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Aquinas forward commits to Canisius

---Phil Valenti, a 6-7 senior forward from Aquinas High School in Rochester, has given a verbal commitment to attend Canisius College, according to a source.

Valenti averaged 17 points, 11 rebounds and four assists while helping Aquinas (23-2) reach the Class A state semifinals last season. Valenti was also offered scholarships to Boston University, Hofstra and Central Connecticut State.

Canisius had a scholarship available when incoming freshman Jose Agosto didn’t qualify academically. The 6-5, 215-pound Agosto signed with Canisius last spring.

---Rodney McKissic


UB and the Conference Shifts

 Don't look for the University at Buffalo to become part of the frenetic conference shifts that recently saw Syracuse and Pitt gain acceptance to the ACC. The expenses of operating at a higher conference level, such as the Big East, would double or triple the university's athletic budget, AD Warde Manuel told me today. Plus there's the issue of how long it would take UB to be competitive in those conferences, especially given the long journey to competitiveness the school has endured in the Mid-American Conference.

 On the surface a shift to a conference like the Big East seems ultra-attractive, especially if there's a football merger between the Big East and the remainder of the Big 12. And Manuel said the Bulls would listen if approached. But there's much to consider and what seems logical could in fact send the athletic program backwards. It's one thing to be in the Big East, another to be a perpetual Big East doormat. I like the slow, measured approach Manuel's taking here. He's a Michigan guy. No doubt that all things being equal he'd push UB to a higher level. But it's his job to do what's best for the university and chasing status at a prohibitive price and perhaps at the expense of competitiveness doesn't seem to make great sense.

Football is the fuel behind all these moves and one really has to wonder if games against the likes of Kansas, Iowa State, Louisville and Cincinnati would be any more attractive to Buffalo's college football fans than games against Kent State, Temple and the like. Ditto basketball. Yes, St. John's, G'town, Louisville have their appeal -- but at $40 a ticket. College sports have been a hard sell in Buffalo since the end of the Murphy-Lanier era 40 years ago.

-- Bob DiCesare


Bulls add Ohio quarterback

---UB enjoyed a nice recruiting haul last weekend and added some more talent on Tuesday with the verbal commitment of Ohio quarterback Mason Schreck, a source told The News.

The 6-foot-5, 200-pound Schreck drew interest from Wisconsin, Kansas, Northwestern, North Carolina State, South Florida, Michigan State, Bowling Green and Akron.

---Rodney McKissic


Bulls add another Georgia prospect

---Fresh off the news that quarterback Chazz Anderson is transferring to UB, the Bulls added another late recruit in Georgia cornerback Matthew Quick, The Buffalo News has learned.

Quick is a product of Westlake High School which lists Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton and Adam “Pacman” Jones as graduates. Quick, who also excels in track and field, was originally slated to join Georgia as a preferred walk on but Bulls’ recruiting coordinator Ernest Jones began recruiting him heavily in June.

Quick signed scholarship papers with UB on Saturday and will open with the Bulls when training camp begins Aug. 8.

“During the last week of school, Coach Jones came down to my school and said he wanted to offer me,’’ Quick said. “Coach [Jeff] Quinn gave him the ok and they flew me up here [on Friday] and showed me around. It was great. They care more about the person you’ll become after you graduate and not just the person you are on the field.’’

UB is creating a nice pipeline into the talent-rich state of Georgia. Peach State natives on the Bulls' current roster include sophomore Najja Johnson (Atlanta), redshirt freshmen Cordero Dixon (Suwanee), Devon Hughes (Tyrone) and Kendall Roberson (Decatur) and true freshman Tony Daniel (Hiram). The Bulls also have a verbal from linebacker Adrian Lindsey (Douglasville), who was a teammate of Daniel's at South Paulding High.

The Bulls play at Georgia in 2012.

---Rodney McKissic


Sweet Home's Johnson headed to UB


---UB received its second verbal commitment in as many days, landing Sweet Home quarterback Jordan Johnson.

Johnson, who attended the second session of the Bulls Jr./Sr. Camp at UB Stadium on Sunday informed the staff of his intentions Monday afternoon.

“I felt like they gave me the best opportunity to play Division I football,’’ Johnson told the News. “”It’s close to home and my family can watch me play football and show what I can do on the field. The have a good academic program and academics come first.’’

Johnson, who plans to major in broadcasting or sports management, received interest from Syracuse University, Connecticut and Boston College among others. UB considers Johnson an athlete, much like Niagara Falls quarterback Dale Stewart who is a true freshman for the Bulls.

“It’s really not determined which position I will play,’’ Johnson said. “We’ll know by the team next season starts.’’

One of the more exciting players in Western New York, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Johnson passed for 1,042 yards, rushed for 1,182 yards and 25 TDs as a junior.

Johnson’s commitment comes on the heels of the Bulls landing linebacker Adrian Lindsey from South Paulding High School in Douglasville, Ga., who verballed to UB on Sunday. Coach Jeff Quinn, recruiting coordinator Ernest Jones and the rest of the staff is once again striking early on the recruiting trail. Johnson is the fourth prospect to commit to UB joining Lindsey, Depew offensive tackle Jaden Cotton and Canisius guard Corey Madlock.

The Bulls also had four commitments this time last year including Williamsville South quarterback Joe Licata.

---Rodney McKissic


Georgia LB commits to Bulls


---UB received its third commitment from the Class of 2012 in linebacker Adrian Lindsey from South Paulding High School in Douglasville, Ga., according to a source. Lindsey was a teammate of Bulls true freshman quarterback Tony Daniel.

Lindsey joins Depew offensive tackle Jaden Cotton and Canisius guard Corey Madlock who have committed to the Bulls. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Lindsey, who also plays tight end, participated in a camp the Bulls held Sunday at UB Stadium and committed shortly thereafter.

---Rodney McKissic


McCrea cut from U.S. U-19 squad

---UB sophomore forward Javon McCrea was released from the USA Basketball Under 19 World Championship Team today.

McCrea had made the original cut from 21 players to 13 players and coach Paul Hewitt indicated McCrea was the last player cut from the team.

“The selection was harder than I expected," Hewitt said. “The young man we decided not to keep, Javon McCrea, it was really just a numbers situation, he played more than well enough to make the team. We just didn’t feel comfortable going over there without three point guards.”

Said UB coach Reggie Witherspoon: “This experience will benefit Javon in three ways; exposure, competition and instruction. When you add up these three things, it will result in great experience moving forward.”

---Rodney McKissic


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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 |

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 |