Jeff Quinn began piecing together Buffalo's 2011 recruiting class last February, which according to ESPN's Tom Luginbill was one of the main reasons why the Bulls had so much success early.
Buffalo's 20-man class was secured at least a month before, some as long as six months.
"To be able to get through an entire calendar year with your guys, your staff and your philosophy and implement that, it's really beneficial," said Luginbill, the national recruiting director for ESPN Scouts Inc. "It give you such an opportunity to sell who you are and not to convince somebody who was recruited by a previous staff to be a part of what you want to be. ... You can't sell what Turner Gill did and you can't sell what's happened in the past. You have to sell what you're going to be in the future."
Kendall Patterson, a 6-foot-2, 281-pound defensive tackle from DeMatha High School in Maryland, and 6-3, 215-pound linebacker Brandon Tammaro from Detroit Central Catholic High are the Bulls' highest rated prospects according to Luginbill.
Patterson is one of the headliners of the Bulls' 2011 recruiting class, a group that -- on paper -- outshines any ever assembled since the program elevated to Football Bowl Subdivision status in 1999. While the Bulls 2-10 record of a year ago is widely considered a major disappointment the staff's recruiting efforts have been anything but.
Florida wide receiver Reggie McKnight, who gave a verbal commitment last August, didn't sign with the Bulls and is likely headed elsewhere. Another player who verballed to Buffalo last summer was Florida defensive tackle Patrick Williams, who signed with FCS Villanova. Buffalo has one scholarship remaining and Quinn will likely use it on a walk-on who's already part of the program.
Since Quinn arrived the Bulls have shifted philosophies in the recruiting game by wrapping up large numbers of players before their senior seasons even begin. Whereas in the past Buffalo had only a handful of commitments by mid-January before a late push leading up to National Signing Day, Quinn and his staff had 18 verbal commitments and were finished days before Signing Day.
TOP OF THE CLASS
DT Kendall Patterson (DeMatha Catholic, Abingdon, Md.) -- Dominating defensive lineman who was ranked as the second best defensive tackle and the 14th best overall player in state of Maryland by Rivals.com. Earned three letters and served as captain after recording 13 sacks his senior season.
LB Brandon Tammaro (Detroit Central Catholic) -- Highly-rated prospect out of Michigan with a knack for making big plays. A first-team All-State, All-Detroit Metro and All-County selection after recording 58 tackles, 5.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and three pass breakups in his senior season.
ATH Dale Stewart (Niagara Falls High School) -- Elusive athlete who was an All-Western New York selection after starring at quarterback, wide receiver, running back, defensive back and kick returner.
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