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Time to look at next years two deep and our recruiting? (Part one Offense)

I have been sitting on this waiting for the KU think to resolve but the Jay Hawks appear intent on interviewing everyone they can find so Hopefully gill stays or we don't lose recruits if he leaves.

it's never too early to start thinking about next season

One of the things I find far more exciting about College football than the NFL is the turnover. Not the delicious breakfast pastry and I don't mean the pics and fumbles that killed UB this season. I am referring, of course, to the fact that with very rare exceptions a university only gets four years out of their players. Of course this hurts mid majors more than the AQ schools but like death, graduation comes for all.

A good recruiter is like a good chess player, you're never really worried about the next move because, if you're any good, you've already thought about the upcoming move two or more moves ago. If you wait until you're about to lose a player (Lets Kendrick Hawkins for example) unless you catch lightning in a bottle you are not going to find a high school senior who can replace him straight away. Freshman football players tend to bulk out, and they tend to need time to adjust to the new speed and power that they are going to face.

So instead of just looking at stars, or who UB will lose this season I'm going to go over position for position, where we will be in 2010, and 2011... In 2010 UB has 17 Scholarships, 12 are already handed out (Bull Run Knows who seven of them are).

Quarterback: (Next Years Two Deep)

Maynard Davis
This year on the field:

In 2009 UB's two deep featured the Sophomore Zach Maynard and the Freshman Jerry Davis. Neither player will be leaving UB any time soon. In addition to Maynard and Davis UB has Cory Jorgensen (Junior next season) and Alex Dennison (Freshman next season) .

This years recruiting needs:

Turner Gill has made it a habit of going first after a quarterback first, Maynard was his first get in 2007 and Dennison was his first get last season. This year the first verbal commit UB received was from Rudy Johnson a promising dual threat recruit out of Maryland.

I would not be surprised to see Gill go after another Quarterback there are two known to be on the UB radar.
  • Miles Osei from Illinois has been offered by Buffalo (and a hand full of other mid majors including NIU and Ball State).
  • Jawan Simmons Has UB listed as a school of medium interest (along with several AQ Schools). While UB has not offered him neither has anyone else and of the schools that he is interested in UB is the only one not in a BCS conference.
Beyond Next Year:

Its always a good idea to bring in a quarterback, or two, every season. Because quarterbacks tend to be the best athletes on high school teams they tend to be the most flexible players you can get. James Starks and Naaman Roosevelt were both high school quarterbacks and both found their success at different positions.

So expect UB to go after a QB or two next season, but in reality UB is chalked full of young, talented quarterbacks if they have a real need somewhere else.

Running Back: (Next Years Two Deep)

Nduka Thermilus

This year on the field:

If the Bulls Showed their depth anywhere this year it was at halfback where just days before the season kicked off UB lost arguably their best player since the program rejoined Division one. After Starks went down the UB running game floundered, that is until Ike Nduka took the starting role. Once Nduka had breathed life into the UB ground game Thermilus, Henry and even true Freshman Jeffvon Gill all elevated their play.

This years recruiting needs:

This year UB is losing both Mario Henry and James Starks, while both are amazing talents UB has the depth to compensate. Still after next season UB will lose both Thermilus and Nduka which means that of the players who will be around in 2011 only one currently has touched the ball at Half Back (Jeffvon Gill). With that in Mind UB needs one to two good halfbacks to come in and start rebuilding the depth we will be losing. The verbal commitment from James Potts is a huge get for Turner Gill (Potts had offers from Michigan State, Vandy, and Rutgers).

There one other back out there with a known offer:
  • Florida product Tahj Kimble is fielding offers from UB and several BCS schools (Purdue, Boston College, and Indiana). Kimble would be another nice get from the sunshine state.
Beyond Next Year:

Assuming UB gets Kimble or a yat unknown back they will enter 2011 with prominent Juniors Jeffvon Gill and Brandon Oliver and at least two Sophomores (or freshman if their red shits stay on) in Potts and (Kimble?). This sets up a quick rebuilding of the Running Backs and probably means the recruiting needs for 2011 are going to be pretty light at the halfback.

Wide Receivers: (Next Years Two Deep)

Jackson Rivers
Lee Nuntz

This year on the field:

Everyone who made a difference in the passing game (Roosevelt, Hamlin, Rack) were all seniors. The other receivers did not get too much thrown their way and when they did the results were not always what UB fans would have wanted.

