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Recruiting Wrap Up 2010 (Defense)

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This is probably the last Turner Gill Photoshop
Unless we play KU

Last month I went over, what I think, are the likely offensive and defensive two deeps for next season, between the posts UB lost Turner Gill to Kansas and Picked up Jeff Quinn from Cincinnati. Since then there has been a ton of drama. That drama, and the change in offensive scheme, has somewhat shifted UB's recruiting needs.

First and foremost was the departure of Zach Maynard, not the right Quarterback for the incoming offense, or the incoming staff he spent January trying to ride his brothers coat tails to a big name school. Well CAL has their new star defensive back/receiver and his towel boy it will be interesting to see how well Maynard handles the academics at CAL.

Then there was the expected hesitation on the part of players who committed to Turner Gill's UB Bulls deciding if they wanted to play for Jeff Quinn's Bulls.
  • James Potts Visited Vanderbilt and Cincinnati
  • James Gaines decommitted from Buffalo and went to Miami (FL)
  • William Robinson Started to revisit schools
  • Okoye Houston also started to revisit universities he had passed by
On the whole I don't think that Quinn can be faulted for vast majority of the carnage that happened this past month, every coaching change brings with it changes and given how much a recruiting force Turner Gill was seen as being the fact the class held up so well under Quinn speaks volume for what this staff may be able to do with a full year to scout and their own agenda.

So, Who are this years new UB Bulls?

Linebackers:

UB is losing four linebackers after the 2010 season, this makes 2010 the perfect season to red shirt the guys who will may anchor the unit in 2011 and beyond. From the sounds of everything coming out of UB this team is going to stay a 4-3 defense for the foreseeable future, right now the minimum needs are two linebackers who will grow, three would be ideal.

Kendall Roberson:
Rivals: 2 Stars
ESPN: 40

This was a late find who is either under the radar or just picked up because Quinn was desperate to fill a roster slot. I am unable to find any scouting reports or media mentions about him.



Colby Way:
Rivals: 2 Stars
ESPN: 40

A completely off the radar find, very late in the season, by coach Quinn's staff the 6-3, 235 pound Tight end out of State College was described by local media as:

"A stout defender who has grown into a reliable receiver on the Little Lions’ offense, is waiting for more college offers before making his decision ... Colby Way is a well-built, hassle-free, tenacious, game-altering player from a respected high school program." -- Central Daily

During the signing day event Coach Quinn mentioned that PSU was showing some last minute interest, my guess would be a preferred walk on, but that Way decided to stay with UB. Way was listed by most services as a Tight End, so I am having any trouble finding information about what kind of a Linebacker he is.

Position Grade (C+):

Way is a fine addition, and he almost brought the unit grade up to a B- on his own merits but UB needed two solid linebackers with this class. As to Roberson? Well he might be the next great thing but right now he is an unknown. His film looks solid but he was not all state, nor even scouted by someone else. I think Roberson might be the first real test of Quinn's ability to find, measure, and bring in sleepers.

Defensive Back's

This is the only area of the defense with significant losses this year, and there will be more losses next season. With only six underclassmen possessing significant player experience in the defensive backfield. Whatever recruits come in this season will all have a real shot at playing their way on the field if not in 2010 for sure in 2011.

Okoye Houston:
Rivals: 3 Stars
Scout: 2 Stars
ESPN: 2 Stars

Houston was another early Gill Commit who reopened his options after the coaching change. He had passed over offers from Marshall, ECU, WKU, and Vanderbilt.

Great speed for a DB (4.5), and very nice height six foot even.



Dwellie Striggles
Rivals: 2 Stars
Scout: 2 Stars
ESPN: 40

One of Gills early pickups in Florida he stuck through the coaching change. Light scouted by the major services he is quietly one of the better recruits in this class. The guy loves to hit, and he does well at it. He defiantly fits in well with the get there angry mentality that coach Quinn said will typify the defense.



Witney Sherry
Rivals: 2 Stars
ESPN: 40

This is another off the radar find by Quinn, Sherry was not reviewed by any of the major outlets (Rivals, Scout, ESPN) but his film looks great. He has impressive closing speed on the ball, and good field awareness.





Delano Fabor
Rivals: 2 Star
ESPN: 40

One of four players from Saint Francis who signed LOI's yesterday Fabor is already enrolled at the university and is among those working with the Strength Coach Duval.

He comes to UB from one of the more productive programs in Western New York and as a two-time All-Western New York first teamer.

Position Grade (B)

I really like Striggles and Houston, solid job by Quinn's staff to hold these commits in place. Those two, plus Fabor and Sherry. Some of these guys, like many in the class, are completely off the radar but as Mike Breese at Red and Black Attack put it so
eloquently
You also have your late bloomers and those kids that simply don't too much marketing of themselves. They just go on the field and play football. This is where mid-major schools salivate and where diamonds in the rough are found. Rivals doesn't even have these guys in their database and come signing day, they just slap 2-stars on them and call it a day. -- Red&BlackAttack
Defensive Line

The only knock, on Coach Oliver at ND was that he did not do a great job selling ND to blue chippers. You could not fault, or credit, him with this years line. As coach Quinn said, the recruiting process is a twelve month process. This time next your we will see if the Irish Fans criticism of Oliver was warranted.

The Bulls have Two Starters leaving the program after next season, so pulling in at least two is huge but given the youth on the line as a whole, especially means, UB may not have been in need of marquee players with this class, yet they did very well in getting solid talent.

Andre Davis
Rivals: Two Star
ESPN: 40

Of Davis the Buffalo news has said

"A dominating DE/TE, Andre Davis can squat 490 pounds, dead lift 560 and bench 315. He averaged 8.7 tackles per game last year, along with six sacks and nine hurries"

Davis fits into the large pool of Western New York Talent that hardly gets a second look from the major scouting outlets but like Steven Means (Buffalo) I think Davis will turn into one of the anchors on UB's defensive line either in 2010 or 2011.

Kristjan Sokoli
Rivals: 2 Stars
Scout: 2 Stars

Sokoli feels a lot like Kendell Roberson, very late pickup who did not seem to be scouted by any of the major services. He will either be a huge diamond in the ruff or he will be on special teams for four years. Not that we can't use more of "the Right Kind of Bull" on special teams but I hope he can bulk up a bit (6-5, 230 seems kind of "slim" for an end) without losing his 4.7 speed.

Between Quinn's focus on a players attitude and Mike Kinny's thoughts on Sokoli:
"A strong, sturdy, deeply committed athlete who takes his off-season work as seriously as his assignments on game day. He has developed solid footwork by playing basketball."
I think we definitely have someone who will contribute..

Position Grade: (B)

UB got the numbers they needed, got local talent, and got someone who I think may have a huge upside if his weight training goes well in Sokoli. Even if the weakness in recruiting is true, which I am not sold on, Coach Oliver is a proven developer of talent and these two will do just fine under him.