"What he is," says Boston College Coach Jack Bicknell of his quarterback, junior Doug Flutie, "is a lesson in recruiting—look beyond the computer stuff, listen to high school coaches." Flutie, 5'9" and 175 pounds, was sought by only one Division I-A school, Boston College, and even then he was pretty much an afterthought by the Eagles. In fact, he was projected more as a defensive back than as a quarterback. Flutie got his chance at quarterback in the fourth game of his freshman year. "It was just like in the movies," says Bicknell. "We were down 31-0 in the fourth quarter to Penn State. Flutie was fourth string, and I looked down the bench and said, 'O.K., Flutie, see what you can do!' " Though the Nittany Lions prevailed 38-7, he completed eight of 18 passes, one of which went for a touchdown.
Last year Flutie threw for 520 yards—the 10th best single-game total in history—in a 52-17 loss to Penn State. Over the season, he passed for 2,749 yards to lead Boston College to an 8-3-1 record and a trip to the Tangerine Bowl, where the Eagles lost 33-26 to Auburn. Boston College returns 12 starters, including Linebacker Steve DeOssie and Guard Mark MacDonald. But Flutie's four top receivers, who had a combined 118 receptions and nine touchdowns last season, graduated. The '83 schedule has its advantages. Most of the easier games (Temple, Yale, Army) are on the road, while the toughies (Clemson, West Virginia, Penn State and Alabama) come to Boston. With adrenaline, the Eagles could go 9-2; without it, they could end up 6-5 or worse.
Pitt was an almost consensus preseason No. 1 pick in '82 but finished 9-3 and then lost nine players to the NFL draft, including Quarterback Dan Marino. Coach Foge Fazio was so desperate for a replacement that in spring practice he tried Tom Flynn, a probable All-America at safety, at quarterback. The experiment failed, so the signal-caller will probably be junior John Cummings, who has thrown all of two passes in his college career. Don't get us wrong—the Panthers still have plenty of talent. Other standouts are Flanker Dwight Collins, who had 50 catches in '82, and Bill Fralic and Bill Maas, perhaps the best offensive and defensive tackles, respectively, in the country.
Miami was another disappointment last fall. Before the season, Coach Howard Schnellenberger announced that 1982 would be the year the Hurricanes would "Go for it," meaning the national championship. Miami then promptly lost its opener to Florida, and two games later Quarterback Jim Kelly went down with a shoulder injury that sidelined him for the rest of the season. Result: a 7-4 finish. This year Schnellenberger's hopes are more realistic, but the Hurricanes should win seven games again. Kyle Vanderwende, now a sophomore, started the last three games of '82, completing 39 of 64 for 465 yards. Other key returnees are Tight End Glenn Dennison, Halfback Keith Griffin, Fullback Speedy Neal and Linebacker Jay Brophy, who had a team-high 135 tackles in'82.
The star of East Carolina is 280-pound Guard Terry Long, who's probably the strongest man in college football. In March he won the North Carolina Powerlifting Championships. In that competition he bench-pressed 501 pounds, squatted 837 and deadlifted 865—a 2,203 total, the third-highest in powerlifting history. After three years in the Army and three at East Carolina, Long, 24, stands 6-feet, weighs 280 pounds and runs a 4.8 40. Besides Long, the Pirates return 16 starters from 1982's 7-4 team, but their schedule is significantly tougher. East Carolina will gladly take another 7-4.
After a 1-9-1 1981 season, Southwestern Louisiana ended up 7-3-1 last year, tying New Mexico for the No. 1 turnaround in Division I-A. The Ragin' Cajuns expect big things from Quarterback Don Wallace, who threw for 830 yards and six touchdowns in limited appearances last season. Wallace's favorite target will be Clarence Verdin, who averaged 23.5 yards on 20 catches.
Virginia Tech (7-4 in '82) has most of the defense that ranked No. 1 in the country against the rush last year. More important for the Hokies, their schedule is soft, with only a trip to West Virginia as an automatic loss. Tech could well win eight games.
Southern Mississippi has a replacement for Quarterback Reggie Collier—his second cousin, Robert Ducksworth. The Golden Eagles have a fine tailback in 1,545-yard rusher Sam Dejarnette, and on defense, Noseguard Jerald Baylis and Linebacker Greg Kelley lead the Nasty Bunch. Auburn, Mississippi State, Alabama and East Carolina are on the schedule, but the Eagles should win seven games for the second straight year.
The Army-Navy game will be played in the Rose Bowl this year, on Nov. 25, and the Middies (6-5 in '82) should sink the hapless Cadets (4-7) and their new coach, Jim Young. Navy features junior Napoleon McCallum, who, with 1,646 yards in '82, was the No. 5 all-purpose runner in the country.
New coaches have also taken over at Cincinnati (6-5 in '82), which hired Vanderbilt's innovative offensive coordinator, Watson Brown; Tulane (4-7), which got Miami Dolphin Quarterback Coach Wally English; Temple (4-7), which lured Bruce Arians from Alabama, where he had handled running backs under Bear Bryant; and South Carolina (4-7), which hired Joe Morrison, who guided New Mexico to a 10-1 record in '82. Arians' quarterback is Tim Riordan, who last year wound up seventh in the country in passing efficiency by completing 157 of 257 throws for 1,840 yards. Morrison has the country's most accurate kicker in Mark Fleetwood, who hit 17 of 18 field-goal attempts in '82.
Experience and the quarterbacking combination of Jack LaPrarie, who threw for 1,164 yards in '82, and Eric Hochberg (354 yards) should enable Rutgers to improve its 5-6 record of a year ago. Louisville (5-6 in '82) is banking on 6'5" Quarterback Dean May to make Coach Bob Weber's pro offense work.
Prospects have looked better for Memphis State (1-10 last season) and Richmond (0-10), but the Tigers and the Spiders aren't any worse off than Syracuse. The 2-9 Orangemen face a schedule that includes Nebraska, Maryland, Penn State, Pitt, Boston College and West Virginia.
The diminutive Flutie threw for big yardage last season.