(Wednesday is National Signing Day for college football recruits. The News will be updating UB's new additions throughout the day.)
UB SIGNING DAY CAPSULES
Players: Jaret Patterson, RB; and James Patterson, MLB.
School: St. Vincent Pallotti, Laurel, Md.
Size: Jaret is 5-8, 170; James is 5-11, 237.
Overview: Coach Lance Leipold went back to the Baltimore-area school where UB has a strong connection, former Bulls great linebacker Justin Winters, who is defensive backfield coach for Pallotti. UB recruited linebacker Justin Mulbah out of the same school a year ago. The Pattersons are twins who were determined to play college football together and committed to UB in July.
Scouting Jaret: Because of Winters’ influence, Jaret Patterson is a huge fan of Bulls great Branden Oliver.
“Bo is his mentor,” Winters said. “He talks to Bo a lot. He has a picture of Bo as his screen saver on his phone. Bo let him know it don’t matter who recruits you, when you get an opportunity you’ve got to make the most of it. That’s what he’s going to do.”
Bulls fans can only hope Patterson’s small stature eventually will draw comparisons with the great Oliver. Jaret was less hotly recruited than his brother. Winters said he had about 12 total offers. But his production was phenomenal. As a senior he rushed for 2,045 yards on 187 carries and scored 29 touchdowns. He’s rated the No. 43 player in Maryland by 247Sports. He was an every-down player who also played safety. He's a bit similar to current UB back Emmanuel Reed.
His greatest performance came in a 55-48 OT win over Riverdale Baptist in October. He produced 558 total yards. He rushed 21 times for 282 yards, caught four passes for 54 yards, returned two kickoffs for 124 yards (including a 95-yard TD), and returned an interception 98 yards for a TD. He also had two sacks, one of which sealed the win in overtime on a play in which he forced a fumble and recovered it.
Winters quotes on Jaret: “He was the best player on our team, four years straight, and we’ve got kids going to Penn State and Maryland. Jaret Patterson is unbelievable. Buffalo’s got a guy who’s going to play on Sunday. He started both ways and played safety every snap. He’s running a 4.4 right now. The two of them train more than any kids I’ve ever seen. . . . He’s going to be a favorite in Buffalo in two years, watch. He’s like no other kid I’ve seen.”
Scouting James: Among his offers were Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Massachusetts, Navy and Central Florida. He was rated the No. 38 player in Maryland by 247Sports.
Winters on James: “He’s just a natural-born leader. He’s everything you want in a Mike linebacker. He had over 150 tackles each of the last two years. Every play he was going to be around the ball. He’s got the same skill-set as his brother, he’s just bigger. He’s a dog. He’s going to make a splash. He weighed in at 237 on his visit. He’s a man. He’s a bruiser and he can run. He started all four years. Every practice was like a game for him. He held everybody accountable. If somebody was messing up, it would be James to tell him. I wouldn’t even have to discipline them.”
“They told coaches straight up, we’re going to school together,” Winters said. “So if you offer just one of us we’re not going. They missed out on a few offers that way. But that’s the way they wanted to go about it.
Player: Kobe Green, S.
School: Deerfield Beach High/Pompano Beach, Fla.
Size: 5-11, 180.
Overview: Green is rated a three-star recruit by 247Sports, and he committed to UB 10 days ago. Ohio had a strong interest. He held offers from Ball State, Temple, Fresno State, Idaho, Florida A&M and Youngstown State, according to 247Sports. UB has a big need for an impact safety. Kentucky’s secondary coach visited him in January, although he didn't get an offer and probably was a fall-back option for the Wildcats.
Scouting: Green was rated the No. 68 overall prospect in Broward and Palm Beach counties by the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinal, which does extensive reporting on college recruiting. He was a first-team all-Broward County pick for large schools at safety by the Miami Herald. He transferred from Coconut Creek High to powerhouse Deerfield Beach for his senior season. He had 64 tackles and seven interceptions as a senior.
