In less than a week the Bulls will begin their spring practices. UB is going to have to find a replacement for Alex Neutz and Fred Lee. Truth be known the Bulls could use a third weapon at wide out this season as well.
To add to the complexity this spring is the realignment of responsibilities among the coaching staff. Marty Spieler. The departure of Don Patterson to UConn moved Alex Wood from receivers to quarterbacks and Spieler over to cover UB's receivers.
Spieler is in his fifth season with UB, but makes the switch from tight ends to wide receivers in 2014. The UB coach began working with Jeff Quinn as a tight end coach back in Cincinnati. Before the Bearcats he handled the offensive tackles and tight ends coach at Allegheny College.
Buffalo's top three returning receivers from last season are Boise Ross, Devon Hughes, and Ron Willoughby. There is always Devin Campbell to consider but with Branden Oliver graduating he might find his way back into the battle for half back.
Those three receivers accounted for just 23 of UB's 243 pass completions last season. Throw in John Dunmore who had two starts and the returning receptions rise to 26 receptions.
Hughes looks to be the most likely anchor receiver of the returning players. The coaching staff describes him as a play making wide receiver who emerged as a prominent target last season. He's been buried behind Alex Neutz and Fred Lee for three seasons so this could be the seniors break out year.
Boise Ross emerged out of nowhere as a true freshman to play in nine games, starting two. In his work he became the teams third leading wide receiver.
Ron Willoughby is an interesting case. Stylistically he reminds me the most of Alex Neutz but he's not had a chance to show what he can do with consistent field time. It's possible he is tagged to fill the role that Alex Neutz had filled on the team but not as the feature target.
Finally John Dunmore. Dunmore was a big help during 2012 after Alex Neutz was hurt and the Bulls found themselves thin at receiver. Then last season he had two starts and two touchdowns on seven receptions.
The absence of Joe Licata this spring may actually help these receivers hit the ground running. As last years backups they worked a lot with Tony Daniel and Collin Micheal, the two quarterbacks who will be fighting for time next week.