Overview Buffalo welcomes 16 new members under first year coach Turner Gill. The former Nebraska star got a late start in recruiting after being hired in mid-December but certainly signed a quality group of prospects from ten different states. The class consists of eleven freshman, one JUCO and two prep school players. Five players come from New York state, three from Pennsylvania, and one each from Indiana, New Jersey, Arizona, Massachusetts, Virginia, Connecticut, Illinois and Georgia. This class features six offensive linemen and three linebackers and no player listed as a specialist. Of note, Ike Nduka and Derek Newill were both Buffalo signees last February’s signing day and waited to enroll at UB this past January.
Buffalo (NY) St. Joe’s Collegiate
White Plains (NY)
Glendale (AZ) Ironwood
Mishawaka (IN) Penn
Williamsville (NY) North
Fairless Hills (PA) Pennsbury
Richmond (VA) Monacan
Queens (NY) Martin
Trenton (NJ) Central
Erie (PA) Cathedral Prep
New Berlin (NY) Milford Academy
Brooklyn (NY) St. Thomas More
Melrose Park (IL) Lutheran
Brunswick (GA) Coffeyville CC
Roosevelt, the consensus Western New York Player of the Year accounted for over 3,400 all purpose yards during his senior year with 35 TDs in just 10 games. Considered to be undersized QB at 6-foot 185-pounds, Roosevelt picked UB over several I-AA offers
Nduka, a 5-11, 215 pound running back is a ‘gray shirt’ from the 2005 class, was a third-team All-State selection in 2004 who gained 1,386 yards and scored 17 touchdowns as a senior. Nduka set school records for carries in a game (51) and for yards per carry (9.0) has excellent speed and strength for his position.
Hagg was hurt much of his senior season but was still rated a top-25 player in Arizona. Hagg accounted for nearly 1,400 yards and 15 TDs as a junior. Prior to his ACL injury during his senior year he had reported offers from Utah, New Mexico and Colorado State and ran a 4.4/40. Brey is a TE/H-back prospect who earned first team all state honors in Indiana. He is the son of Notre Dame Head Basketball coach Mike Brey.
The strength of this class lies within their offensive line prospects. Peter Bittner was the WNY Lineman of the Year while Brian Kelly, a highly-recruited player from Richmond, VA, is nephew of Jim Kelly, the former Buffalo Bill QB. Bittner also earned the Jim Burt Award, given to the WNY best defensive lineman. Kelly excelled at the Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia as was rated by one service as the #44 prep school prospect in the nation. Flanagan is an all-state performer that is rated by several services as a top-15 prospect throughout New England and picked UB over UConn. Richberg and Jerrold each earned all regional honors. Newill is a ‘gray shirt’ from the 2005 class who was a first-team All-Area selection playing on both offensive line and defensive lines.
Williams projects as a DE, earned all district and all regional honors after recording 18 tackles for loss and 8 QB sacks. Montanez projects as a DT and earned all-state honors in Connecticut and excels in wresting.
Drewes is the bell cow of this class and comes to UB from the Milford Academy in New York and led his team in both tackles and sacks this past season on a squad that turned out more than 15 Division I players. He was ranked the #41 prep school recruits by Rivals. An All-State selection at Dunmore HS near Scranton (PA), Drewes also led his high school team in tackles in 2004. Ferere is from Brooklyn (NY) and recorded 85 tackles seven QB sacks as a senior. Pinson earned all region honors and has been chosen to play in the Illinois State All-Star game.
Perry is a JUCO transfer from Coffeyville CC in Kansas but played his high school ball in Brunswick, Georgia. Perry earned honorable mention all-rational honors at Coffeyville and has reported 4.4/40 speed in his 5-9 170-pound frame. He projects as a CB.
No player marked as a specialist is listed within this class.
Considering the late start for the new coaching staff, UB signed a very impressive class that is rock solid with quality offensive line and LB prospects. However, for a program that has consistently struggled offensively, few offensive ‘play-makers’ were added to infuse some life into what has been a historically stagnant offense. The prep school players and JUCO prospect should contribute immediately as will WR Hagg if he is fully recovered from knee surgery. For a small class in terms of numbers, Coach Gill has improved the talent level and RB Ike Nduka may play this fall. UB added many quality players in this class and is certainly one of their better ones since joining the MAC and IA ranks in the late 1990s. Overall this class rates as VERY GOOD compared to the other conference schools.