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Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Low-ranked recruiting class poses challenge for new football head coach Pete Lembo

UB's recruiting class ranks 11th out of 12 schools in the MAC

<p>University at Buffalo Athletic Director Mark Alnutt introduces Pete Lembo as UB football's 28th head coach | Paul Hokanson/UB Athletics</p>

University at Buffalo Athletic Director Mark Alnutt introduces Pete Lembo as UB football's 28th head coach | Paul Hokanson/UB Athletics

If new head coach Pete Lembo is going to usher in a new era of success for UB’s football program, it will be because he fought an uphill battle. 

The team’s recruiting class currently ranks 11th out of 12 teams in the Mid-American Conference (MAC), according to 24/7 Sports

After former head coach Maurice Linguist left to become one of Alabama’s defensive coordinators and defensive backs coach, Lembo was hired from the University of South Carolina to replace him. 

Linguist’s team went 3-9 in his final season, leaving Lembo to pick up the pieces as the team looks to bounce back from UB’s worst season since 2016, when the Bulls went 2-10

Even with that subpar record, Linguist’s team entered last season with the top recruiting class in the MAC, ranking 79th in the country. UB’s last recruiting class earned 160.65 points, which has dipped to 140.65 under Lembo. 

Despite the poor overall ranking, the 2024 recruiting class for the Bulls still boasts top talents on both sides of the ball. 

UB has two signings rated an 86 overall: Patrick Clacks III and Shamar Riser-Pressley.

Clacks, a 6’1 wide receiver out of Kenwood Academy in Chicago, was a two-time All-State recipient and first-team All-Conference selection. In his best season, Clacks racked up 78 receptions for 1,138 yards and 14 touchdowns during his junior year. 

Edge rusher Riser-Pressley is UB’s other prospect, rated an 86 overall. Interestingly, he is officially listed as a tight end on the UB Athletics website. Riser-Pressley is a 6’6 player from Clintondale High School in Michigan, and is the ninth-best recruit the Bulls have signed in their school history. He signed with the Bulls despite offers from rivals Miami (OH) and Toledo, who finished tied atop the conference with identical 11-2 records. 

Clacks and Riser-Pressley enter the program in a transitional year for the Bulls, and both will be expected to immediately contribute as the team looks to return to the bowl playoffs. 

Henry Daley is an assistant sports editor and can be reached at 


Henry Daley is an assistant sports editor at The Spectrum. His work has featured on other platforms such as Medium and Last Word on Sports. Outside of the newspaper, he enjoys running and watching sports (when he’s not writing about them). 



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