BUFFALO, NY – University at Buffalo football head coach Jeff Quinn has announced his initial signees for the 2014 recruiting class on the first day of the National Signing Period. The 21-member class is Quinn's largest in his five years at Buffalo.
The class is comprised of five linebackers, four offensive linemen, three safeties, two defensive linemen, two cornerbacks, two quarterbacks, a running back, a tight end and a kicker. The newest class comes to UB from eight different states and two countries, including New York, Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Wisconsin, Canada and England.
"We are certainly excited to sign these young men," Quinn said. "We spent a lot of time locating players in the state of New York, the Midwest and this upper Mid-Atlantic region. We needed to address our needs at the power positions, our offense and defensive lines as well as the big-skill linebacker position, and we were able to do that. We were also able to sign some explosive skill kids at cornerback, safety, quarterback and running back.
"As we continue to build this program, we are attracting better and better kids. This incoming class has the highest collective GPA of any class we have ever signed. Overall, we have a signed a really solid class."
The initial members of the 2014 signing class:
6-3 • 230
Lovejoy, GA/Lovejoy HS
Randy Anyanwu is a linebacker/defensive end out of Lovejoy, GA, who comes to Buffalo after an outstanding career at Lovejoy High School. Anyanwu led the defense all season long as a senior as he was named first-team All-Region and All-County. He also earned second-team All-State for his dominance as a senior. Anyanwu is also a three-time state finalist for the discus throw as a part of his high school's track and field team. He holds the school's all-time record for the discus throw.
6-6 • 280
Port Washington, WI/Port Washington
Andy Fidler is a multi-sport athlete who comes to Buffalo after a successful high school career. The 6-6, 270-pound lineman comes from Port Washington High School in Wisconsin, where he was team captain. As a senior, he led the team in tackles. Off the football field, he was team captain of the school's wrestling team and was listed as a top 15 wrestler in the state of Wisconsin.
6-2 • 195
Cleveland, OH/Gilmour Academy Gates Mill
Ishmael Hargrove will likely serve as a safety as a UB Bull, and he has impressive athletic ability that will serve him well in the defensive backfield. A three-time All-Conference selection and first-team All-Ohio pick as a senior, Hargrove was named the team's MVP as a junior and senior. Hargrove also received an invite to play in the Ohio North-South All-Star football game, the highest honor for high school football players in the state of Ohio. Off the field, Hargrove was also named OHFCA Academic All-Ohio as a senior and ranked second in his class.
6-2 • 300
Columbus, OH/Hilliard Bradley
Skylar Hartley comes to Buffalo from Columbus, Ohio, where he was captain of the Hilliard Bradley varsity football team as a senior. A relentless blocker, Hartley started a school-record 30 straight games and was an All-Conference performer as a junior and senior. As a senior, he was named first-team All-State, becoming the first player from Hilliard Bradley to earn that honor. Hartley also received an invite to play in the Ohio North-South All-Star football game, the highest honor for high school football players in the state of Ohio. Off the football field, Hartley holds the school record in the shot put.
6-3 • 250
King George, VA/King George
Corey Henderson already possesses the size and strength to fit multiple roles in UB's 3-4 defense. A linebacker out of King George High School, Henderson is a hard worker who coaches say will do whatever his team needs in order to win. He was named All-District all four seasons while earning second-team All-State as a senior. Henderson was named team MVP and led the squad in tackles all four seasons while also playing quarterback on offense. Earned District Player of the Year honors as a junior and senior and also earned All-Region accolades as a quarterback as a junior. Off the field, he is an honor student and is a DECA member (requires a 3.0 grade-point average and a focus in business).
6-0 • 230
Detroit, MI/Cass Technical
Gary Hosey is a running back out of Detroit, MI who comes to Buffalo after an exceptional high school career at Cass Technical High School. As the team's starting running back, Hosey made the All-Detroit Metro City team and was also named All-State Honorable Mention. He compiled over 3,500 rushing yards and 80 tackles defensively over the past two seasons. A team captain, Hosey led his team to two straight Michigan Division I State Championships.