This years recruiting needs:

It would have been great to see Jackson or Rivers step up this season and give some assurance that next year Maynard will have reliable targets but that did not happen, in fact outside of Hamlin, Roosevelt, Rack, and running backs only 37 passes were completed this season, the majority of those (25) went to Jackson.

EJ looked good as a third receiver, and he has the speed to make a difference, what UB needs is someone to push his game up. Gill is reportedly high on Nuntz and Lee but right now UB has no proven receiver let alone a cushion for him.

UB has already gotten a solid verbal from Devon Hughes and in addition to Hughes the Bulls have several other offers out to wide Receivers. Some of the names that are really sticking out are
  • Tehvyn Brantley who looked good at camps in South Carolina but only has one AQ Offer (North Carolina), this guy is a sleeper and CMU has also offered him.
  • Anthony Bryant This is Gill trying to reach down into Texas to see if he can nail another recruit, Right now he is sitting on FBS offers from Buffalo and UTEP
  • Patrick Harris Another three star from Florida. Harris has better than 4.5 speed who is getting looks from WMU and Southern Miss.
Beyond Next Year:

While the Bulls are taking a big hit in 2009 there are no listed Junior receivers this season, so at the end of next season the Bulls will not lose a single receiver. This gives the Bulls a chance to bring up some of the young talent that Turner Gill has been bringing in and, perhaps save a red shirt or two in the process.

Tight End: (Next Years Two Deep)

Michael Marr Kyle Brey

This year on the field:

The most welcome surprise this season is how well the Bulls used Jessie Rack. Throughout the season has was dominating as a pass catching tight end and served as a great second reed for Zach Maynard and used his hight at his sick vertical jump to pull in seven touch down passes en route to becoming first team ALL-MAC. The Bull are going to miss him as much as anyone next season.

This years recruiting needs:

Not only are we losing rack but our two deep next season will likely both be Seniors. UB has Jimmy Gordon and Aaron Connacher waiting in the wings but for an offense that clearly needed a pass catching tight end this season UB is looking pretty thin next year. There have been a total of eleven completions between Marr and Brey in three years and Connacher has not caught a pass since 2007.

Because we are losing out two deep net season, and because our tight end position is chalked full of unproven quantities UB needs to go after a TE this season. So far, per rivals and scout, UB has not extended an offer to any Tight Ends. This probably means one of two things, either Scout and Rivals is wrong (wouldn't that be a shocker) or Gill will convert an OL, or OL recruit to the position. Gill has an eye for spotting where a player would be most effective (Roosevelt, Scott, Starks, ...) so I would not be surprised if we end up with a Tight end that has not been anticipated on our roster.

Beyond Next Year:

If UB does not pull in a tight end with this class the school might really be hurting come 2011 at which point we will have a senior and a junior, neither of whom will have been a starter, as the only tight ends on our roster. Turner Gill will be forced to go out and find himself a quality tight end who may have to step it up without a red shirt year.

Offensive Line: (Next Years Likely Starters)

Jerrold Ostrowski

This year on the field:

This season the Offensive line, quietly, played amazingly though what seemed to be an interminable sequence of injuries. Aside from the half backs no position showed greater depth than the line. After a rough showing against Pitt and Temple the line was never again so bad that Zach Maynard made mistakes because of a lack of time in the pocket and UB running backs had a ton of space to work with. Losing Matt Bacoulis, Robert Colpoys and Andrew West is going to be difficult but because of all the injuries whoever ends up filling those roles will likely have seen some significant playing time in 2009.

This years recruiting needs:

Turner Gill is already off to a solid start here nailing down Jeff Veinotte and William Robinson but, as far as I can see, no more offers have been extended. I was really hoping for three, maybe four, big men to come in this season and maybe Gill has another offer out there that nobody knows about. I would say the bare minimum recruiting needs for the line have been met I just would like to see this unit keep their depth (losing 3 and gaining two does not help this).

Beyond Next Year:

Next year we lose Bittner and Jerrold while that may be difficult the rotation Gill has built up is impressive, UB is losing two to three starting offensive linemen a year which means that every season we start with tow to three experienced linemen to anchor that seasons front five. So long as he keeps getting his two to three quality recruits a season the position should hold up well.