Yet another BBQ commit. Must be something in the sauce...
Southfield (MI) safety Ray Buford, Jr. received an offer and committed to Minnesota on the spot at this afternoon's annual recruiting BBQ. Buford is rated a 3 star prospect according to 247Sports' Industry Composite, choosing Minnesota over listed offers from Boston College, Toledo, Ohio, Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Akron, Buffalo and Bowling Green. Ray is the eighth overall commit and second defensive back pledge in the 2015 cycle.
Gopher247's Kyle Goblirsh with a pre-BBQ article ($):
"I'm really looking forward to get to know the players and the coaches more. I'm also hoping to see more of the facilities."
"Coach tells me that he thinks I am a great athlete and that he believes I will be a great addition on the defense" Buford Jr. explained. "Most schools are recruiting me as a CB, but Coach says it just depends how big I get if I'd play Safety or Corner."
Minnesota is also after close personal friend of Ray's, DB John Kelly, who Ray explains had to push back his visit date. "He definitely likes Minnesota, he thinks highly of them and he says it's a great place to live."
(Likely Fraudulent) Measurables**
** The section title is a bit. It's intentionally facetious comment on how recruiting sites (and even some college coaches) notoriously exaggerate traditional combine measures -- especially the 40. No offense is meant.
Weight: 190-195 lbs.
Fake 40 Time: 4.5-4.75s
I don't have one?
Buford was apparently hurt much of last season and doesn't really have any film available for the position he'll play at the next level: safety. The staff almost certainly saw him at the Sound Mind Sound Body camp in Michigan earlier this summer, where they could get a first hand look at how Ray would translate to another position. With that in mind, he's following a similar tract to current Gopher and former high school wideout Eric Murray.
Without anything to evaluate Buford, this exercise is a shot in the dark. All we really have to go off is that Ray was essentially a camp offer, and that he'd been performing well on the circuit this summer. A couple of snippets:
Has great size. Long and has added good weight and strength over the last year. Can play up on the line of scrimmage and likes to get his hands on receivers at the line. Shows good ball skills and has the length to get in front of passes and challenge bigger receivers on jump balls. Could be a receiver or safety in college as well. Must continue to keep and improve speed while adding size. - Allen Trieu
BBQ Rub Recruiting Links
BBQ Rub Recruiting Links
Something called B2G Sports:
Buford Jr. is an up and coming prospect who projects more as defensive back at the next level. He stands at 6-foot, 174-pounds, and is still learning the cornerback position. He displayed good athleticism and decent hips in the 1-on-1s and is definitely a guy to watch moving forward.
Buford won the overall MVP at the Cincinnati Core 6 Showcase in February:
Nobody in the building took more reps than Southfield (Mich.) High 2015 defensive back Ray Buford, who was a dominant in-your-face press-coverage corner on this afternoon. In the last year Buford has packed on 20 pounds of muscle to get up to 6-foot-1, 195-pounds, blossoming into one of the state of Michigan's top prospects. Boston College and several MAC programs have offered.
The common denominator of all these recaps is cornerback, as in the position Buford worked out at. Perhaps Ray will be a versatile defensive back like Brock Vereen who can play either safety or corner. Or, Buford will be brought in for his burgeoning coverage skills to cover tight ends at the next level. Size, length and press-coverage traits are indicative of a guy who can play that nickel coverage spot.
Impact on Other DBacks?
The staff already had one safety on board in Jacob Huff, and will likely take 1-2 more before the cycle is complete. They could be saving reservations at the position for official visit season when they can bring in Southern prospects much easier than over the summer. Another guy to keep an eye on is JUCO defensive back Charles Rogers, the former Iowa State corner who could line up at CB or Safety once he decides upon a transfer school.