In a scheme that was built around an NFL-caliber pass-rusher with said pass-rusher, the UB defensive backfield looked good, however, once that pass-rusher moved on and the scheme wasn't adjusted to fit the personnel, the defensive backfield suffered greatly. There's plenty of talent on the roster, but scheme and coaching can easily outweigh talent when the scheme is leaving players hung out to dry.
So, for this coming season let's take a look at the backfield that new defensive coordinator Brian Borland will have to work with. It's a youthful group with a few returning veterans and there will be plenty of playing time up for grabs throughout the season.
CB - Boise Ross, Jr., 6-0, 172 - After being switched from wide receiver to defensive back only a couple of games into the season last year, Ross held his own as one of the starting cornerbacks, and was a bright spot on an otherwise underwhelming defense. In his first year on defensive duty, Ross tallied 26 tackles, a tackle for loss, and one of the Bulls' two interceptions on the season. He also recovered a forced fumble against Ohio and returned it 75 yards for a touchdown, showing off his speed. With a full offseason under his belt, and with the new scheme that Borland has installed, Ross looked particularly strong in the spring game. He played tight coverage and was always around where the ball was, showing off fluid hips and an excellent change-of-direction. Ross will be one of the Bulls' starting cornerbacks for the entire season and will look to be the cornerstone of a resurgent defensive backfield.
S - Ryan Williamson, So., 6-0, 182 - Appearing in 11 games as a true freshman last season, Williamson looks to take over one of the two starting safety spots that are up for grabs. In his first season, Williamson pitched in 10 tackles, and one pass breakup coming off the bench. Stepping into a starting role this offseason, Williamson has showed off playmaking ability so far with a diving interception of Tony Daniel in the spring game, and a vicious hitting ability, punishing receivers over the middle and backs in the run game. Williamson looks to take a big step forward this season as he has wrangled the starting job in the spring practices and is still with the starting unit during training camp.
S - Andrews Dadeboe, R-So., 6-1, 205 - Like Williamson, Dadeboe was pressed into service last season, appearing in all 11 contests and starting 3 of them. Dadeboe racked up 13 tackles and 4 pass breakups on the season as a redshirt-freshman. Dadeboe has been running with the first team throughout the spring and he will be the likely starter at one of the safety spots. He's displayed a unique field vision that will be an asset this coming season.
CB - Marqus Baker, Sr., 5-10, 183 - Baker looked to make a big impact last season coming off of impressive sophomore and freshman campaigns, but he was ultimately sidelined for a majority of the season due to an illness, leaving a big gap in the defensive backfield. In his career, Baker has appeared in 29 games, making him the most experienced among the defensive backs, he also has 39 career tackles, 10 career pass breakups and 1 career interception. Baker has come back to full health this spring and has looked like his old self. Baker's presence will do wonders for the secondary, and he will look to return to form this coming season and hopefully make the cornerback spot a position of strength for the Bulls.
Houston Glass, Jr., 6-0, 197 - Glass has spent the better part of his time in Amherst as a core member of the Bulls' special teams unit on the kickoff and punt return coverage teams. After appearing in 21 games the last two seasons mainly on special teams, Glass will look to contribute on defense more often this coming season. He will bring a hard-hitting mentality that coaches love an in in-the-box safety on running downs.
Terrance Wilson, R-Fr., 5-9, 181 - After redshirting during his first season in Buffalo, Wilson will look to make an impact on defense. Wilson has the pedigree to make a sizable impact, with his twin brother currently playing for Missouri, and while in high school he won back-to-back Georgia 3A State Championships. Look for Wilson to be on the field during nickel and dime situations as a slot cornerback.
Brandon Williams. R-Fr., 5-10, 166 - Another redshirt freshman that will look to make an impact off of the bench on the defensive side of the ball, Williams brings with him legitimate track speed that will help him keep up with just about any receiver that the Bulls will go up against this season.
Jordan Collier, R-Fr., 5-11, 209 - One of the two UAB transfers to join the UB program this coming season, Collier is a big-time, hard hitting safety that will look to challenge for significant playing time this season. In the spring game he showed off just how hard he can hit, and I'm sure the coaches will find ways for him to punish opposing offenses.
Will Rembert, Jr., 6-0, 198 - After contributing on the scout team and seeing limited game action in his first few years on campus, Rembert will look to break out on the defensive side of the ball. He is an athletic safety that can play in coverage and has a nose for the ball.
Justin Hardy, R-Fr., 5-10, 174 - A former walk-on wide receiver who will be making the move to corner, Hardy may see the field sparingly this season as he transitions from one position to another.
Zach Nicholas, So., 6-0, 194 - Nicholas will be making the transition from running back to safety where he will provide much needed depth. He may take a redshirt this season to help with the transition to the secondary.
Diamond Williams, So., 5-11, 204 - Another running back making the transition to safety, Williams played mainly on special teams last season and will likely do so again.
Dev Lamour, Fr., 6-1, 185 - Lamour comes to UB from Vanier College in Montreal, Canada, and actually has a previous relationship with current Bull Chris Merchant. Lamour can also play on both sides of the ball as he has seen time at wide receiver as well. With the lack of depth at the safety position I would expect Lamour to stay in the secondary and he, much like many of the other recruits in the secondary, may even see the field this year.
Jeremiah Dadeboe, Fr., 5-11, 186 - The younger brother of starting safety Andrews Dadeboe, Jeremiah is no slouch himself, he was a 3-star recruit coming out of Central York. Dadeboe contributed all over the defense in high school, contributing sacks, interceptions, and a good number of tackles as well, and will be a versatile piece that can be used in many different situations on defense. He may challenge for playing time early, given the overall lack of depth in the secondary and his versatile skill-set.
Cameron Lewis, Fr., 5-9, 172 - One of the most electric recruits of this year's class, Lewis brings legitimate track speed to the secondary, and a home-run hitting ability on any given play. Lewis may be his most dangerous on special teams because in high school, Lewis returned 4 kickoffs and 1 punt for a touchdown. Lewis may see time in the secondary this season, but he will likely see time on special teams depending on the availability of primary kick returner Devin Campbell, and he may also lock up the job as UB's primary punt returner.
Cameron Skipworth, Fr., 5-9, 165 - Skipworth comes to UB from the Syracuse area where he was a two-time first-team All-CNY selection. Skipworth will likely be redshirted this year to allow him to bulk up and acclimate to the college game.
Brandon Stanback, Fr., 5-11, 185 - Rounding out the incoming freshmen is Stanback, a former first team All-State DB in Pennsylvania. Stanback brings good speed from his track background, and is a hard hitting safety. Stanback may see the field this season depending on depth issues, but he could be redshirted and compete for time next season.
Be sure to stay tuned to Bull Run for more positional previews and Matt and I's Olympic Team Previews.
Football Positional Previews:
Olympic Team Previews:
Cross Country - Team Preview