After getting off to a 2-4 start, not many people expected the Boston College football team to go bowling this holiday season. Head coach Steve Addazio deserves a big-time tip of the chapeau for leading Boston College to wins in five of its last six games to earn a berth in the Pinstripe Bowl against Iowa (7-5) at Yankee Stadium on Dec. 27.
The emergence of freshman running back A.J. Dillon, a former standout at Lawrence Academy in Groton, has spearheaded the second-half surge to a 7-5 record. Dillon ran for an Eagles freshman rushing record of 1,432 yards to go along with 13 touchdowns this season.
For his efforts, Dillon leads the list of 2017 award recipients named by the New England Football Writers Association.
Dillon has been selected to receive the Harry Agganis/Harold Zimman Award, presented to the outstanding player in New England. Dillon is averaging more than 5 yards per carry and has had five 100-yard games, including two games in which he eclipsed 200 rushing yards.
Dillon earned another big honor this past week when he was unanimously voted The Associated Press All-Atlantic Coast Conference newcomer of the year. He was also a unanimous selection for the AP’s all-conference first team. The awards were selected by a panel of 14 sports writers who regularly cover the conference.
Follow Carmine Frongillo on Twitter @cwfrongi.