|Lukas Denis was a play maker on both sides of the ball during his Everett days, but now he's settling in as a starting defensive back for Boston College. Photo courtesy of Brendan C. Hall and ESPN Boston.|
In the midst of another disappointing performance by Boston College, one Bay State product broke into the starting lineup for the Eagles.
During BC's 45-7 drubbing at the hands of Florida State Friday night in Tallahassee, former Everett star Lukas Denis made his first start for the Eagles, and it appears the sophomore will be seeing a lot more action the rest of the year.
Denis operated as BC's Nickel defensive back, filling a variety of roles, and playing alongside fellow Massachusetts products Isaac Yiadom (Doherty, 2014) and Connor Strachan (St. Sebastian's, 2014). The Eagles have struggled defending the pass this season, and will likely play a good amount of the 3-3-5 Nickel they used last week in their final two games.
That means more reps for Denis, who is just trying to make the most of his opportunities.
"We're just trying to take every play at practice and win, so that we can win the day on Saturday," Denis said. "I'm just staying focused, staying positive, and that's how I'm going into each game."
The former Crimson Tide receiver, quarterback and defensive back was also able to take in Everett's sectional final win over Andover Saturday. Denis was on the sideline, helping to coach up the current Everett players as they went against BC quarterback commit E.J. Perry IV. Denis also said Everett coach John DiBiaso was "like a father" to him, and considered the chance to help his alma mater a privilege.
"They let me get on the sideline, and sort of coach and talk to the players," Denis said. "That was real emotional for me, because my junior year, we went on that same field (in Everett) and we lost to Central Catholic. So it was great to see them win there."
If there is a silver lining to BC's season, at least for Massachusetts football fans, it is the amount of local talent that has gotten the chance to shine. Denis' move to the starting lineup joins him with Yiadom in the secondary and Strachan on defense, but a number of Massachusetts alums have emerged on the other side of the ball as well.
After not even appearing on the depth chart to start the season, Worcester native and St. John's (Shrewsbury) alum Davon Jones has become BC's second-leading rusher, and leader in yards per carry at 4.2. Jones also threw the game-winning touchdown on a trick play against NC State to give BC its first conference win in nearly two years.
In front of Jones, Millis alum Jon Baker and Shepherd Hill alum Chris Lindstrom have been bright spots on a line that has struggled with consistency, and faced loaded boxes most of the season. Baker, a junior center, and Lindstrom, a sophomore guard, will return with Jones next year as the likely building blocks of what could be a pretty good running game.
Speaking of Massachusetts alums, BC will have to deal with a pretty good one Saturday against UConn, when Grafton alum Obi Melifonwu comes to town. Obi is the older brother of current Grafton star and Syracuse commit Ifeatu Melifonwu, and is considered by many to be a future NFL Draft pick.
The Eagles will continue their season Saturday against UConn at 1 pm inside Alumni Stadium. BC needs to win to remain alive in the hunt for bowl eligibility.