Quotable: “He was the captain of the defense,” said Deerfield assistant head coach Cam Thomas. “A real tough kid, a hard-nosed worker. He’s going to give you everything and more. He plays center field, and he can play in the box. The secondary was set off of him. He has decent speed. He’s a solid body. He works real hard in the weight room. He’s running track right now, and his speed will get better. I think he can be a great safety at Buffalo. He’s a total athlete. I remember on our college tour at the University of South Carolina, we put him at receiver and he caught three or four or five touchdowns in the 7-on-7 tournament.”
Player: Rodney Scott, WR.
School: Southridge High/Miami, Fla.
Size: 6-0, 175.
Overview: Scott committed to the Miami Hurricanes last March as one of the early additions by then-new coach Mark Richt. He also held summertime offers from Maryland and Washington State. However, he decommitted from the Hurricanes in September and remained uncommitted through the season. It’s likely his speed wasn’t quite up to Miami’s standard. Nevertheless, he had the talent to start for the large-school, Class 8A state championship team. Scott has a large wingspan and is described as having excellent ball skills. He’s sure-handed. Ultimately he was rated a three-star recruit by most services. He played in the Miami-Dade North vs. South all-star game and was nominated to play in the 2017 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He has a time of 15.66 in the 110-meter hurdles.
Player: Tim Terry, OLB.
School: Central Catholic, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Size: 6-3, 215.
Overview: Terry is another three-star recruit, according to 247Sports, and he’s another player who committed to UB just in the last two weeks. Bowling Green was among his pursuers. Central Catholic, a school that produced Dan Marino, is a Pennsylvania powerhouse. It won the state championship in Terry’s junior year and reached the 6A championship game in 2016. Terry ranked second on the team in tackles as a senior with 83 and had three interceptions, all of which were returned for touchdowns. He was named second-team all-state.
Player: Kyle Vantrease, QB.
School: Stow High School. Stow, Ohio
Size: 6-3, 225
Overview: Most colleges like to recruit one quarterback per class, and Vantrease is one of UB’s higher-rated recruits. He committed to the Bulls in July and also held offers from most of the Mid-American Conference, including Akron, Kent State, Bowling Green, Ohio, Toledo and Miami, as well as Cincinnati. Vantrease is rated a three-star prospect by 247Sports. He was on the 24-man Akron Beacon Journal all-star team. Stow is just north of Akron and east of Kent. Part of the reason he picked UB was he was impressed with the business program. Vantrease graduated from high school a semester early and already has enrolled at UB for the spring semester.
Scouting: Said Stow coach Mark Nori: “His physical attributes are there. He has a strong arm. He’s a tall kid. He looks the part of a quarterback, and he can do all the things MAC quarterbacks can do. . . . He’s been as high as 230. I wouldn’t say he’s a Big Ben build but he has thickness and take hits, and he delivers a couple too when he runs the ball. . . . He’s a drop-back passer. I call him a fire-baller because he can throw the heck out of the ball. He used to try to hit the crossbar, and he’d throw it from the opposite 40 and a lot of times he’d hit it. He’s got that kind of arm. Is he the guy who’s going to break away from 11 and outrun everybody? No. Is he a guy who can pull the ball down and get you 6, 8 yards, and punish somebody while he’s doing it? Yes. I think his decision-making skills are way above average for a high school player, for sure.”
Quotable: More Nori on Vantrease: “His personality is magnetic in the sense that he’s kind of a silent leader. He does the right things. He does everything asked of him and he works incredibly hard. I think the things that separate him are his magnetic personality and his ability to lead by example, which he does really well.”
Statistics: Vantrease was rated No. 51 in Ohio by 247Sports. As a junior, he led his team to a 13-1 record and a spot in the state final four. He completed 130 of 244 passes for 1,919 yards with 12 TDs and nine INTs. As a senior, he led Stow to a 10-2 record. He was 156 of 242 for 2,295 yards with 22 TDs and six INTs. He had 396 rushing yards with eight TDs on 72 carries. In his final game, a 41-35 loss to state champion St. Edward, he was 15 of 29 for 229 yards with two TD passes and he ran for two TDs.
