Buffalo Bulls

Bill Clark
Associated Press

Collin Lisa leaving Buffalo, will transfer back to UAB

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After a short sabbatical away, Collin Lisa is set to return to the resurrected UAB football program.

Lisa confirmed to both the Buffalo News and al.com that he has decided to transfer out of the Buffalo Bulls football program and return to UAB. Lisa began his collegiate playing career with the Blazers, but transferred to the Bulls when his first school disbanded the football program.

With the sport set for a return in 2017, so is the wide receiver.

“I definitely think I could have had had a big year this year, but when I heard it was coming back, it crossed my mind now and then,” the Georgia native told al.com. “I really liked the city of Birmingham. That’s where I wanted to play originally. I can’t even emphasize how much I wanted to play for coach Clark. …

“It was more than football playing for UAB. You feel like you’re playing for the city with everything that happened and playing for the state. It feels like you’re playing for a bit more than just football.”

Lisa played in two games for the Blazers (no receptions) in 2014 as a true freshman. In his only season with the Bulls, Lisa’s 31 receptions and 325 receiving yards in 11 games were fourth on the team.

When the team returns to the field, Lisa should have two seasons of eligibility remaining beginning in 2017.

Lisa is continuing somewhat of a trend as a couple of former Blazers who left the program have already returned (HEREHEREHERE) in anticipation of playing for their new/old team. Head coach Bill Clark has also received a commitment from a former LSU defensive lineman in October of last year; one from a former Kansas State running back; and one from a former Notre Dame running back.
Tragically, that Irish running back, Greg Bryant, was shot and killed earlier this month.

57 centers named to Rimington Award spring watch list

AJ McCarron, Ryan Kelly
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You know how I know we’re getting closer to the start of a new season?  The first watch list of the offseason has arrived.

The first for that honor this year is the Rimington Award, which on Tuesday released its spring watch list that is 57 players strong.  The Rimington Award, named in honor of former Nebraska standout Dave Rimington, is presented annually to the top center in the nation and is determined by the consensus All-American center pick from three existing All-America teams — Walter Camp. Sporting News and FWAA.

None of the finalists for the 2015 award, won by Alabama’s Ryan Kelly, are included on this year’s initial watch list as all three have since moved on with expired eligibility.

The ACC and SEC pace all conferences with eight watch listers apiece, followed by the AAC and Big 12 with seven each.  The Big Ten placed six, while the Pac-12’s three was the least of all of the Power Five programs.

All 10 of the FBS leagues, plus one independent (Notre Dame), are represented on the spring watch list, the full roster of which appears below.

Deyshawn Bond, Cincinnati, senior
Ryan Crozier, UConn, redshirt sophomore
Will Noble, Houston, sophomore
Drew Kyser, Memphis, sophomore
Evan Brown, SMU, junior
Brendan McGowan, Temple, redshirt senior
Chandler Miller, Tulsa, sophomore

Jay Guillermo, Clemson, senior
Alec Eberle, Florida State, redshirt sophomore
Freddie Burden, Georgia Tech, redshirt senior
Nicholas Linder, Miami, junior
Lucas Crowley, North Carolina, senior
Alex Officer, Pittsburgh, redshirt junior
Jason Emerich, Syracuse, redshirt senior
Jackson Matteo, Virginia, senior

Joe Spencer, Illinois, senior
Sean Welsh, Iowa, junior
Brendan Moore, Maryland, sophomore
Mason Cole, Michigan, junior
Dylan Utter, Nebraska, senior
Michael Dieter, Wisconsin, sophomore

BIG 12
Kyle Fuller, Baylor, senior
Dalton Risner, Kansas State, sophomore
Jonathan Alvarez, Oklahoma, junior
Brad Lundblade, Oklahoma State, junior
Austin Schlottman, TCU, junior
Tony Morales, Texas Tech, senior
Tyler Orlosky, West Virginia, redshirt senior

Michael Montero, FIU, senior
Dillon DeBoer, FAU, redshirt senior
Daniel Stephens, Middle Tennessee State, senior
Nick Clarke, Old Dominion, sophomore
Cameron Tom, Southern Miss, senior
Max Halpin, Western Kentucky, redshirt senior

Tim McAuliffe, Bowling Green redshirt junior
James O’Hagan, Buffalo, sophomore

Jake Bennett, Colorado State, junior
Asotui Eli, Hawaii, redshirt sophomore
Nathan Goltry, Nevada, senior
Arthur Flores, San Diego State, senior
Austin Stephens, Utah State, senior

Toa, Lobendahn, USC, junior
Coleman Shelton, Washington, junior
Riley Sorenson, Washington State, senior

Frank Ragnow, Arkansas, junior
Brandon Kublanow, Georgia, senior
Jon Toth, Kentucky, senior
Ethan Pocic, LSU, senior
Jamaal Clayborn, Mississippi State, senior
Robert Conyers, Ole Miss, senior
Alan Knott, South Carolina, redshirt junior
Coleman Thomas, Tennessee, junior

