If we can all agree on one thing about Jeff Quinn it's that the man knew how to build an offensive line. He came to UB and took over a unit with little depth and in a short time turned it into one of the conference's best units.
After four years a big strong o-line has become a part of UB's DNA. We've seen scheme changes on defense, we've seen a dual threat / pocket passer debate, and we have seen the school drop then re-add full backs.
Through it all, save a blip in 20XX, the only constant has been a big strong line intent on wearing down the other guys. Now three of the players who came on during Quinn's early days are set to graduate.
Those three young men have been starters with Buffalo for 2, 3, and 4 years. Each of them had a hand in Branden Oliver shattering records and Anthone Taylor making the most of his shot. They all stood in front of Joe Licata as he broke Drew Willy's passing touchdown mark in less than three seasons.
During his Senior Season at Maryvale High School High School, Davis suffered a knee injury and only appeared in four games. Still the lineman racked up 36 tackles, 6 sacks, a blocked field goal, and a defensive touchdown. That knee injury kept Davis off the field during his first season at UB but since then Andre has been the picture of health.
The two time all-conference player in Western New York was offered a spot at UB by Coach Quinn. Davis was part of Quinn's first UB class and quickly moved to the offensive line.
After using a redshirt in 2010 Davis came on strong in 2011. He has started every game for Buffalo since his redshirt year. During that span UB has run for an average of 164 yards a game. Branden Oliver smashed UB's all time rushing record, and now Anthone Taylor has come out nowhere to threaten some single season UB records.
Coming into the season Hustle Belt named Davis #37 among the MAC's top 50 players.
Top MAC Football Players Of 2014: No. 37 Andre Davis, Buffalo OL - Bull Run
In the 2012 season Andre was asked to move again, shifting from right tackle to the Blindside™, left tackle. Again, Davis starts every game and is given the Work Horse Award for the player with the most snaps for the season.
Bull Run's own John McWhinnie sees draft potential in Davis.
Next Bulls In the NFL - Bull Run
Davis compares very favorably to former Kent State guard Brian Winters, in both size and ability, who was taken in the 3rd round by the New York Jets in the 2013 draft and started 12 games for the Jets. Davis will have every opportunity to shine this year, and a strong senior season my mean him getting his name called next spring.
Sales was an All-Indiana First Team and was an all-conference selection and found himself at Delaware State, recruited by the then Adam Shorter, then a coach for the Hornets. In 2010 Shorter advised his new boss, Jeff Quinn, to bring Sales to Buffalo.
He became the starting center in 2012 and has held the job since. Like Davis he is a key figure in UB's power running game.
Once again our Bull Run NFL draft enthusiast, John McWhinnie, sees in Sales a potential NFL draft pick.
Sales has the size (6-2, 327) to be an NFL offensive lineman, he also has the technically sound ability to be a line general at the next level. What Sales needs to improve on are his quickness and his strength at the point of attack. When Sales is able to get the first step on defensive tackles and get his hands in position, he can be an immovable object in the middle of the offensive line.
Sales' other big passions, outside of smacking around defensive linemen, is music: he's released tracks under the name Big T along with his band, "The Lab Rats"
Silas arrived on campus at 265 pounds but his six-foot-seven frame distributed the weight in such as way as to make him look almost svelte compared to the other linemen at Buffalo. Three years and 50 pounds later the Portland, Michigan Product is a big part of UB's recent successes.
Playing left tackle this season Silas and the line proved that behind the right line even a first year starter can throw up back to back 200 yard games.
After spending two yeas as a depth player and scout team member Silas broke out in 2013, starting all 13 games. He and the other fellows on the offensive line paved the way for the fifth ranked rush offense and fourth ranked pass offense in the MAC. A line that helped Oliver break UB's single season rushing record.
Rebuilding this unit should be the first task undertaken by UB's new coaching staff this off season. Between these three seniors the Bulls will be losing more than 100 starts. That's a huge chuck of experience and it presided not only the best UB running back of the modern era but also one of the best running back transitions (Oliver to Taylor) that UB has seen in more than 100 years of football.