Player: Ja’Varius Harrison, LB.
School: North Florida Christian, Quincy, Fla.
Size: 5-11, 225.
Overview: Rated a three-star player by 247Sports, he committed to UB in July. His Division I offers included Kent State, Troy, Southern Mississippi and Florida A&M. Projected to be a linebacker at UB. Had 85 tackles, including eight for loss his senior season. Totaled 198 tackles over his career. As running back, rushed for 430 yards on 63 carries and seven TDs his senior year. Named Class 2A All-State as a linebacker. Named the 2015 Tallahassee Quarterback Club Defensive Player of the Year.
Player: Jacob Gall, OL.
School: Archbishop Moeller, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Size: 6-2, 300.
Overview: Offensive lineman who was a four-year starter for perennial-power Moeller. Projected to play center for the Bulls. Had offers from Air Force, Army, Kent State and Toledo, among others. His older brother was a four-year starter for the Miami Hurricanes. Named to the Greater Catholic League South First Team twice. He was a team captain and helped lead the Crusaders to the 2013 state championship
Player: Jaylin Nolden, DE.
School: Euclid (Ohio) High.
Size: 6-3, 220.
Overview: A long defensive end prospect. Had 60 tackles, 15 sacks and 19 QB hurries as a senior. He visited Cincinnati before coach Tommy Tuberville resigned in December. Named All-Ohio honorable mention. Named to Northeast Ohio Lakes All-District Division 1 team. Helped lead the Panthers to the third round of the Division I Regional playoffs for the first time in school history.
Player: Rick Squires, DB.
School: Penn Hills High, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Size: 6-1, 196.
Overview: Versatile athlete who played WR and LB at Penn Hills and was a three-star player, according to 247Sports. Akron, Army, Miami and Toledo were among his pursuers. At one point in the spring Boston College made him an offer. Slated to played safety for the Bulls. Had 40 tackles, four tackles for loss, two sacks, an interception (returned for a TD) and a fumble recovery his senior season. As a receiver, had 29 receptions for 437 yards and five TDs. Named 2015 and 2016 Northern Seven Second-Team All-Conference.
Player: Kevin Marks, RB.
School: Norview High, Norfolk, Va.
Size: 6-0, 180.
Overview: Explosive running back who broke his high school’s 47-year-old rushing record. Rushed for 2,364 yards and 36 TDs his senior season. Averaged 12.6 yards per carry. Added 33 receptions for 416 yards and two TDs. Named first-team All-State. High School teammate of fellow UB signee Isaiah King.
Player: Isaiah King, WR.
School: Norview High, Norfolk, Va.
Size: 5-10, 180
Overview: Speedy WR who was also a standout track athlete at Norview. Had 523 receiving yards and seven TDs his senior season. Named All-Tidewater. Also a two-time state champion in the 55m and 300m. Overall, was an 11-time All-State athlete. Ran a 10.9 100 meters, a 21.77 200 meters and a 49.85 400 meters. (The 200 and 400 times would have won the Section VI meet last June.)
Player: Wankeith Akin, DB.
School: Don Bosco Prep, Roseland, N.J.
Size: 5-10, 152
Overview: Played both wide receiver and defensive back at Don Bosco Prep, but is projected to be a defensive back at UB. Had six interceptions (one returned for a TD) and a kickoff return for a TD his senior season. Added 20 receptions for 277 yards and a TD. Named second-team all-county. Ran a 10.73 100 meters and a 22.15 200 meters (both of which would have placed second at the WNY championships last June).
Player: Julien Bourassa, TE.
School: Cegep de Vieux Montreal, Laval, Quebec.
Size: 6-6, 225.
