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National Signing Day Recaps: Buffalo Bulls

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It’s time to start our National Signing Day Recap series with Lance Leipold’s squad.

Buffalo v Miami Ohio Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bulls didn’t have that many spots to fill this recruiting season but the put together a good class with 13 commits, three three-stars, and came in 136th place in the country per 247Sports. Now is time to go through player-by-player to get acquainted with the new players at Buffalo as we go from the lowest-rated classes in the MAC to the best in our daily series.

QB Matt Myers - Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School, Buffalo, New York (6’3.5”, 209 lbs., two-star)

A local kid from Buffalo, Myers is the sixth QB on the roster so it’s safe to assume that he’s going to be redshirted in 2018. He definitely has some potential as he passed for 2,397 yards, 24 touchdowns and two interceptions in addition to 1,037 rushing yards and 22 scores on the ground in his senior season. These gaudy numbers carried his team to a Class A state championship last season and he was the MVP in the state championship game. As you can see in his Hudl film, he has a powerful arm, is very accurate, and is a pretty good athlete with the football. Myers could be a nightmare in the MAC East down the road if he can read college defenses and is decisive with the football.

RB Dylan McDuffie - Sweet Home Senior High School, Buffalo, New York (6’, 205 lbs., three-star)

Another athlete from the Upstate New York area, McDuffie might have to wait his turn for the Bulls with five other RBs on the roster. He was All-State a season ago and held 13 Division I offers before committing to Buffalo. He has the speed, patience, elusiveness, and hands to be a dangerous weapon at the next level, as you can find out in his Hudl film. He’ll need a year or two in the strength program before he can be a really effective inside runner in college.

WR Lemaro Smith Jr.- Cleveland Heights High School, Cleveland, Ohio (6’3”, 205 lbs., two-star)

Smith will likely be another redshirt for UB as 11 WRs return from last season’s team. As you can see for yourself in his Hudl tape, he’s a raw athlete, but you can’t coach the size or athleticism that he has. He’ll need to be more physical with DBs and learn different route adjustments in order to succeed at Buffalo.

TE Mike Novitsky - Victor Senior High School, Victor, New York (6’5”, 245 lbs., two-star)

The first of two tight ends in this class, Novitsky may have trouble seeing the field early on with six other tight ends on the team. Judging from his Hudl film, a move to tackle may be in the cards for him due to his frame and strength. Regardless of whether he changes positions or not, he needs to improve his foot speed and quickness.

TE/ILB Cole Burniston - Canisius High School, Buffalo, New York (6’3”, 225 lbs., two-stars)

The third Buffalo kid of the class also a guy that might change his position at UB as he has some burst and some athleticism, as you can see on his Hudl film. After a year or two of bulking up, Burniston could very well be a defensive force in the middle for the Bulls.

OT Dan Fedor - Elmira High School, Elmira, New York (6’7”, 286 lbs., two-stars)

Fedor is the first of a pair of OTs in this class that will probably be redshirted in 2018. As you can tell on his Hudl film, he finishes his blocks well and is athletic enough to be an effective puller. He’ll be asked to pass block more in college and have to take on guys who are as big and strong as he is.

OT Tyler Leroux - Gilmour Academy, Gates Mills, Ohio (6’5”, 295 lbs., two-stars)

The second recruit from Ohio in this class is a big one, and he’s shown himself to be a well-rounded blocker in his Hudl film. Leroux should be an anchor on the offensive line once he picks up UB’s blocking schemes.

DT Eddie Wilson - Milford Academy, New Berlin, New York (6’2”, 330 lbs., three-stars)

The Bulls are fairly deep at DT, so don’t expect the new crop of tackles to play right away. For his size, Wilson is fairly athletic as you can see on his Hudl tape. He’ll be asked to be a two-gap player and take on double-teams at the next level, so a year to work on his upper body could do him some good.

DT Atunaisa Vainikolo - Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut, California (6’2”, 280 lbs., two-stars)

Vainikolo has a game as big as his name, as he was named All-Conference a season ago. JUCO players are always a risk because you never know what you’re going to get, but he is long and has a high motor as evidenced in his Hudl film. He needs to get bigger and stronger to be an interior run stuffer at the Division I level.

DT DeShondrick Foxworth - Jones County Junior College, Ellisville, Mississippi (6’2”, 314lbs., two-stars)

Foxworth is another player coming from a JUCO looking to be in the mix for playing time. He is an anchor as either a nose or a 2i-technique with his strength judging from his Hudl highlights, so being a rotational player at some point in the season might not be out of the question.

ILB Max Michel - Elizabeth High School, Elizabeth, New Jersey (6’2”, 215 lbs., two-stars)

Buffalo is deep at LB as well, so Michel looks like he will be a five-year player. Michel might be a better fit at OLB/DE with his burst and striking ability, as you can see on his Hudl film. Getting stronger and coming in the 230-240 lbs. range would be really good for him going forward.

CB Cory Gross Jr. - Brockport High School, Brockport, New York (6’2”, 186 lbs., three-stars)

Gross was a valuable addition to the defense with four senior CBs on the roster. Being a returner on special teams may be on the table due to his athleticism, and he can close space and make plays on the ball, as you can see on his Hudl film. He’ll have to work on his physicality and tackling in space to earn a spot on the field for the Bulls.

S Joey Banks - City College of San Francisco, San Francisco, California (5’10”, 180 lbs., two-stars)

Banks may be in play for a spot on the field in 2018 as there were ten underclassman safeties on the roster last season. He’s a solid all-around player with his athleticism, ball skills, and physicality as you can see on his Hudl film. You’d like your safeties to be at least 190 lbs. but he can be a force on the back end for the Bulls regardless.

Next up in our NSD Recap series: the Miami RedHawks.