We're just over a week away from the start of the 2014 UB football and the Bulls had seven players graduate last year who ended up in NFL camps. UB is going to have to fill in gaps left by Khalil Mack, Branden Oliver, Alex Neutz, Derek Brim, Najja Johnson, Colby Way, and Jasen Carlson.
The Biggest name on that list is Khalil Mack, the all-time NCAA record holder for forced fumbles and tackles for loss.
Mack was the anchor of UB's defense. The focus paid to the Fort Pierce, FL native by offensive coordinators made everyone around Mack better. This year someone else will have to provide that pass rush and it looks like that may fall on UB Sophomore Jarrett Franklin.
Two years ago Franklin was one of the Missouri's top defensive high school players during. A landslide of impressive senior stats helped the Saint Charles native find a spot on Rivals first team for the state.
In 2012 he put up 85 tackles, 21 sacks, and two fumble recoveries. That helped take the Vikings to a 12-2 record and a second place finish in Missouri Class 6. He was part of a Howell defense that allowed just 10.3 points per game and recorded three shutouts.
Last year, as a true freshman Jarrett was Khalil Mack's backup.
When the season was over he appeared in 10 games. On the season Franklin recorded 21 tackles (13 solo), three tackles for a loss and one and a half sacks.
His big game last year came in the Bulls November win against the Ohio Bobcats. He recorded eight tackles (five solo) and 1.5 sacks.
Franklin worked hard during the off season, packing on almost 20 pounds but at six feet even he is still on the small side for an FBS linebacker. Can this young man fill these shoes?