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One thing that has impressed me about Lance Leipolds tenure thus far has been recruiting. Coming into Buffalo Leipold's only recruiting experience as a head coach was on the division III level. At that level you're basically spending a lot of the year waiting to see who get's scholarships to upper divisions and who does not.
At the D1 level recruiting is a year round job and coach Leipold first full year saw him pull in many "P5" level players. Some we lost and some we held. That's typical anywhere. If you check out twitter streams of any SBNation college site you'll see multiple "John Doe decommitted from our school, he has given a verbal commitment to $OtherSchool"
UB lost a few guys leading up NSD and rather than find players who had no other interest they were, at times, able to raid another school.
Take Matt Otwinowski, a linebacker from LePort Indiana.
After UB lost Tyreek Williams to Rutgers which is both a Big Ten school and near the kid's home town. It was a common late season gut punch which could have led to the Bulls going down their list until they found a guy who was ready to ink.
Instead they managed to snag Otwinowski who had given a verbal commitment to Kent State. This pick up did three things:
It filled the future depth chart hole left by Tyreek Williams' with a quality recruit who had another FBS offer and some interest from yet another team (Ball State).
It hurt the recruiting efforts of a team in our division. I'm not sure who Kent managed to fill their hole but it's not the player they wanted.
It shows that even with UB lacking a field house that Leipole and Rob Ianello, his recruiting coordinator, can compete with the rest of the conference for recruits.
So Otwinowski is not our highest profile recruit this season but he's no afterthought either. The 6-foot-3 220 pound middle linebacker is a nice addition to a UB unit which needs both stars and depth. We're looking forard to seeing this pick up pay off for both Matt and the Bulls.