By William Qualkinbush.
By William Qualkinbush
Boston College linebacker Steele Divitto is no stranger to Clemson. In fact, he is fond of the place.
His sister attended the university as a member of the Clemson Life program, which is designed to serve students with special needs. Divitto speaks glowingly about how Clemson impacted his sister’s life, to the point she had a choice to make the first time his Boston College team faced the Tigers.
“She couldn’t decide who to root for—Boston College or Clemson,” the preseason all-conference selection said with a smile. “Then she told me her decision the day before the game.”
Family aside, Divitto and the Eagles are looking forward to facing the best the ACC has to offer this season. BC finished at the bottom of the Atlantic Division last season, so the weight of expectations is light. Divitto says he likes it that way, at least for the moment.
“Being under the radar is definitely to our advantage,” he said, “but we don’t want that to be who you are every year as a college football program. Hopefully, this year we can sneak up on some people.”
Quarterback Chase Rettig is another one of the cornerstone pieces of last year’s team coming back for more in 2013. His up-and-down career is drawing to a close, and he hopes the Eagles have what it takes to send him away with flair.
Rettig is a calm, cool, and collected guy from California. He chooses not to wear his emotions on his sleeve. In short, he is seemingly the perfect leader for a team assembled to function as an unselfish, tough unit. He says he has the weapons to begin the program’s ascent back to a place Rettig saw the program approach early in his career.
“I’m going to do everything I can to turn it around,” he said. “My freshman year, it was a lot of fun. We went on a winning streak and went to a bowl game. The last two years just haven’t been satisfactory.”
Rettig and Divitto share a common image and vision of the Boston College program. Their vision is shared by new head coach Steve Addazio, who hopes to breathe some life back into the Eagles in year one of his tenure.
Both players have lofty standards to approach. Divitto comes next in a long line of productive, hard-nosed Boston College linebackers. Rettig is looking to duplicate some of the accomplishments of signal-callers like Matt Ryan who have presided over bright spots in the program’s history.
But to get there, a little swagger is required. Boston is a pro sports town where swagger is interwoven into the fabric of the culture. Rettig says his team already cares about winning and losing enough to go full speed ahead this season, and the next step is developing a certain amount of confidence.
“We’re going to have a chip on our shoulder,” he said. “We’re going to go out and play. I think we have a talented group of guys. I think the game means a lot to them.”