings … NJ.com First-Team All-State selection on defense … played for head coach John McKenna at DePaul Catholic … No. 21 prospect in New Jersey and the No. 33 inside linebacker nationally by Rivals.com … rated the No. 35 player in New Jersey and the 62nd-best inside linebacker nationally according to 247Sports … 119 tackles as a senior, including 17 behind the line of scrimmage … tallied six sacks, forced three fumbles and recovered two fumbles … led the state of New Jersey with 194 tackles as a junior … 7.5 sacks and one forced fumble to go along with 245 rushing yards, 11 rushing TDs and 178 receiving yards during his junior campaign … 449 career tackles … team captain … led team to Non-Public, Group 3 state title as a senior … son of John and Michelle DePalma.
Acton, Mass./Lawrence Academy
No. 1 player in Massachusetts and the 12th-best offensive guard nationally by 247Sports … rated as the No. 278 player nationally by 247Sports … No. 2 player in Massachusetts and the nation’s No. 24 offensive guard according to Rivals.com … No. 2 player in Massachusetts and the country’s No. 32 offensive guard in the ESPN recruiting rankings … played for former Boston College All-American Paul Zukauskas at Lawrence Academy … one of three Lawrence Academy signees in the 2018 recruiting class … Independent School League All-Star … two-way standout who also recorded three sacks on defense … son of Mike and Suzanne Dirstine.
Top-ranked player in Rhode Island according to 247Sports … No. 1 player in Rhode Island and the No. 108 wide receiver nationally according to ESPN Recruiting … played for head coach Kris McCall at Classical High School … second-team all-state as a junior with over 460 yards receiving and nine touchdowns … 603 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns his senior season … averaged 17.6 yards per reception over his high school career, including 19 touchdown receptions … 53 tackles and eight interceptions on defense over his junior and senior seasons … team captain … son of Steve and Cheryl Galloway.
Hummelstown, Pa./Bishop McDevitt
Listed as the No. 2 cornerback prospect in Pennsylvania by 247Sports … rated as the No. 23 prospect in Pennsylvania and the No. 82 cornerback nationally according to 247Sports … former high school teammate with current Eagle Kobay White … played for head coach Jeff Weachter at Bishop McDevitt High School … rated as the 35th-best player in the Keystone State by ESPN Recruiting … first-team all-conference as a junior after totaling 30 tackles and three interceptions … All Mid-Penn Conference selection according to the Harrisburg Patriot-News … as a senior, led Bishop McDevitt with five pass breakups and was second on the team in tackles … helped guide the Crusaders to a 10-3 record and a state quarterfinal appearance in Class 4A … key part of a Bishop McDevitt team that finished 6-0 in the Mid-Penn Conference … team captain … son of Ivory and Lynda Gethers.
New York, N.Y./Cardinal Hayes
Top-rated cornerback in New York and the state’s No. 8 overall prospect according to Rivals.com … No. 12 player in the state of New York and the No. 83 athlete nationally according to 247Sports … ranked No. 9 in New York and the nation’s 62nd-best athlete by ESPN Recruiting … played for head coach C.J. O’Neill at Cardinal Hayes … averaged 26.1 yards per reception and finished the season with 1,017 receiving yards as a senior … 14 touchdown receptions, including a 99-yard touchdown catch … three interceptions, two forced fumbles and 22 tackles in 10 games … scored a career high five touchdowns in Cardinal Hayes’ 50-14 quarterfinal win to earn Catholic League Player of the Week honors … also a standout in track … team captain … son of Keith Jones and Janine Green.
Wayne, N.J./Bergen Catholic
Named the 2017 New Jersey Player of the Year by News 12 after leading Bergen Catholic to their first Non-Public, Group 4 state championship since 2004 … played for head coach Nunzio Campanile at Bergen Catholic … passed for 2,103 yards and 23 touchdowns to go along with 825 yards rushing and 12 rushing touchdowns … finished his career with 4,789 yards passing, 1,452 yards rushing and a combined 69 touchdowns … rated as the No. 22 prospect in New Jersey and the No. 30 pro-style quarterback nationally by Rivals.com … listed as the Garden State’s 33rd-best player and the nation’s 45th-best dual-style quarterback according to 247Sports … rated the No 26 dual-threat quarterback in the nation and New Jersey’s No. 1 dual-threat quarterback by ESPN Recruiting … as a junior, threw for 1,998 yards and 19 touchdowns to help lead BC to the state semifinals … team captain … son of Brian and Patti Langan.
