N  I  A  G  A  R  A      G  A  Z  E  T  T  E       niagara-gazette.com

April 25, 2010

Neutz stands out in UB spring game

By Jonah Bronstein Niagara Gazette

AMHERST — Embracing his coach’s “Next Bull In” mantra, Alex Neutz did his best Saturday to help University at Buffalo football fans forget about Naaman Roosevelt.

The Grand Island graduate was the top performer in UB’s annual Blue-White scrimmage, hauling in seven passes for 106 yards and a long touchdown.

Neutz, a 6-foot-3 wide receiver, was redshirted in his freshman season, and entered spring practices as the fourth or fifth receiver on the Bulls’ depth chart.

“It felt real good,” Neutz said. “Redshirting, its a good experience because you get used to the college, the Division I level, the competition, the hitting, it’s totally different than high school. You’re on the (scout) team, it gets a little tedious. Coming out with a fresh start ready to go it felt great.”

Neutz made several impressive grabs along the sideline and snagged the ball over his head before juking cornerback Sherrod Lott on his 49-yard scoring pass from Alex Dennison.

“Alex has been working very hard in becoming a technician in his route running,” said Juan Taylor, the Bulls’ receivers coach. “He never had a problem catching the football. But in this league, you have do to it a little differently than what he did in high school. And he completely understands that now and he showed today in the way he attacked the football.”

“I don’t think there is any question Alex is right in the mix,” coach Jeff Quinn said before the scrimmage. “I’m going to be excited to see how he develops over the summer, improving his speed and learning the offense.

“Alex is a guy who has a great passion for the game. He’s a trustworthy kid, a kid who goes out there and plays hard.”

With Quinn installing a spread offense at UB, Neutz knows the receiving corps will have ample opportunities to make plays.

“There’s three or four receivers in front of me now, but when you are running the spread and the no-huddle you get winded fast and the next guy needs to step up and come in,” he said.”

Despite talk that the defense has been outperforming the offense in practice this spring, the offense won the scrimmage 49-41.

The offense got points for touchdowns, field goals, extra points and first downs, while the defense got points for turnovers, sacks, third-down stops and defensive scores.

Jerry Davis started the game at quarterback and went 12 for 20 for 113 yards. Dennison went 19 of 29 for 210 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Mark Richardson had a 66-yard fumble return for the defense’s biggest scoring play.

“I felt that there was a lot of energy and there was a high level of tenacity and physicality,” Quinn said. “We asked our kids to play fast, play strong, play physical. I really felt our kids were locked in, their preparation has been solid. The way they went out there really demonstrated to me that they’re on board and they’re moving in the right direction.”