UB football kicks off spring practices with plenty of new faces

UB Spring Practice
Posted at 4:27 PM, Mar 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-29 16:27:30-04

AMHERST, N.Y. (WKBW) — It may not feel like spring outside, but the UB campus is screaming spring as the football team is back on the practice field. The Bulls kicked off their spring practice schedule on Tuesday afternoon in the first of 15 scheduled practices over the next few weeks.

"Spring allows us to experiment and it allows us to push the envelope team-wise," head coach Maurice Linguist said. "We just finished practice number one and I'm excited to see our jump to practice number two, and then really get ourselves going throughout spring."

UB is coming off a 4-8 season under the first-year head coach, but this is actually the first spring Linguist has been with the team. Last spring, Lance Leipold was at the helm of the program before being hired as the head coach at Kansas on April 30, 2021.

"Believe it or not we're still in year one of our program and it feels like we've been here longer than what it has been," Linguist said. "Big evaluation mode for us, improving every single day, identifying the playmakers, and then putting those guys in a position to be successful and being able to kind of experiment with our team."

Following the departure of several players due to graduation and the transfer portal, the Bulls welcome around 20 new recruits and transfers to the program. They're also bringing back several starters and playmakers from last season like Dylan McDuffie, the latest running back to make noise on the field.

"It's about coming out here, focusing on the little details, so we can build on last season," McDuffie said, who finished last season with 1,049 rushing yards on 206 attempts. "Everybody has their personal things they're gonna work on and then we're gonna use those to gel together as a team."

Just like every season, there are questions surrounding the quarterback position. Following the departure of last year's starter, Kyle Vantrease, the position is wide open with several guys on the roster capable of stepping into that starting role. Matt Myers, who's seen playing time in each of his three seasons with the Bulls, is back along with Cole Snyder, Casey Case, and Brian Plummer.

"All four quarterbacks are honestly great," wide receiver Quian Williams said. "They're just gonna keep getting better and their confidence is gonna keep growing with them and with us so it's gonna be great to see what happens with our quarterback position."

"The film's gonna decide that. The players will decide that," Linguist said when asked about who would be starting in a couple of months. "What we have right now is a group of guys who are competing for a starting job. We're gonna allow the film to tell the picture of what we need to do as a coaching staff."

The Bulls will continue their practice schedule on Thursday. Their annual spring game is set for April 30th.