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Thursday, May 30, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

Bulls to the NFL

<p>UB football alum Chuck Harris, Cameron Lewis, Anthony Johnson and Tyree Jackson sit on the sidelines during the annual spring football game. All four signed with an NFL team this weekend.</p>

UB football alum Chuck Harris, Cameron Lewis, Anthony Johnson and Tyree Jackson sit on the sidelines during the annual spring football game. All four signed with an NFL team this weekend.

Buffalo had no players drafted in the 2019 NFL Draft. 

Still, five players have already signed with NFL teams as undrafted free agents. 

Tyree Jackson and Cam Lewis went to Buffalo, Chuck Harris is in Chicago, Anthony Johnson is in Tampa Bay and James O’Hagan is a member of the New York Giants.

No Bull has been drafted the past two seasons, but it has not prevented them from cracking NFL rosters.

Bulls turn Bills

The Bills added quarterback Tyree Jackson and cornerback Cameron Lewis to their roster just minutes after the draft ended.

Jackson and Lewis will now take a 20-minute drive down I-90 to the Bills facilities in Orchard Park as rookie minicamps and offseason training activities continue throughout May and June.

Jackson has been working with Bills quarterback Josh Allen and his trainer Jordan Palmer in California leading up to the draft. At 6 foot 7 inches, Jackson is an intriguing prospect due to his size but it leads him to comparisons with other quarterbacks like Paxton Lynch and Ryan Mallett.

Lewis is too undersized to be a starting corner in the NFL and general manager Brandon Beane envisions him playing as a nickel corner in the Bills’ scheme.

MAC to Mack

Defensive end Chuck Harris is joining the Chicago Bears after being a two-year starter for the Bulls. As an All-Mid-American Conference selection the past two years, Harris has flown under the radar as an elite pass rusher.

Harris was the top-edge rusher for the Bulls this past season and led the MAC at one point with 6.5 sacks. A neck injury derailed his senior season, causing him to miss multiple games but his speed at UB’s pro-day intrigued scouts.

Harris’ fastest 40-yard dash time was an unofficial 4.56, according to timing from The Spectrum.

Harris joins former NFL Defensive Player of the Year and UB great Khalil Mack on the Bears. 

83 joins the 813

The most surprising UB player to go undrafted is star wide receiver Anthony Johnson. Johnson is the second player in two seasons to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after Demone Harris made his way onto the team last season.

Johnson was mock drafted as a first-round pick earlier this season, going as high as No. 16. Unfortunately, there were concerns about Johnson’s hamstring after he missed time this past season and did not run at the NFL Combine because he tweaked it again.

Johnson was a preseason All-American selection and spent two years at UB after transferring from Iowa Western Community College.

Johnson has family in the NFL including Houston Texans Jadaveon Clowney and Jonathan Joseph.

Hometown team

Center James O’Hagan, a four-year starter at UB, signed with the New York Giants. 

O’Hagan, originally from Seaford, grew up on Long Island and was a state-champion wrestler at Seaford High School.

At Seaford, O’Hagan was a finalist for the Martone Award, given annually to the best lineman on Long Island and won the state wrestling championship at the 285-pound weight class.

O’Hagan was named to the All-MAC third team this season and follows in the footsteps of Kristjan Sokoli, a UB defensive end who played with the Giants from 2017 to 2018.

Still undecided

Khalil Hodge has not yet signed with an NFL team after going undrafted. Hodge was one of the top-tacklers in the nation and has a nose for the football.

Hodge is not the biggest or strongest linebacker but is able to take solid angles and wrap up ball carriers to be successful. Hodge was a three-down linebacker for the Bulls and wants to do the same in the NFL, he told The Spectrum.

Nathaniel Mendelson is the senior sports editor and can be reached at and on Twitter @NateMendelson.



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