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Buffalo Bulls Football: Three freshmen putting up numbers on a veteran squad

Freshmen James Patterson, Charlie Jones, and Kevin Marks are off to a hot start

Buffalo v Temple Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

UB Football is off to its best start since 1983 and when the return-to-FBS Era began almost two decades ago. Not only is their record unblemished at 2-0, they’re also one of two MAC teams that currently own a victory over an FBS opponent. This isn’t too surprising, however, since the Bulls are expected to have one of their best seasons yet. But, there is surprise in how Buffalo met those expectations, particularly through big contributions from some of the youngest Bulls on the roster.

Since this is a UB roster full of veterans leading the charge, it only makes sense to give some credit to the young guns that are holding their own:

James Patterson

The Bull Run staff was excited about the Patterson brothers committing to Buffalo and for good reason: Their high school tapes were phenomenal and they were coached up by UB Football alumnus Justin Winters, one of the best linebackers to suit up in the Blue and White. Our very own Dave Brand interviewed Winters about the pair of prospects and the former Bull only had good things to say:

“They make my job so much easier. They are coaches on the field and I know that they will give 150% every play. Those twins are very special. I’m getting emotional right now just thinking about them not being with me.

Despite all that excitement, we didn’t believe that James Patterson could be an impact freshman from the get-go, but he’s already racked up 8 tackles on the season, which is tied with NFL-hopeful Chuck Harris for third on the team. The true-freshman also forced a fumble against Delaware and is one of the Bulls’ starting linebackers. To say the least, he sure isn’t playing like a freshman right now (or hits like one).

Charlie Jones

This is might be the biggest shock of the year so far. Jones, a two-star prospect, came to UB after receiving offers from some MAC schools, Wyoming, and North Dakota State, among others. Once he arrived on campus, the coaching staff decided to redshirt him.

It’s hard to believe that a redshirt-freshman in such a loaded receiving corps is third in yardage (86) and has as many touchdowns as Anthony Johnson, K.J. Osborn, and George Rushing with two each. I don’t expect that pace to keep up, but it’s a fantastic start considering the names he’s in the conversation with.

Kevin Marks

Does UB pull out the win last week without Kevin Marks? Maybe, maybe not. Regardless, he put on a show and pretty much forced UB to go three-deep on the depth chart for this week against EMU.

Marks’ 138-yard, two-touchdown performance against Temple made him look like a veteran. He pulled in eight or more yards on six separate occasions, including the exciting 22-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Without those bursts of big yardage he provided, UB would’ve struggled finishing drives.