As schools’ academic years are wrapping up, last season’s juniors are about to become this season’s seniors, and with that comes extra responsibility and expectations. In the ACC, while there were plenty of players selected in the NFL Draft, the conference still returns a strong group of seniors — many of whom are set to make a strong impact in their final seasons of eligibility.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be going team-by-team in the ACC to identify the “standout senior” that’s key to his respective squad, and why he’s so important. Think we should’ve featured another player, though? Feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments.
Following two mildly productive seasons at wideout, Amidon seemingly exploded in his junior year, to the tune of 78 catches for 1,210 yards and seven touchdowns. For a Boston College offense that struggled mightily in 2012, he still managed to be as consistent as they come, catching at least five passes in all but three games. Now, as a senior, can he improve upon his record-setting performance?
With new offensive coordinator Ryan Day focusing more heavily on the running game, some may think Amidon’s due for a drop-off. On the contrary, it may actually end up a huge boost to both his productivity and eventual NFL Draft stock, in my opinion. After the first few games of 2012, it was obvious that quarterback Chase Rettig was likely going to target Amidon between eight and 10 times per game, resulting in more and more double-coverage. This was noticed most extensively late in the season, when he was held to five catches over the final two games, for just 53 yards. By implementing a run-first attack, Boston College will be able to open up the passing game a bit more (as Amidon himself alluded to last month when speaking with ESPN’s Heather Dinich), and will also give Amidon ample opportunity to show off his blocking chops. At only 5’11″ and 186 pounds, he’s a bit undersized, and doesn’t necessarily have the strength to hold up against linebackers, but facing off with defensive backs, he should do fine.
From a leadership standpoint, Amidon’s also key to the program’s entire rebuilding process. A smart, dedicated worker, it’s voices like his and Rettig’s that affect just how much the rest of the team buys into coach Steve Addazio’s changes. Addazio is looking for a complete cultural overhaul, and while Amidon may not be around for the ultimate result, his initial buy-in is essential to its success. From the looks of it so far, he appears to understand that role completely, allowing some newfound optimism to creep into the minds of Eagles fans.
As long as he’s healthy, Amidon should put in a career year as a senior for Boston College, and improve upon his status as one of the ACC’s best wide receivers. His success will be critical to the Eagles’, but it will certainly be interesting to see how he adjusts to his role in the new offense, as well as how he performs with defenses keying in on him from the season’s onset. Based on what we’ve seen so far, though, it appears he’ll be just fine.