Ramella out for season
FHMAM is hearing that Jim Ramella, slated to step into Mathias Kiwanuka's huge shoes as starting left defensive end opposite Nick Larkin, will be out for the season. Details on the injury are not available at this time, but apparently it is a carry-over of a shoulder injury he suffered at the end of last season. More details will come as they are available.
The question is, what does this do for the outlook of BC's defensive line?? While losing a starter always hurts, this may not be as bad as it would initially appear. Although the staff's failure to recruit a stud defensive end in the wake of Kiwi's success is glaring, the team does have other options. In a round-about way this could actually improve the team's run defense, if 283 lb. redshirt freshman Austin Giles is elevated to the starting job to replace Ramella, a 244 lb. sophomore. It is likely that Giles and fellow redshirt freshman Brendan Deska will compete for the starting job; Deska would be a more direct replacement for Ramella in terms of style of play, but Giles is considered by many to be a better overall prospect.
In terms of the two-deep, the most likely outcome is that another redshirt freshman, 250 lb. Brady Smith, will be added to the rotation. Allan Smith (no relation), yet another redshirt freshman, has talent but at 210 lbs. is far too small to play DE at the ACC level (FHMAM would suggest that Smith be the man to change position to provide added depth at linebacker, rather than the team's most promising young cornerback, but unfortunately that would require TOB and his staff to actually use sound logic). Another possibility would be to move one of the team's tight ends to DE; the most likely possibilities would be junior Ryan Thompson, who was recruited by BC as a DE, and junior Jon Loyte, who played on the defensive side of the ball at Vanderbilt before transferring to the Heights. In fact, Ramella's injury could turn out to be a blessing in disguise, if the staff moves Loyte or Thompson to DE and thus is forced to give playing time as a freshman to field-stretching true freshman TE Jordon McMichael. Hopefully this cloud will develop a silver lining; we shall see in just 28 days.