Overview: He enrolled at UB in January after playing at Cegep de Vieux Montreal. Had 15 receptions for 164 yards and a touchdown his senior season. Was a versatile athlete who also played quarterback his senior season. Completed 23-of-54 passes including two touchdowns as a senior. Also rushed for 149 yards and two TDs. Played in the 2016 International Bowl for Canada’s U19 National Team.
Said Leipold: "Julian Bourassa is a young tight end from Canada. After losing Mason Schreck, he’s a very talented and what we feel is a very under-the-radar type of player. We feel his best football is ahead of him. . . . He’s a versatile athlete. The statistics aren’t going to just jump out at you."
Player: Malcolm Koonce, DL.
School: Peekskill, NY/Archbishop Stepinac/Milford Academy.
Size: 6-3, 255.
Overview: A prep school transfer who enrolled at UB in January. Might have the physical development to play sooner than other recruits. Had 47 tackles, including 12 for loss, 11 sacks and a fumble recovery in 2016. As a senior at Archbishop Stepinac, had 58 tackles, including six tackles for loss. Named second-team all-state and Journal News all-star first team. Helped lead the Crusaders to an undefeated season and the 2015 state championship.
Player: Ali Abbas, CB.
School: Irvinigton (N.J.) High School.
Size: 5-10, 175
Overview: Abbas was targeted by UB last January and committed in June. He’s an early enrollee, already in school this semester. As a senior in 2015, he had 16 pass breakups and three interceptions. He was named all-Essex County and honorable mention all-state.
Player: Dawun Hylton, DB.
School: Navy Prep/American High, Opa-Locka, Fla.
Size: 6-1, 190.
Overview: Hylton is a tall corner who’s a two-time state champion in the 4x400 relay. He has a time of 48.1 seconds in the 400. He held offers from Jacksonville State, Southeast Missouri and Florida Tech. Cincinnati had interest. As a senior at American High he had two interceptions (one returned for a TD) and blocked a punt. After his season at American, he spent a season at Navy Prep. He’s enrolled at UB now. His 48.1 time in the 400 meters would have won the Section VI meet.
Player: Nickolas Ricks, LB.
School: Canton (OH) McKinley & Ellsworth CC; Akron, Ohio.
Size: 6-2, 230.
Overview: Ricks played 12 games last season for Ellsworth CC in Iowa and has enrolled at UB. He will be a sophomore in 2017. He ranked fifth in tackles with 54 and had nine tackles for loss. At Canton McKinley (located next to the Pro Football Hall of Fame), he had 16 tackles for loss and 72 total tackles as a senior. He’s an outside linebacker.
Player: Frendy Darelus, DE.
School: Dillard High, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Size: 6-5, 220.
Overview: Darelus had committed to Florida International but decommitted and switched to UB just in the past week. He has the kind of long frame that UB has lacked in its edge-rushing prospects. He had 5.5 sacks, 16 hurries and a forced fumble as a senior.
Player: Charlie Jones, WR.
School: Deerfield (Ill.) High.
Size: 6-0, 180.
Overview: A three-year starter, per reception and scored 14 TDs. Wyoming and North Dakota State were others interested in him.
Player: Cole Burniston, LB.
School: Canisius High, Buffalo.
Size: 6-3, 225.
Overview: He led Canisius in sacks (eight) and forced fumbles (six) on a defense that allowed 12.8 ppg. He had 21 tackles-team All-Western New York pick. Likely to red-shirt as a freshman.
Player: Jeremiah Riordan, LS.
School/Hometown: Detroit Jesuit/Plymouth, Mich.
Size: 6-2, 220.
Overview: UB graduated four-year long-snapper Corbin Grassman. The Bulls had targeted Riordan as his replacement more than a year ago, and he should step into the job immediately. He was ranked eighth among long-snappers at Kohl’s Kicking Camps. He also played nose guard for his high school team. A decade ago, UB and many other programs didn’t scholarship long-snappers. Not any more.