There's plenty of optimism surrounding University at Buffalo football heading into the 2018 season thanks in large part to an impressive 18-man senior class. Of course, that means head coach Lance Leipold and his staff are also focusing on restocking the shelf for next year. Currently, the team has filled eight of its 22 spots with verbal commitments heading into Tuesday's Mid-American Conference Media Day in Detroit. A look at the recruits (whose commitments are nonbinding until signing day during the upcoming school year).
Ht., Wgt.: 6-2, 170
School, hometown: Vero Beach (Fla.)
Quick hit: Cuff also had offers from Marshall, Southern Illinois and New Hampshire but told the TC Palm in June that he valued UB offering him first. He had 29 receptions for 299 yards and four touchdowns last season, his second year on the Vero Beach varsity squad.
Ht., Wgt: 5-10, 170
School, hometown: Warner Robins (Ga.)
Quick hit: Houston County High School, where Franklin attended last season, didn't perform particularly well in 2017. The Bears posted a 2-8 record, but that didn't stop him from getting Division I interest. He led the team with 52 tackles, 40 of them coming solo. Now a Warner Robins Demon, Franklin committed to UB in June only days after making his official visit.
Pos.: Strong safety
Ht., Wgt.: 6-1, 190
School, hometown: Southfield (Mich.)
Quick hit: Fuqua is a three-star recruit on 24/7. He was a favorite of Mid-American Conference coaches, as he also received offers from Akron, Ball State, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Miami (Oh.), Northern Illinois, Toledo and Western Michigan.
Ht., Wgt.: 6-foot, 215
School, hometown: King (Detroit)
Quick hit: Miller, a three-star recruit on 24/7, makes up for his lack of size with smarts and speed. He's entering his third year on varsity with King, who won a state title when he was on the team in 2016, and picked UB over offers from Cincinnati and Syracuse, among others.
Ht., Wgt.: 6-4, 298
School, hometown: Wayne Hills (Wayne, N.J.)
Quick hit: Polgar, a two-star offensive lineman according to 24/7, has plenty of size, standing 6 foot 4 and 298 pounds. He picked UB over an offer from Temple.
Ht., Wgt.: 6-6, 305
School, hometown: Broadneck (Arnold, Md.)
Quick hit: The player dubbed "pancake" by his coach earned accolades after his junior season, landing on USA Today's ALL-USA Maryland second team and on the Baltimore Sun's All-Metro first team.
Ht., Wgt.: 6-5, 207
School, hometown: LaBrae (Leavittsburg, Ohio)
Quick hit: Stephens has the perfect frame for a tight end, listed as 6-foot-5 and 207 pounds. He was an All-Ohio selection in both football and basketball last season and picked UB over Akron, Marshall and Ball State. He caught 27 passes for 358 yards and four touchdowns last season.
Ht., Wgt.: 6-foot, 205
School, hometown: Cologne, Germany
Quick hit: Weitz grew up playing soccer but switched to football when he was 13 in search of a sport with more competition and discipline. He is listed as a class of 2019 member, but Weitz told The News he's expecting to join the Bulls this fall.
Story topics: University at Buffalo football