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Boston Herald
Boston Herald
5 Aug 2023
Rich Thompson

NextImg:BC quarterback Emmett Morehead ready to take on the ACC

Emmett Morehead possesses the demeanor, physique and athleticism of a starting quarterback in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The only thing missing is the resume.

Morehead’s Power-5 experience consists of four starts at the end of a difficult 2022 season that ended 3-9. But the 6-foot-5, 235-pound redshirt sophomore from Woodside, Calif., begins his third training camp at the Heights as custodian of the Boston College offense.

Morehead is the incumbent quarterback in a competitive environment where the old adage suggests the starting job is his to lose. The little matter of fact that debunks that concept is Morehead will simply not let it happen. Morehead expects to be under center when BC opens the 2023 season against Northern Illinois on Sept. 2 at Alumni Stadium.

“This is so much fun and there’s a lot to be excited about,” said Morehead. “It is a lot of fun and there is a totally different feel right now and I think we have so much positivity to what we can do.

“My approach hasn’t changed because last year I prepared so well every day and at any point in the season last year I could have been the starter. Stepping into this role I feel I have more opportunity. I have lot more trust in myself now and I had a good off-season. I got a lot stronger and faster and this season is going to be exciting. I think we have all the tools to be really good.”

Before becoming an established quarterback in the ACC, a young player must first and foremost ascertain the confidence to say he belongs there.

Morehead gained a significant measure of self-assurance when he took over the BC offense from Phil Jurkovec, who went down with a season-ending right knee injury in a 13-3 loss at UConn on Oct. 29. On a side note, Jurkovec jumped the NCAA transfer portal to Pittsburgh after the season and is projected to be the Panthers’ starter. BC plays at Pitt in a prime-time game on Thursday, Nov. 16.

Morehead made his first career start the following Saturday in a 38-31 loss to Duke at Alumni Stadium. Morehead completed 27-of-45 passes for 330 yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions and a stellar 150.9 rating.

Morehead became the first BC quarterback to throw for four TDs in his first career start since Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie in 1981. Morehead joined Brockton’s Mark Hartsell (338 vs. Michigan) in 1994 and Jurkovec (300 vs. Duke) in 2020 to throw for 300 yards in his first start.

Morehead’s highwater mark of the season was the Eagles’ 21-20 upset victory over No. 17 North Carolina State at Carter-Finley Stadium. Morehead’s second touchdown pass to freshman wide receiver Joe Griffen with 14 seconds remaining secured the win. Morehead completed 29-of-48 passes for 330 yards and three touchdowns and two picks in his second career start.

Morehead experienced a reality check the following week at No. 18 Notre Dame, but he finished the season with 1,257 yards on 115 completions with 10 touchdowns and six picks.

“I think I proved myself right, the biggest thing was I proved myself right,” said Morehead. “When you put in so much work in the off-season, in the film room and preparing each week for a completely different game plan.

“For that (NC State) to happen after the struggles we were having that whole season, I felt really grateful. I had spent a lot of time building toward that opportunity and when it came to light, I feel I shined in the light.”

The BC offense was at or near the bottom of the ACC in most significant categories last season except passing. Jurkovec and Morehead combined for the fourth-rated passing attack in the league with 262 completions for 2,955 yards, 247.1 per game with 21 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. While those numbers were good, they weren’t enough to offset the worst ground game in the conference and a broken offensive line.

Departed All-ACC first team wide receiver Zay Flowers, the most productive pass catcher in program history and first-round draft pick of the Baltimore Ravens, accounted for 1,077 of those passing yards on 78 catches.

The responsibility of replacing Flowers’ lost production and uplifting the returning receivers corps belongs to Morehead and Eagles’ co-offensive coordinators Rob Chudzinski and Steve Shimko.

“My job is to be on the same page with who is calling the play so that I am aware what they are trying to get out of that play call,” said Morehead. “I am starting to learn that with Chud now and coach Shimko.

“I am seeing what they are seeing at this point and the offense they installed I think is quarterback friendly. We have guys that do things differently from Zay but really well.”