Devin Mondie, Arkansas State, senior
Andy Kwon, Georgia Southern, senior
Gabe Mobley, Georgia State, sophomore
Steve Matlock, Idaho, senior

Sam Mustipher, Notre Dame, junior

Rutgers adds future date with Buffalo

PISCATAWAY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 05: The Rutgers Scarlet Knight rides celebrating a touchdown against the Norfolk State Spartans during the first half of a game at High Point Solutions Stadium on September 5, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
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At the turn of this century, Rutgers and Buffalo had never played on the gridiron despite being two members of the rare club of FBS programs in the Northeast. The Scarlet Knights and Bulls met six times in the eight years from 2000-07 then, like high school friends that took jobs on opposite sides of the country, grew apart. They haven’t played since.

And, like a high school reunion, the two are set to reunite on a one-night-only basis.

According to the Asbury Park Press, Rutgers and Buffalo will meet in Piscataway on Sept. 22, 2018. The Bulls will be paid $900,000 for the pleasure.

The paper notes that the agreement was reached nearly a full years ago and signed on Rutgers’s end by then-athletics director Julie Hermann, but not signed by Buffalo until last month by new AD Allen Green.

Rutgers will visit Kansas in non-conference play the week before hosting Buffalo; the Knights are still in search of an opener. Buffalo has non-conference games lined up with Temple and Army in addition to Rutgers, but also lacks an opening week game.

Rutgers holds a 5-1 all-time lead over Buffalo.

Buffalo extends Lance Leipold after one season

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After just one season at Buffalo, Lance Leipold is being rewarded for his thin body of work at the school.

Leipold and the Bulls agreed recently to a one-year contract extension for the head coach.  The second-year coach is now technically under contract through the 2020 season.

There was no word on whether the extension also included a bump in pay.  Leipold’s $400,000 salary in 2015 was 12th of the 13 MAC coaches listed in the USA Today database.

“We are confident in Lance and his staff and are pleased with the progress that has been made,” athletic director Allen Greene said in a statement. “He is building a program the right way and the future is bright under his leadership.”

In his first year at Buffalo, Leipold guided the Bulls to a 5-7 record.  The Bulls were actually in line for a bowl berth through the first three-quarters of the season (5-4) before losing their last three games of the season.

Prior to leaving for Buffalo, Leipold was the leader of Div. III powerhouse Wisconsin-Whitewater, which won six national championships during his tenure.  He ended his eight-year run at the school with an astonishing 109-6 mark.

Buffalo’s Solomon Jackson dies week after ‘medical emergency’ during conditioning session

Solomon Jackson
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Sadly, there’s some devastating news coming out of the Buffalo football program Monday morning.

The university confirmed in a press release a short time ago that Bulls defensive end/linebacker Solomon Jackson died last night at the age of 21.  Jackson’s passing came exactly one week after he experienced what was described as a “medical emergency”during a team conditioning session and was taken via ambulance to a local hospital.  He had been listed in critical condition since his hospitalization.

No cause of death has been released at this time. Below is the lengthy and heartfelt statement from UB athletic director Allen Greene addressing Jackson’s passing.

It is with deep sadness that I write to share that we have lost one of our own, UB football player Solomon Jackson, who passed away last night. Our heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies go out to Solomon’s family as together we mourn his tragic and untimely death.

“From the outpouring of prayers and support over the past week since Solomon was hospitalized, it has been abundantly clear just how many lives he touched on a daily basis through his contributions and character—as an athlete, as a student, as a friend and mentor to others, and as an active and engaged member of our campus community. As a redshirt-sophomore defensive end from Stone Mountain, Georgia who was pursuing a degree in sociology, Solomon demonstrated tremendous promise as a student-athlete, both on and off the field.

“President Tripathi and I visited Solomon and his family early last week at the hospital, and from our visit it was clear Solomon was a young man of great character and integrity. He held these values at a very early age and brought them to all he undertook. He was active in his community and in his church—a genuinely kind spirit who was devoted to his family and to the well-being of people around him.

“All of us who had the pleasure and good fortune of knowing Solomon will remember him as a truly bright light on the field, in the classroom and around campus. We will remember him for his love of the game and his love of life. The best way we can honor his memory is for each of us to keep those values close in our own lives.

“As Solomon’s family prepares to make memorial and funeral arrangements, we will share more information as it becomes available. In the meantime, I know I am joined by Coach Leipold, the football staff and the entire Athletics family in expressing my deepest personal sympathies to Solomon’s family and friends during this incredibly difficult time.

Jackson started seven games last season as a sophomore for the Bulls after moving from linebacker to end. Six of those starts came in the last six games to close out the regular season.

Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to those impacted by this way-too-soon loss.