Boston College has produced two NFL-drafted All-ACC first team tight ends in recent years, “Touchdown” Tommy Sweeney of the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins’ third-round pick Hunter Long.
Eagles’ graduate tight end George Takacs wants his name added to that ACC/NFL short list. The 6-6, 255-pound, every-down tight end from Naples, Fla., is the Eagles’ top returning receiver in yards gained and projected starter when BC opens the season against Northern Illinois on Sept. 2 (noon) at Alumni Stadium.
“I want to be an All-ACC tight end,” said Takacs. “I really want to have the ability to take over games and be THE guy in the offense, that’s my goal and that’s everybody’s goal.
“I’m really going into the season with the confidence and high expectations for myself.”
BC lost its two most productive wide receivers after the 2022 season, a campaign that started bad and ended 3-9. Zay Flowers, who broke every significant receiving record at BC, was a first-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens and Jaelen Gill transferred to Fresno State.
Takacs made nine starts last season and finished with 26 catches for 256 yards and a touchdown. Takacs had a built-in connection with quarterback Phil Jurkovec at the start of the 2022 season. The two were in the same recruitment class at Notre Dame and transferred to BC a year apart.
Jurkovec suffered a season-ending knee injury in the second half of a 13-3 loss at UConn on Oct. 29 and was replaced by redshirt freshman Emmett Morehead. Jurkovec transferred to Pittsburgh at the end of the season, leaving Morehead the uncontested incumbent headed into spring football.
“I think day after day we are building that repertoire and working together and honing our timing down,” said Takacs. “I think it is going to be awesome to see.”
Boston College had the worst ground game in the ACC last season, the byproduct of a dysfunctional offensive line. BC coach Jeff Hafley made significant moves to rectify the situation and get the front five back on-line.
Hafley brought back offensive line coach Matt Applebaum from the Dolphins and grabbed Virginia tackle Logan Taylor from the transfer portal. The line has been bolstered by the return of injured guard Christian Mahogany, an AP preseason second team All-American.
College tight ends that want to play at the next level have to be an appendage of the offensive line when it comes to blocking. Long and Sweeney were exceptional at chipping defensive ends on passing downs and driving linebackers off the line on run plays. Takacs said he added 10 pounds in the offseason to enhance that element to his game.
“As a tight end, everyone wants to catch the ball and run down the field,” said Takacs. “That is definitely half of it and the other half is to be a devastating run-blocker and really being an extension of the offensive line.
“I have been working with coach Applebaum and building on those reps.”
Co-offensive coordinators Steve Shimko and Rob Chudzinski have installed what Morehead referred to as a “quarterback-friendly” scheme. Morehead has stretch-the-field wide receivers like Ryan O’Keefe, Lewis Bond and Joe Griffen on the outside which should open up the middle of the field for Takacs.
“George is looking really good, I’m really excited about him,” said Morehead. “We got a sneak peek last year when he was healthy but he was really hurt for most of last year and he battled through so much.
“Ryan can take the top off of any coverage and we have other guys that have some really incredible speed. So, it will be exciting to use all of our tools this year.”