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It's almost spring (football) time

UB players will get their first taste of what it’s like to play for Jeff Quinn this spring. It will be a critical time for the Bulls and their first-year coach as he implements his spread offense, appraises roles and instills a new way of thinking. Here are some things to watch during spring practice at UB which begins March 20 and ends with the Blue and White Game on April 24:

---The quarterback situation. Zach Maynard is off to Cal which opens up the most vital position in the spread offense. Sophomore Jerry Davis is expected to get first crack at the job largely because he’s the only quarterback with experience on the roster. Junior Cory Jorgensen and redshirt freshman Alex Dennison also return but things won’t start heating up until the summertime when true freshmen Alex Zordich and Rudy Johnson arrive on campus. Although UB hasn’t started a true freshman at quarterback since Drew Willy five years ago, Zordich is expected to challenge for immediate playing time.

---The wide receiver situation. To run the spread, you have to have plenty of help at wide receiver and while UB is fine in terms of numbers, the returning productivity is suspect. The leading returning receiver is junior Terrell Jackson with 25 receptions for 250 yards and after Jackson there’s Marcus Rivers (Lackawanna), who caught only five passes and fell out of favor with the previous staff late in the season because of dropped passes. Quinn signed five wide receivers and a tight end earlier this month and there’s opportunity for all of them to receive playing time. Some returning recievers like sophomores Saron Hood and Fred Lee and redshirt freshmen Alex Neutz (Grand Island) and Brandon Murie get to showcase their ability. But come summertime, this should be a very interesting competition.

---4-3 or 3-4? The team on One Bills Drive appears headed to a 3-4 but the Bulls are taking a wait and see approach. Defensive coordinator William Inge comes from Cincinnati, who ran a 3-4 but UB may not have the personnel to make the 3-4 its base defense. Although there’s ample depth at linebacker, the Bulls lack that huge nose tackle up front to make the defense effective and they signed only one defensive tackle in Maryvale’s Andre Davis. They could utilize some interesting schemes in the 3-4 like moving pass rushing defensive end Steve Means to outside linebacker but UB will more than likely see what’s on the field in the spring before making a decision on which scheme it will utilize.

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

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College football | Mid-American Conference | National | Recruiting | University at Buffalo
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About Campus Watch

Bob Dicesare

Bob DiCesare

Western New York native Bob DiCesare covers UB football, Big 4 basketball and writes an occasional column. He still holds a grudge against Chris Ford who, he's convinced, cost St. Bonaventure the 1970 NCAA basketball championship.

@TBNDicesare | bdicesare@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered colleges for The Buffalo News since 1999. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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