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Bordner flourishes in new position

Boston College wide receiver Josh Bordner (8) scores on a touchdown pass during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game against Massachusetts in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. Boston College won 30-7. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) ** Usable by LA, DC, CGT and CCT Only **
Boston College wide receiver Josh Bordner (8) scores on a touchdown pass during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game against Massachusetts in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. Boston College won 30-7. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) ** Usable by LA, DC, CGT and CCT Only ** (Michael Dwyer, AP)

After four years spent strolling the sidelines, clipboard in hand, Josh Bordner was ready to play.

The former star Century High School quarterback spent his freshman year at Boston College in 2010 with a redshirt, followed by three years serving as a backup QB.

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Following the 2013 season, Bordner met with Golden Eagles coach Steve Addazio for his end-of-year meeting, where the former Knight emphasized one main point.

"It's my last season," Bordner said. "I want to play, I want to have fun, I want to contribute as much as I can in any way."

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So Addazio decided he would suggest switching Bordner from quarterback to wide receiver, with the plan being to utilize his former backup signal-caller in more of a playmaking role. But how would Bordner perform at a position he hadn't played since his sophomore year at Century?

"I was skeptical," Bordner said. "I had played quarterback for a while but I wasn't opposed to change. Coach Addazio mentioned that I would fit this role and I just kind of took what he said to heart and I really ran with it."

Through the first half of the season, the switch has appeared to be a good move. Bordner leads the team with 225 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Entering this season, Bordner had only seen action in eight games over the past three years. He had a pair of rushing touchdowns in 2011, but he had only thrown eight passes in his collegiate career.

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That was after a senior season at Century where Bordner threw for 2,082 yards and 18 touchdowns, rushed for 329 yards and 10 scores, and earned Times Player of the Year honors in 2009.

"I always get a really great feeling when you see a guy who has really paid his dues," Addazio said. "In this world we're in where everybody wants everything instantly, this is a guy in his fifth year, he's finally enjoying success. That's a great role model for younger players to look to."

It didn't take long for Bordner to see the results of an offseason he spent re-learning a position he hadn't played in six years. In BC's opener against Massachusetts on Aug. 30, Bordner hauled in four passes for 81 yards, including a 43-yard touchdown grab, as the Golden Eagles rolled to a 30-7 win.

But it wasn't the route-running, catching, or scoring aspects of wide receiver that was the biggest adjustment for Bordner. It was learning proper blocking techniques so that he could help BC's rushing game, too.

"There are so many little details that you need to focus on, where your helmet needs to placed on the defender, where your hands need to be, where your feet need to be, how to step certain ways," Bordner said.

On Sept. 13, Bordner experienced perhaps his biggest win with the Golden Eagles. No. 9 USC came to Chestnut Hill for a nationally-televised game on ESPN. Although Bordner had just one catch for eight yards, Boston College pulled off the upset, beating the Trojans 37-31.

"No one really gave us any chance. It was such an unbelievable feeling," Bordner said. "It's really something that I'll definitely look back on and be really proud that I was part of it."

After recording just one catch in the second and third games of the season, Bordner found his way back to the end zone Sept. 20 against Maine. He caught three passes for 64 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown, in the Golden Eagles' 40-10 win.

Bordner then had four catches for 71 yards in BC's 24-21 loss to Colorado State on Sept. 27. Now, coming off of their bye week, the Eagles have seven straight ACC games to end their season, including a road matchup against No. 1 Florida State on Nov. 22.

Boston College (3-2, 0-1 ACC) has had its ups and downs so far this season, much like Bordner throughout his career. Entering the bulk of conference play, Bordner said he's excited for the Eagles to have a chance to prove they can compete.

"We've had good games, we've had some not-so-good games," Bordner said, "but we're really just trying to stick together."

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