Football Team Signs 19 on National Signing Day
Published: Thursday, February 2, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
Hard work, leadership, and education.
These are some of the words associated with the type of player that head coach Jeff Quinn wants in his program.
"We talk about great competitors," Quinn said. "We talk about young men that value their education. We talk about young men that understand how important it is to do the little things the right way."
The football team announced 19 recruits in its National Signing Day on Wednesday. In his tenure Quinn has been adamant about recruiting players at every position. He continued that trend this year by signing nine defensive players, nine offensive players, and a punter.
The Bulls have started six true freshmen over each of the last two years. Part of Quinn's recruiting strategy is to show the players that they have an opportunity to play for a starting spot in their first season. Quinn wanted to get players that could have an immediate impact on the team.
"The key for us is to look at how this group is going to help us win next year," Quinn said. "We're gonna play every single good football player that comes out and really proves [his] ability to play for us."
The highlight of the recruiting class is Collin Michael, who was ranked the No. 41 quarterback in the nation by scout.com. Despite having five returning quarterbacks, Quinn wanted another quarterback to create a balance on the roster. Also, he felt Michael was someone he could not pass over.
"Collin [Michael] really jumped out at us as somebody that we knew that if we're going to take a quarterback that this would be the guy that we wanted to take," Quinn said. "That was the kind of guy we were looking for; a big, tall, 6-foot-5, 215, 220-pound kid…he's got an accurate arm, a strong arm, you just don't pass up on those guys."
Quinn has focused his recruitment greatly in Ohio, Michigan, and New York because he has coached solely in those areas for much of his career. He also wanted to start his recruitment in Western New York by signing the best players in the area. He hopes to build a tradition of having WNY players being strongly represented on the team.
"We make sure we are staying, first and foremost, in the Western New York area and the state of New York and then we branch out," Quinn said. "It was a big part of our focus and it's not necessarily to say we won't move out of that zone to Georgia and all those southern states."
Quinn also focused on signing players from high schools that current players attended. Quinn was able to use current players to help recruit others from the same high schools. The player involvement in recruitment is something Quinn has started since coming to Buffalo, which has resulted in getting players the Bulls may have not in the past.
The Bulls signed two interior linemen and two defensive ends this year. Quinn wanted to have players that could play with the existing core that is already here. The surplus of talent on the defensive line will allow Quinn to have flexibility with either three or four down linemen and give the Bulls a more versatile defensive front.
Buffalo has also brought in former LSU defensive coordinator Lou Tepper to run the defensive side of the ball for the Bulls.
The Bulls have 17 returning starters on offense and defense coming back. This is Quinn's third year and he is building a team he feels will bring its leadership and championships from high school to the next level.