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Zaffram verbally commits to UTEP

Canisius senior linebacker Brad Zaffram confirmed he has verbally committed to the University of Texas at El Paso.

He will sign his letter of intent Feb. 4 during the first day of national signing period for football.

"The coaching staff was up front. That's what I  liked," Zaffram told the News when asked what he liked most about UTEP. "The facilities are top notch. The atmosphere around the college, I liked it."

Zaffram made his official visit to the university last weekend.

UTEP is coached by Lockport native and former Buffalo Bills assistant coach Sean Kugler.

Zaffram said UTEP offered him a grey shirt. While red-shirting incoming freshmen so that they can get physically acclimated to football at the college level is a common practice, the grey shirt has come into play recently because a school may be high on a player but have limited scholarships available. By using the grey-shirt method, the school is in essence delaying a player's enrollment into the school and counting that scholarship toward the following season.

Zaffram, the three-time All-Western New York first team selection, said he would enroll full-time on Jan. 1, 2016. Then he'd be allowed to participate in spring practices and team activiites.

According to, Zaffram will have the option of attending junior college on a part-time basis either near the school or closer to home. He's not allowed to workout or practice with the team during the first semester. He's not even allowed to partake in team meals. He must workout on his own, but it still gives him a chance to bulk up to better acclimate to the speed and strength of the college game.

"It kind of gives me a head start to grow in my body more so I have more of a chance to play that first year," Zaffram said.

Zaffram led Canisius with 91 tackles even though he only played nine of 12 games this past season. He was suspended for the entire postseason for violating school rules, which turned out to be allegations of cheating on an exam. It was believed that the allegations scared off some potential recruiters.

Zaffram will offficially sign his Letter of Intent on Feb. 4. He also had an offer from Football Championship Subdivision program (Division I-AA) Robert Morris.

Zaffram announced his intentions on Twitter. Here's his Tweet:

Proud to say that I officially committed to play college ball at The University of Texas El Paso

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