With the 2018 UB Bulls Football season right around the corner, the expectations are as high as they’ve ever been for the Bulls. Where just two seasons ago, football felt like a dark cloud in the athletics department, the program now seems poised for its best season ever. So what turned all of this around? For me, it starts with the quarterbacks, mainly Tyree Jackson.
While it would be nice to assume we will only have one quarterback play all season, last year taught us that it is crucial to have a good back up and third string. In this post, we will look at all the quarterbacks on the roster, and what their role may be in the upcoming season.
First let’s look at the starter for the 2018 season, Tyree Jackson. Jackson, the 6’7 r-junior play caller is a household name at this point. Jackson was named to the 2018 preseason Davey O’Brien Award watch list, and was ranked as a top 100 NFL prospect for the upcoming NFL draft. He is known for having a strong arm, as well as his mobility, which may now be limited after suffering a second knee injury during the 2017 season.
Despite that injury, Jackson still put up big numbers last season, with 2096 yards with 12 touchdowns to just 3 interceptions. The passer also completed 60% of his pass attempts. Jackson is aided by standout wide receiver Anthony Johnson, who is a big deep field threat. If Jackson can remain healthy this season, look for some big numbers and a lot of wins. He seems to have put on some muscle this off season with the new strength and conditioning coach too, which should leave fans excited.
Health is my only real concern for the quarterback, although I do worry about his focus. Jackson may potentially leave Buffalo after this season for the NFL, so he will need to stay focused on winning now in order to do so. I think Jackson can be a first round NFL talent if he plays up to his potential, and Bulls fans should be eager to watch him play.
Vantrease is another quarterback that Bulls fans should know by now, since he appeared in three games last season as back up Drew Anderson also got injured. Vantrease is a true sophomore coming in at 6’3. While not as mobile as Jackson, Vantrease showed moments last season inside the pocket. While he only completed 44% of his passes for 355 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, Vantrease did not play poorly.
Vantrease to me played like a true freshman who was not supposed to see the field and should have been learning. I think those three games will be big for his progression down the road, as he was able to get his feet wet in a season he really wasn’t supposed to play in. Vantrease is a solid back up option for the Bulls, who you may see starting down the line, especially if Jackson decides to bolt for the NFL after this season. I think you see Vantrease in at least the Delaware State game but maybe one or two more depending on how the season goes.
Here’s a fan favorite for UB fans. Dominic Johnson, the dual sport athlete came in to Buffalo fans hearts last year when he began playing for the Buffalo Bulls Men’s basketball team. Johnson is an all around athlete who was a red shirt freshman last season for the Bulls. Him and Vantrease will most likely be competing for the back up and starting job in the near future once Jackson leaves. Keep your eye out in the Delaware State game because if the Bulls are up big at the half, I’d also expect to see Johnson along with Vantrease.
Meyers is one of the new guys to the team, as he comes in as a true freshman. Last year in high school, he led his school to an undefeated record as well as the state championship. He is a local WNY product, and was also named the WNY player of the year last season. He has mobility as well as a strong arm, and I would not be surprised to see Meyers red shirt this year to try and preserve his eligibility in the post Jackson years.
The last quarterback for the Bulls this season is Kolston Brewster. Another freshman like Meyers, Brewster is a preferred walk on from Ohio. Brewster had a big year for his senior season leading his school to a 12-1 record that featured 3000+ yards and 37 touchdowns. The freshman will likely be near the bottom of the depth charts, but will help to compete in practice and learn from the other quarterbacks who have been around for a few years.
I think the Bulls have a very solid quarterback group this season, high lighted by Tyree Jackson. While losing breakout performer Drew Anderson is unfortunate, it had to be expected after the numbers he put up last season with no real means to a starting position. If Jackson can stay healthy, I expect very big things from him this season, including staying on the Davey O’Brian watch list for the entire season. Let us know what you think Jackson’s ceiling is, and what you expect out of the Buffalo quarterbacks for this upcoming season down below, and as always, go Bulls!