6-4 • 215
Newark, NJ/Newark Shabazz HS/Milford Academy
Juwan Jackson comes to UB following a season playing quarterback at Milford Academy. As the team's starting quarterback, Jackson was named team captain and led them to a 7-4 overall record. At Shabazz High School, Jackson was a two-year team captain and was also named Offensive MVP as an option quarterback as a senior. He is enrolled at UB for the spring semester and will participate in spring ball for the Bulls.
6-3 • 280
Traverse City, MI/St. Francis Catholic
Jake Khoury is another dual sport athlete that's comes to Buffalo from Traverse City, MI. Khoury was a four year starter on the defensive line at St. Francis Catholic and he earned first-team All-State as a senior. Off the field, Khoury was an outstanding wrestler as he was the #2 ranked heavyweight wrestler in Division 3 and 4 in the state of Michigan.
6-3 • 205
Calgary, Alberta/St. Andrews College
Chris Merchant is the lone Canadian in the recruiting class following a very successful career at St. Andrews College. The Calgary, Alberta native was rated as the #1 Canadian High School quarterback as a senior. Merchant led St. Andrews College to a 7-1 record last season and he was named first-team All-Canadia for his efforts. Off the field, Merchant was awarded the Addison Outstanding Leadership Award as a senior and also had a 4.0 grade-point average.
6-2 • 190
Pittsburgh, PA/Kiski Area
Adam Mitcheson comes to the Bulls following a great career at Kiski Area High School as a placekicker and punter. As a senior, he finished the season going 12-for-16 on his field goal attempts with a long of 50 yards. As a punter, Mitcheson averaged 40.6 yards per punt and had a long of 69 yards. He has won a field goal accuracy competition in Florida, a field goal distance competition in Ohio and the Regional Kohl's punting competition in Pennsylvania. Mitcheson is the only specialist ranked in the "Pennsylvania Finest" by 24/7 Sports. He also played baseball and basketball in high school.
6-7 • 295
London, England/IMG Academy
Matt Murphy, an Irish-born offensive lineman, has had a long trip to Buffalo. He came over from London, England before his junior season and finished his prep career at Out-of-Door Academy for coach Brett Timmons for one season before spending his senior year at IMG Academy. While at IMG, he played under former Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke. Already standing at an imposing 6-foot-7-inches and nearly 300 pounds, Murphy developed a love of big hits early on as an accomplished rugby player, leading his teams to Province Championships for four straight seasons. He graduated from IMG in December and enrolled early at UB, making him eligible for spring practices.
6-2 • 225
Myles Nicholas will make the short trip down Route 90 to start his college career, coming from Irondequoit High School in Rochester, NY. He was named to the All-Greater Rochester team, and was All-State. A three-year starter on varsity, he was a captain as a senior and had seven sacks as a linebacker for Irondequoit. Along with football, he also was a member of the wrestling and track teams while in high school.
6-0 • 195
Ellicott City, MD/Mount Hebron
Zach Nicholas is a multi-purpose athlete who is projected to be a safety with the Bulls. While playing for head coach Phil Zacharias at Mount Hebron, he was an All-State safety with 61 tackles, two interceptions, five pass breakups, and four fumble recoveries – three of which were returned for touchdowns. He was an accomplished running back as well, rushing for 310 yards in a single game and averaging 6.2 yards per carry with 20 catches. Nicholas was also the team's return specialist, returning punts and kicks and has been recorded with a 4.5 40-yard dash. Zach made the Top 33 All-Star team in Maryland, and was named the Howard County Defensive Player of the Year.
