Alex Dennison is the most familiar name to UB Fans. Dennison spent 2010 locked in a quarterback battle with Jerry Davis in an offense which was one of the more ineffective quads in all of college football. Half way through the season Alex Zordich entered the fray and Dennison was moved to tight end and special teams, and a star was born.
Dennison, before he had time to bulk up and take on the tight end role, wanted to make a difference on the field, and he did.
While the team tried to find a position for this remarkable young man, they did find a niche for him. With the Special Teams on Kick and Punt coverage. During a time, and one could say still is, that UB Special Teams are indeed "special"(not in a good way) and the mantra for every UB fan became "COVER A DAMN KICK", Alex took to his new role pitching in three tackles. Three tackles doesn't sound like much, I admit, but his benefit was more than that. When coverage teams couldn't cover a dead turtle, Alex was most often the first player down the field and disrupting the returns of the opponent while he was in there. He made Special Teams, not so "special" -- UB Super fan Brian Cramer
Once 2010 was over Dennison got his body ready for the tight end position and quickly showed what a heady athletic ex quarterback could do at the end. Dennison took his first catch of the 2011 season 57 yards for a touchdown.
Then last season UB coach Quinn found another way to get Dennison into the game, the "Alley Cat". Dennison, lined up as the Quarterback, provided a very powerful running threat in short yardage situations, especially near the goal line.
Side note - Not only was the "Alley Cat" a better named schemed than the short lived "Wild Bull" but it also worked a lot better!
He ran the ball seven times for 18 yards and two touchdowns. He was also 3 for 3 passing on the year throwing for 82 yards and a touchdown and a conversion. As a receiver Dennison caught six passes for 64 yards.
No matter where Dennison lands on the depth chart he will be a huge part of this offense as the "Alley Cat" was an enormously successful tool last seasons.
Dennison's main competition at Tight End is going to be Jimmy Gordon. Gordon usually topped the depth chart last season as the more pure receiving tight end. But often times both Dennison were in the game because either is a receiving threat.
Gordon saw action playing in all 12 games while making 10 starts. He caught 17 passes for 262 yards, the fourth most on the team, and a pulled in a pair of touchdowns. Gordon was also a key part of UB's special teams.
Both Gordon and Dennison are seniors and while they will likely spit the season between them there is room for future development with Matt Weiser. As a sophomore last season Weiser saw action, usually on special teams, in all 12 games. He did get a few chances on the offense and managed a nice 15 yard catch in the seasons last game at Bowling Green.
The underclassmen this year are To round out the group, Mason Schrek, and Ed Harof redshirted in 2012.
Schreck was a big athletic high school quarterback. Schreck was not a superb passer but showed some ability running the Ball. He's a smart kid with the tools to make tight end work and as a redshirt freshman in a position currently dominated by upper classmen he has the time to really establish himself at the spot if not this season, then next.
Harof is a walk on and 2011 UB Fotball manager of the year. Like Schrek the best way he can get on the field this season is by developing into a solid special teams contributor.