Wayland, Mass./Lawrence Academy
Rated as the No. 2 tight end in Massachusetts and the nation’s No. 67 tight end according to 247Sports … listed as the No. 6 player overall in Massachusetts by 247Sports … rated as the seventh-best player in Massachusetts and the nation’s No. 41 tight end according to ESPN Recruiting … Independent School League co-MVP as a senior … Boston Globe All-Scholastic team … 45 receptions for 582 yards and four touchdowns for the 9-0 Spartans … 41 tackles, eight sacks and 12 TFLs at defensive end as a senior … also returned one interception for a touchdown … played for former Boston College All-American Paul Zukauskas at Lawrence Academy … also a standout basketball player at Lawrence Academy with over 1,000 career points … one of three Lawrence Academy products to sign with Boston College in the 2018 recruiting class … helped lead Lawrence Academy to a perfect 9-0 overall record … team captain … son of Mike and Tracey Luchetti.
Top-ranked athlete in Massachusetts and the state’s No. 7 overall recruit according to 247Sports … ESPN Recruiting listed Maitre the top-ranked athlete in Massachusetts and the No. 4 recruit in the state … rated as the No. 70 athlete nationally by ESPN Recruiting … played for head coach John DiBiaso at Everett High School … two-way player who excelled at wide receiver and cornerback … finished his senior season with nine touchdown receptions … all-around threat who also scored three touchdowns rushing, two punt returns for scores and one kickoff return for a touchdown … on defense totaled four interceptions including one pick six … 68 career tackles and nine career interceptions … Boston Herald All-Scholastic selection … MIAA All-State First-Team selection at wide receiver … team captain … son of Ginette Chachat.
Dallas, Texas/Highland Park
Rated the No. 63 offensive guard nationally according to 247Sports … listed by Rivals.com as the No. 54 offensive tackle in the country and a top-100 recruit in the state of Texas (97th overall) … ESPN Recruiting tabbed Shelmire as the No. 38 offensive guard in the country and the No. 100 overall recruit in Texas … Texas Class 5A All-State first team selection as a junior … rated by SportsDay as the No. 40 overall recruit in the Dallas area prior to the season … all-district performer as a sophomore and junior … played for head coach Randy Allen at Highland Park High School … team captain … son of Day and Mary Shelmire.
Naples, Fla./First Baptist Academy
Rated the No. 67 inside linebacker in the nation by 247Sports … ESPN Recruiting’s No. 40 inside linebacker nationally and the No. 219 recruit in Florida … three-time Naples Daily News All-Area first-team selection … 59 tackles, including 14 TFLs and three sacks as a senior … also rushed for 676 yards and 10 touchdowns on offense … two-time first-team all-state linebacker as a sophomore and junior … also earned honorable mention at the position as a freshman … 101 tackles, nine sacks and 21.5 TFLs during his junior season … at fullback and tight end as a junior, totaled 839 yards of offense and 14 total touchdowns … his father Billy Sparacio was his head coach at First Baptist Academy … team captain … son of Billy and Tara Sparacio.
Sparta, N.J./St. Joseph’s Regional
Top-ranked safety prospect in New Jersey according to 247Sports … rated the No. 18 player in the Garden State and the No. 57 safety nationally by 247Sports … listed as the No. 19 player in New Jersey and the 32nd-best inside linebacker in the nation by Rivals.com … played for former BC standout Augie Hoffmann at St. Joseph’s Regional … New Jersey’s No. 28 player and the No, 81 outside linebacker in the country by ESPN Recruiting … NJ.com All-State second-team selection on defense … all-Non Public Group first-team selection on defense by NJ.com … News 12 All-State first-team selection … finished senior season with 114 tackles, three interceptions, two forced fumbles and 1.5 sacks for the Green Knights … closed out his career with 239 tackles … helped guide the Green Knights to a third straight appearance in the Non-Public, Group 3 final … team captain … son of George and Tracy Stewart.