6-3 • 285
Seaford, NY/Seaford Senior
James O'Hagan has the pedigree Coach Quinn and his staff loves in a lineman, coming from Seaford High School where he was the number one heavyweight wrestler in the state and one of the top 20 heavyweights in the nation. Along with his career on the mat, he was a four-year starter on both the offensive and defensive lines for head coach Rob Perpall, making the first team All-Metro and All-State squads. As a senior on the defensive line, he recorded 112 tackles and 12 sacks.
6-3 • 220
Kevin Rogers will go from throwing passes to catching them while at UB, coming from a career as a dual-threat quarterback for coach Jeff Giesting at Anderson High School in Cincinnati. He was a two-time All-Conference selection as a quarterback, throwing for 2,400 yards and 21 touchdowns in his career while rushing for 1,500 yards and 14 more scores. Rogers was captain of both his high school football and basketball teams.
6-4 • 280
Gusty Schwartzmeier joins Myles Nicholas as top Section V talent who chose to stay close to home for their college careers. Schwartzmeier already looms large at 6-foot-4, 280 pounds, and will play on the defensive line at Buffalo. He is an All-County and All-State member, and was named MVP of the NY National Underclassman Combine.
6-1 • 215
Detroit, MI/Cass Technical
Will White is a linebacker from Detroit, MI, who was a standout at Cass Technical High School under head coach Thomas Wilcher. He will join former Cass Tech alum Dalton Barksdale, Brandon Berry and William Rembert on the 2014 roster. White was a three-year starter, leading the team to a pair of Michigan Division I state titles. A team captain in his senior season, he recorded 128 tackles, eight sacks and 24 tackles for loss and was named to the All-Metro, All-City and All-State in recognition of his terrific final season.
5-10 • 175
Lovejoy, GA/ Lovejoy
Brandon Williams is a multi-sport athlete who will come to Buffalo as a cornerback from Lovejoy, GA. While playing for head coach Al Hughes at Lovejoy High School, he made the 6A Georgia Second Team as a defensive back after a senior season where he recorded 70 tackles, 16 pass breakups, two interceptions and five forced fumbles. He was also a standout track athlete, competing in the 4x100 and 4x400 relays, long jump, triple jump, pole vault and 300-meter hurdles. He ran a state-qualifying time of 38.9 in the 300-meter hurdles, and his 4x100 relay team finished 12th overall in the state.
6-0 • 175
Ryan Williamson is a safety who comes to Buffalo from powerhouse Colerain High School in Cincinnati, OH. Under head coach Tom Bolden, he led the conference with five interceptions as both a junior and senior, earning him All-Conference and All-Southwest Ohio honors. His secondary pedigree comes from his father John, who played cornerback at Cincinnati. Also an accomplished track athlete, Ryan has a 6'4 high jump and a 21' long jump under his belt.
5-10 • 175
Terrance Wilson is a cornerback from Buford High School in Suwanee, GA, under coach Jess Simpson. Coming from a talented football family – his twin brother Thomas signed with Missouri today – Terrance won two straight 3A state championships as a junior and senior, and was named All-County honorable mention. He averaged 41.5 tackles, 8.5 pass breakups and 1.5 interceptions over those final two championship seasons.
6-3 • 190
Fayetteville, NY/Christian Brothers Academy
J.R. Zazzara is an accomplished quarterback from traditional central New York power Christian Brothers Academy, where he played for head coach Joe Casamento. He was named "Mr. Football" for the region and recently earned MVP honors at the All-American Bowl down in Orlando, FL on Jan. 3. He led CBA to back-to-back Section III titles and a number two ranking in the state as a senior. He accounted for 38 touchdowns this past season, both with his arm (1,750 yards and 22 touchdowns) and with his dynamic running ability (rushing 55 times for 805 yards and 16 touchdowns). Zazzara turned down a lacrosse scholarship from Syracuse, opting instead to follow his dream of becoming a Division I football player.
In addition, Patrick Zingler, a 6-1, 175 quarterback from Milford Academy has joined the team as a preferred walk on.