It seems most readers believe that Jerry Davis will emerge as UB's starting quarterback this spring. For the Bull the guys lining up at receiver are an even bigger question than who ends up throwing them the ball. Perhaps it was the Ohio game that both gave fans assurance in Davis and dread about the receivers coming up after Roosevelt an Hamlin.
Against the Bobcats Davis 'got his 15 minutes' when off the field issues forced turner Gill to suspend Zach Maynard. All he did was go 3/5 for 86 yards and a touchdown, including a great deep touch pass to Roosevelt. UB would go on to lose the game due to a combination of inconsistent play from Maynard and consistently bad play from ever UB receiver outside of Roosevelt. The fourth quarter was a symphony of bad drops, two on the last drive (before a Maynard pass wend right off the hands of Rivers and into the arms of Shannon Ballard).
UB returning receivers are:
Marcus Rivers: The local prospect out of Lackawanna struggled to work his way up on a very talented receiving corps. He is big, has great speed, and is one of the more athletic players UB has at the position but his hands have been questionable, aside from the miss step against Ohio Rivers had quite a few dropped passes throughout the year.
There is a ton of upside if he can start to catch the ball, and he may never have a better opportunity to break into the starting lineup then on a spread offense who is already thin at receiver.
Terrell Jackson: Jackson has to be the odds on favorite to lead the receiving corps. Jackson used his red shirt in 2008 and spent 2009 as a somewhat reliable third receiver behind Roosevelt and Hamlin. This was one of Gills recruits during his first year (out of Temple Texas) who came to Buffalo to play with the then new Buffalo staff.
Jackson only has average speed for a receiver but possess exceptional quickness off the line. in a four receiver set he may be the most difficult match-up for an opposing defense.
Last season young saw a little action, but like Rivers he failed to make a good impression on fans. he is yet another receiver who seems to have the speed, and the intelligence to play the position but he suffered from a number of dropped passes.
On top of these, the three most experienced UB receivers, there are a hand full of guys who have either red shirted or have only seen spot action on special teams who may be in the mix. Two of these Bulls stand out as the most likely to challenge for time on the field.
Alex Neutz: A nice find in upstate New York, Neutz was a three year letter winner, and James Lofton Award winner, at Grand Island. He has a quick burst and, while at Grand Island, showed phenomenal hands. He holds the Western New York record for receiving yards in a season (1,182).
He may have the best hands of available UB receivers but outside of practices he has not been tested at the collegiate level. Neutz has been mentioned by Graham Watson and others at ESPN as being one of the guys in the mix to replace Roosevelt or Hamlin.
Fred Lee: Another member of the class of 2009 Lee was recruited from a very strong Chester High Football program in south Carolina. Lee was recruited because of his hands, and athleticism. But he does possess respectable speed (although most would not consider him a burner).
During his senior year his hands led him to more than a thousand yards receiving and all section honors. His athleticism helped him not only on the football field but also on Chester High's track, basketball, and baseball teams.
With the new spread offensive philosophy that Coach Quinn and Forrest will be implementing there are three possible receiver positions in most formations:
Z Receiver - The Z receiver lines up behind the line of scrimmage and is usually the team's featured receiver. A good Z receiver will use initial buffer he gains by being behind the line to avoid jamming at the line of scrimmage. The Z Receiver is usually lines up on the same side of the formation as a tight end.
Who will be the "Z" receiver?
Y Receiver (Slot) - The Y receiver is a receiver who lines up between the split end/flanker and the linemen. If aligned with a flanker, the slot receiver is usually on the line of scrimmage, and if with a split end, off the line of scrimmage. As with the Z receiver, a featured receiver often takes a slot position with a split end to avoid jamming.
Who will be the "Y" Receiver
X Receiver (Split End) - The X receiver is a receiver who lines up on the line of scrimmage, necessary to meet the rule requiring seven such players at snap. This receiver is lines up on the side of the field opposite the tight end. The split end is farthest from center on his side of the field. Because this receiver has to be on the line of scrimmage the position is best fit by someone strong enough to fight off a defensive backs attempt to jam them at the outset of the play.
Who will be the "X" receiver