By Rodney McKissic
With so many returning starters, there are only a few spots available where true freshmen can potentially make an impact, but three days into UB's training camp a few could find their way onto the depth chart.
On defense, defensive back Houston Glass from Kentwood, Mich., and linebackers Solomon Jackson from Stone Mountain, Ga., and Brandon Crawford from Madison, Fla., have looked strong.
"Those guys have really stepped up," UB coach Jeff Quinn said. "They've been here this summer and I think they have a chance to go out there and prove what they know and what they can do to help this defense."
Offensively three wideouts - Boise Ross from Bethlehem, Pa., Jamarl Eiland from Canton, Mich., and Jacob Martinez from South Port, Fla., are pushing for immediate playing time as is long snapper Corbin Grassman, the cousin of punter Tyler Grassman, from Alexander, Ohio.
"Those guys kind of jump out right now," Quinn said. "I think they've all done a nice job. They've been very attentive and they understand they're opportunities are going to be presented by the way they come out prepared and the way they perform."
Joe Licata will be the first to admit he isn't the most swift afoot, but the sophomore quarterback is making plays and showing mobility in the pocket.
"That's been a little something we've talked to him about," Quinn said. "Just being more present in the pocket, making plays back there, staying alive. The kids are doing a great job up front, the big fellas. ... That's giving Joe some time to get his eyes down field and find some open receivers."
While Quinn likes his freshmen wide receivers, redshirt freshman Malcolm Robinson was mentioned a possible No. 2 threat at receiver to complement senior Alex Neutz. Robinson attended Canton (Ohio) McKinley High School, one of the largest and oldest schools in the talent-rich state.
Quinn also mentioned junior wideouts Cordero Dixon and Devon Hughes and tight ends Jimmy Gordon and Alex Dennison, a pair of seniors, sophomore Matt Wesier and redshirt freshman Mason Schreck as target who have showed promise in the early days of camp.
"Those guys all give another added feature that we need in order for us to continue moving the chains and putting ourselves in scoring position and capitalize on that," Quinn said. "All those guys are going to be factors."
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